Writing Curriculum Statement
At Captain Webb Primary, we want all children to be able to communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions confidently through their writing.
We believe that all children should experience an abundance of quality, engaging texts that fosters a love for reading and stimulates children to write. We want all children to be immersed in a rich, creative and carefully planned curriculum that provides real life contexts for writing.
We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We believe in setting high standards in the presentation of writing along with setting the important foundations in spelling and grammar.
Our aim is for all children to leave our school, fully equipped with the literacy skills to achieve their dreams in future life and memories of their literacy journey at ‘Captain Webb’ lasting a life time.
At Captain Webb Primary School, we understand the importance of a learning journey that leads to opportunities for extended pieces of writing.
We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children.
Please click on the link below for our whole school writing progression grid.
Our teaching of writing across the school is linked to a topic or a class text, carefully chosen to inspire and excite the children. All writing units will start with a stimulus, which could be a high quality reading text or a memorable experience.
Our teacher’s plan exciting memorable experiences every half term. These class visits provide the children with meaningful experiences to support them in writing for a range of purposes and illustrate how their writing skills can be applied to real life contexts.
Our teachers also use carefully selected, high-quality reading texts, relating to the History, Geography or Science focus or from the author focus for the half term. Children are expected to transfer their key topic knowledge and vocabulary into their writing and vice versa to transfer their spelling, grammar and punctuation knowledge into their topic work. We expect the high standards for writing in Literacy lessons to be evident within the work in all books.
At Captain Webb Primary School, we believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils. Units of work are planned so that children are introduced to and immersed in a range of genres including fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
To find out more click on the writing overviews below:
How is Writing taught at Captain Webb?
All writing units begin with a pre writing task known as a cold write. These independent writing tasks are completed before the unit of work commences to set targets and inform planning. The targets set are mostly grammar and punctuation focused, these knowledge and skills are explicitly taught through English lessons as much as possible.
We use carefully chosen model texts as well as live teacher modelling and shared writing so that pupils can see the process involved in creating a piece of writing. The learning journey is captured throughout a unit of work and is documented through consistent working walls and washing lines. Please find examples of these on the photographs below.
We recognise the vital importance of exposing our pupils to a rich and varied vocabulary and understand that their acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. We use model texts and class novels to teach vocabulary in context and encourage discussion around word choices when writing. Dictionaries, thesauruses and word mats are readily available throughout all writing lessons.
Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. All children are given focus spellings and are encouraged to integrate these into their writing. The weekly spellings are taken from the spelling rules being taught in their discrete RWI spelling session. (Refer to the spelling section below for more information.)
The children are given the opportunity to write at length daily and all pupils complete an extended, independent piece of writing at the end of a unit of work known as their hot write. Teachers use the cold and hot writes to measure the progress made within a unit of writing. Here is an example from Year 2
Staff follow our Marking and Feedback policy, to provide pupils with live feedback as much as possible so that children are actively involved in drafting, editing and improving their writing. From an early age, children are encouraged to proofread their work carefully to check for spelling and punctuation errors. By the time children get to Key Stage 2, they will plan, draft and edit independently, enabling them to fully take part in the writing process.
In Early Years, writing is taught under the area of Literacy: Reading & Writing. To support the learning of Writing, the skills in EYFS are essential. Children are given opportunities to write at each of their stations set up in the EYFS learning area, both in and outside of the classroom. Children are encouraged to know how to grip their pencil and build muscles for writing. More formal writing sessions begin in Reception through our systematic phonics programme, Read, Write Inc Phonics. Pupils are taught letter sounds and how to blend and segment to read and write simple words and phrases matched to the sounds learnt. As children’s phonics skills and knowledge of letter sounds develop further, children will then begin to complete writing tasks linked to a class text, using their phonics knowledge to write for a wider range of purposes. To find out more about writing in the EYFS, please follow this link.
At Captain Webb, we identify children who need additional support and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way that we can. We run phonics, reading and writing intervention groups and ensure that our lessons are effectively differentiated to maximise each child’s potential.
The ability to write ideas down fluently requires a good understanding of spelling. In Reception and Key Stage 1, we follow the Read Write Inc Phonics programme to teach pupils how to write phonemes as graphemes. Please click on this link to find out more about Read Write Inc Phonics Spelling.
From Year 2 to Year 6, we use the follow on programme Read Write Inc. Spelling. These schemes ensure full coverage of, and progression within the National Curriculum requirements. To find out more about the Read Write Inc Spellings programme please click on this link.
Handwriting is taught in line with the National Curriculum objectives. In the Early Years, pupils complete fine motor activities to develop hand/finger strength and are taught how to hold a pencil correctly. In Reception, all pupils are taught how to form their letters correctly using the Read Write Inc Phonics programme. For more information, please click on the links below.
From Year 2 onwards, through daily handwriting lessons, we begin to explicitly teach correct joins, consistent letter size and clear ascenders and descenders. Handwriting is linked to spelling wherever possible. Additional support is given through handwriting interventions where needed.
Please refer to the handwriting policy below for more information on how handwriting is taught at Captain Webb
By the time children leave Captain Webb Primary School, they are competent writers who have a good understanding of most genres and are able to write creatively for a sustained amount of time, manipulating grammar and punctuation skills to produce a crafted piece of written work. Our pupils acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly, they have a positive view of writing due to learning in an environment where writing is promoted as being an exciting, engaging and enjoyable subject in which they can express themselves confidently and creatively.
‘We went to Warwick Castle and I know lots of facts about Castles now. I’ve written a report about Castle Defences.’ – Year 2 pupil.
“I really enjoyed the story ‘On the Way Home’ by Jill Murphy. We wrote our own version of the story but changed it to ‘All the way around Dawley.’ It was so much fun. We went for a walk around the local area and used what we saw in our story like Captain Webb’s memorial.” Year 2 pupil.
‘Our visits help us with English because they help give us better descriptions of what we’re writing about. When we went to Blists Hill, we got to see real Victorian streets and a Victorian schoolroom, which I included in my story.’ – Year 6 pupil.
‘Writing in theme lessons gives us a wider variety of topics to write about and gives us inspiration about new things like when we wrote a science experiment about how lemons and oranges can power an LED light!’ – Year 6 pupil.
Outcomes of work in both English and other books evidence the high quality of work and the impact of varied and cross-curricular writing opportunities.
Attainment in writing is measured consistently throughout the year. At the three assessment checkpoints, progress is tracked, using our year group writing standards, which have been taken from the National Curriculum. For those children who have yet to access the Year 1 statements, pre key stage statements are used. Termly moderations take place, to quality assure judgements made. These are either in house, or as part of a cluster of local schools.
End of Key Stage writing: teachers will assess a selection of pieces of writing in Years 2 and Year 6, using this to inform reported Teacher assessment judgements. Exemplification materials are used to support judgements made.
Assessment data shows that…
KS1 results have seen a steady rise and in 2019, 78% reached ARE with 22% reaching greater depth which is above national expectations.
In 2019, 78% of KS2 children achieved ARE in writing and 20% greater depth which is in line with national expectations.