Intent – Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in a particular manner?
Writing is a life skill widely used as a form of communication, for a variety of reasons, in everyday life. As well as the practical reasons, writing can also be used as a tool for enjoyment and enhance well-being.
At Castle Primary school, we create a positive writing ethos that is accessible to all, allows the children to thrive and learn, and provides the children with confidence in their ability to believe they are writers.
Our ambition is for all children to gain the writing skills and confidence needed to enhance their future decisions- and open up opportunities. We believe writing should be a positive skill for every child, not become a barrier to progress in any area of their life.
We aim for children to:
- Be accurate spellers
- Have good penmanship
- To write coherently for a variety of purposes
- To have a positive attitude to writing
Implementation – What do we teach? What does this look like?
Our Writing curriculum has been carefully shaped around the school vision and provides children with diversity, oracy skills and a love of reading as well as the skills to be able to write coherently. We do this through a mastery approach which has been adapted from the Pathways to Write scheme of learning.
EYFS, KS1 and KS2 all follow and adapt the Pathways to Write scheme which provides learning units lead by a quality text that is accessible to all children. Each unit begins with a hook that entices and excites the children. This is followed by an assessment opportunity (a Gateway write) that allows the children to recall and use previously taught skills. The teachers can use this write to check that the skills are imbedded enough for learning to progress.
Next is the Pathway where the children learn new skills known as Mastery Keys which are progressive throughout the school. Each unit has on average 4 Mastery Keys that are taught and applied in short writes of various, familiar genres.
Finally, the Write Away is the planning, drafting and editing build up to complete the final unit write. The Feature Keys are also important at this stage as they provide the children with the knowledge for writing in a particular genre. The diagram below offers a pictorial guide to how a unit of learning in writing is planned.
Handwriting Is an important skill we teach daily at the start of every writing lesson. We follow the Penpals scheme which includes fine and gross motor skill exercises to start each lesson. Children in KS2 are able to earn a pen license once a shared criteria has been attained. Pen licenses are carefully monitored to ensure standards in handwriting remain high.
In Reception, handwriting is taught through Read Write Inc. (our phonics scheme) and has similar letter formation to the Penpals scheme, making the children’s transition to Year 1 smooth. Nursery’s focus is on mark making, gross and fine motor skills, finger strength and pencil grip.
Spelling is taught in KS1 through Read Write Inc. When children in year 2 have completed the scheme, they will learn the Year 2 spelling rules. In KS2 spelling is taught daily and the Non-nonsense scheme is used to support this teaching and learning to ensure progression.
Impact – By the time children leave our school, they will…
The school strives to provide all children with the tools needed to succeed in the future challenges they choose to take. Their writing skills will be an aid to achieving these individual aims. Therefore, children will leave our school as writers and be able to write coherently and confidently for a variety of purposes.