St Francis Catholic Primary School a Voluntary Academy

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Writing

There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story.  You never quite know where they'll take you-

Beatrice Potter

INTENT

At St Francis, we want our children to be enthusiastic about writing, drawing upon their reading experience.  We aim for them to develop as imaginative, creative and independent writers, who can write competently and fluently.  Our vision for the writing curriculum is one that encompasses a wide variety of genres, whilst ensuring a strong sense of audience and purpose.   It is important to us that our children understand the value in planning carefully, drafting, editing  and publishing their written work. We also want our children to be able spellers, who understand the importance of grammar and punctuation in writing coherently. 

IMPLEMENTATION

EYFS

In our Foundation Stage, the children's writing journeys start with communication and language.  Activities to specifically promote the development of the children's speaking and listening skills are embedded in each area of the provision - both indoors and outdoors. 

Alongside this, as children learn their initial sounds in their daily phonics sessions, they are taught how to form the letters (graphemes) that correspond with these sounds (phonemes).  The formation of letters is taught in every phonics session daily. 

The EYFS curriculum is planned around quality texts which are purposely chosen for their rich vocabulary, clear plot, to engage the children and to inspire the children's creative minds.  We follow Pie Corbett's Talk for Writing approach, taking the children through three different phases:

  • Imitation - The Class Teacher works with the children to develop a text map of the focussed book which enables the children to learn the text off by heart with actions to help the words 'stick'.
  • Innovation - The Teacher leads the children into creating their own versions of the story through speaking first and when the children are ready, they learn to write the words and/or sentences through the application of their phonics knowledge.
  • Independent application - this phase happens mostly when the children use what they have been learning independently in different areas of provision.  Most often, this takes place in the role play, small world, reading and writing areas, where the provision is purposely set up to encourage this independent application. 

EYFS Focussed Books Long Term Plan

Coming soon...

Year 1

Following on from EYFS, children in Year 1 continue to use the Talk for Writing approach in their daily Writing lessons.  However, it is approached slightly differently to EYFS as outlined below:

  • Imitation - As in EYFS
  • Innovation - The Teacher leads the children through different stages - generating ideas, simple planning, shared and guided writing to result in the children writing a new version of the imitated text.  When children are confident enough, they are taught how to edit their work using purple pens to improve it further 
  • Independent application -  The children apply all that has been taught and practised to produce a piece of independent writing. 

Year 1 Writing Long Term Plan

Year 2-Year 6

There are five writing lessons per week for all children in Key Stage 1 and 2 and also five separate spelling lessons. Punctuation and grammar are taught throughout the writing journey and form part of the writing lessons.  In addition, more opportunities are provided for the children to be able to write in other curriculum areas, to further develop the children's English skills and knowledge.

Long term planning is done collaboratively between the English Leader and the Class Teachers.  For each year group across one year, the following is encompassed:

  • Writing to inform
  • Writing to entertain
  • Writing to persuade
  • Writing to discuss (UKS2 only)

Medium term planning is the responsibility of the class teacher.  We use a particular planning format for this which takes its inspiration from Jane Considine’s ‘The Write Stuff’ approach, which includes experience days, sentence stacking lessons and specific teaching lessons.  

Short term planning is the responsibility of the class teacher and should encompass the following:

  • Clear learning intention
  • Stimulation (in terms of content and purpose) 
  • Vocabulary 
  • Directed use of TA

There are five writing/spag English lessons for all children in Key Stage 1 and 2 throughout the school. In addition to these lessons it is expected that more opportunities should be sought by the class teachers, in other curriculum areas, to further develop the children's English skills and knowledge. 

SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar)

Spelling is taught discretely in KS2 for 10-15 minutes daily. As detailed above, KS1 receive daily streamed phonics/spelling lessons, depending on ability.  In addition to this, every child is required to log on to an online spelling programme called Spelling Shed, where they will access their spelling list for the week. The expectation is that every child will log on and play the games based on this list at least 3 times per week before then being tested on them at the end of the week. 
If a child does not have access to an electronic device to be able to do this, they will be given a sheet with the list of spellings on for them to learn at home.  Every child in school is able to access their new spelling list on a Friday and the following Friday they are tested on them.

The teaching of SPAG is taught continuously alongside the English Curriculum, predominantly through the text stimulus, but also through discrete lessons when necessary.

Feedback

We approach feedback on either an individual basis or as a whole class.  Whichever is chosen as the more appropriate, each children receives feedback on every piece if writing they produce, whether it is in draft form or the final piece.  Individual feedback is given directly with the child through discussion.  Whole class feedback ensures that:

  • elements of children's work are celebrated
  • common basic errors are addressed
  • common misconceptions are retaught in the next lesson
  • incorrect spellings are revisited
  • presentation of work is either celebrated or addressed

In every classroom, working walls are used to enhance and support the children's learning in their current unit of work.  They help the children to track the journey of the current genre of Writing they are working and whether they should be writing with a positive or negative intent.  They also celebrate children's achievements along the way and hold banks of ambitious vocabulary for the children to use in their work. 

Homework

KS1 children are expected to read their Collins big Cat reading scheme book at home with parents, who then fill out their reading records.  KS2 children are expected to read their Accelerated Reader book at home and then complete a quiz on it in school within 24 hours before being allowed to choose their next book. 

As detailed above, all children in KS1 and KS2 must learn their spelling list set by the teacher each week on Spelling Shed, which they are then tested on.    

Year 2-6 Writing Long Term Plan