The Writing Curriculum at Limpsfield
At Limpsfield, we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own (and others) areas for improvement and to edit their work (and their peers work) effectively during and after the writing process. We do not put a ceiling on what pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress.
The Teaching of Writing
Much of our approach to the development of writing has been influenced by our work with Theresa Heathcote. Across school, children are provided with a consistent teaching sequence to writing that allows them to develop competence and understanding. This approach is based on the following steps:
- Immersion- The children are immersed into a topic through drama, role play, film clips etc. This not only provides them with a broad understanding of the topic they will be writing about but also engages them in it.
- Analysis- At this point the children are supported to analyse a good example of the genre that they are studying. This allows them to identify new language, purpose, audience, and structure.
- Spelling Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG)- Teachers will now work with children to teach them the key spelling, punctuation and grammatical features associated with the genre and in line with expectations from the National Curriculum.
- Plan- Children will now begin to think about the information that they want to include in their writing and how they might structure it.
- Model- This is a very important stage in the process. The teacher now models to the children how they might use the information they have to write a text. At this stage the teacher will be explicitly guiding children through the choices that they make and there will be clear references back to the previous four stages.
- Review- The review stage is used to reinforce that a good piece of writing evolves over time. Through teacher input, self and peer assessment, children are encourages to identify improvements that can be made in their work.
- Edit- Once improvements have been identified they are now incorporated by the child into their writing.
To help children to understand this process, and to allow them to be able to refer back to previous lessons, all classrooms have a learning line where the teacher displays key points from the teaching sequence.
During their four years at Limpsfield, children will be taught to write in a variety of text types. An overview of these text types can be accessed below:
Handwriting is a skill that is explicitly taught and applied across the curriculum. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TMNDF7YzzYzGqG_Ohtp4EQrhtpuSmj8O/view?usp=sharingChildren who are able to write accurately and quickly are better able to concentrate on the content of their writing (Education Endowment Fund research 2017). At Limpsfield, specific handwriting skills are often taught in conjunction with spelling strategies.
Again it is recognised that children who are able to spell words quickly and accurately are better able to concentrate on the content of their writing. Our approach to the teaching of spelling supports children to learn spelling patterns and to develop strategies to spell unfamiliar words. We also recognise that children need to learn common exception words. The spellings that children learn are taken from the National Curriculum expectations. More detailed guidance to our approach to Spelling can be accessed below:
Our writing curriculum is based on clear, age appropriate, writing expectations. These support teaching staff in assessment and in the planning process. These expectations are based upon the national curriculum and can be accessed below:
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