English - Writing
- To ensure that BPPS pupils were able to write a range of text-types for a different purpose and differing audiences. The Writing Curriculum needed a ‘refresh’ with new high-quality texts.
- Fidelity to one scheme – build capacity across our Teaching Staff for taking greater ownership of Teaching and Learning in Writing with less reliance on the Subject Lead.
- To re-establish practice with ‘Talk for Writing’ and fully adopt a ‘Reading in to Writing’ model.
- As a result of Covid and School Closures:
- ECT and RQTs who had trained within a Remote Learning (RL) setting and lacked experience of Teaching Writing in real-time lessons – to build their subject knowledge, skills and understanding of Teaching and Learning Strategies for Writing.
- Writing had been a ‘hard to reach’ subject with pupils and parents, during ‘Remote Learning’ provision as the parent community were limited in how they could support pupils being from EAL backgrounds. School Closures meant that pupils’ learning in Writing had been seriously impacted.
- Key themes were arising: Equality; Diversity and Inclusion; Climate Change and Sustainability and ‘Mental Health’.
To ensure that our children are able to articulate themselves using Standard English accurately both orally and using the written form so that they are clear about the purpose for Writing and the audience being addressed.
Our pupils need to understand substantive knowledge around the conventions of fiction, non-fiction and poetry text-types and apply it repeatedly through different contexts and a progressive age-appropriate National Curriculum in their journey across the school up to Y6.
Our pupils come from homes where English is a second language, they are newly arrived from different countries and more importantly have a low baseline in the acquisition of English when starting BPPS, so as a result, they are already at a deficit to their Non-EAL peers in different educational settings. Thus, it is imperative for us to ensure that we increase their ‘cultural capital’ in vocabulary so that they are able to choose the correct words, phrases and precise vocabulary and use of grammar to articulate different thoughts, feelings, empathies and perspectives. This is important, if the majority of our pupils are to make a difference to their life chances after the age of 16 and compete with peers for whom English is the first language within their homes.
In addition, if our children are to develop as writers in their own right with the ability to have a strong writer’s voice, then we must ensure that our provision in Quality First Teaching provides robust substantive knowledge in the composition and construction of sentence structure, accurate use of grammar, punctuation and tense, precise word choices and cohesion.
It is important that this teaching happens within a context and pupils are able to make links across the Wider Curriculum as their Substantive Knowledge of Writing different Text Types will allow them to choose how to present different Substantive Knowledge and information within different Subject Disciplines.
Oracy and Reading for Writing are prioritised in our Writing Curriculum – in order to be ‘articulate’ writers and for our pupils to understand what they are writing about, they need an increased understanding of challenging texts both within our curriculum and from different, literary traditions. Discussion, questioning, drama and role play, all increase our pupils’ understanding of characters, events and motives and so prepare our children with the tools they need to be successful writers.
CLPE Power of Reading Curriculum:
The CLPE Power of Reading Curriculum is taught from EYFS through to Y6 where high quality texts have been organised on a termly basis to allow our pupils to learn about the different literary traditions: Poetry; Historical Fiction; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; Classic Fiction; Our Blue Planet (Climate Change); Traditional Tales, Myths and Legends and Narrative Fiction.
At the heart of these units is ‘The Power of Reading’ approach where Teaching and Learning Strategies such as Visualisation through Art and ‘Talk for Writing’ Strategies are used to allow pupils to embed a deep understanding of high-quality texts in order to enrich their final writing outcomes. ‘Talk for Writing’ Teaching and Learning Strategies used are AB/ABC Partner Talk; Hot-Seating; Freeze-Framing; Conscience Alley; Jigsaw and role-play.
CLPE also allows us to provide writing models to deconstruct, provide scaffolds for sentences and build banks of varied word choices – all T and L Strategies which will support our EAL learners to understand what successful writing for each text-type looks like.
The CLPE Teaching Sequences equip our staff with well-thought out cross-curricular learning pathways through texts which have been aligned to the Wider Curriculum. The ‘Learning Journeys’ Flipchart books allow staff to capture high quality ‘Talk for Writing’ discussions, drama and role-play and serve as a metacognition tool for moving backwards and forwards through sessions already taught as well as to inform later learning in the teaching sequence.
CLPE offer our pupils a variety of themed texts and CLPE update their teaching sequences regularly so that they remain relevant and in line with changes in the Teaching of Writing. The range offered by CLPE is constantly being refreshed with new and upcoming titles and authors and this allows our school to trial new texts and avoid ‘standing still’ with the same texts.
The aim is to ensure that pupils have opportunities to write from a range of text-types which are then revisited each academic year in order for pupils to embed knowledge about language, presentational/layout and structural conventions of each text-type.
Children are also taught the disciplinary knowledge of how to be a writer: Identify the purpose and audience; Plan; Draft; Edit and Redraft and Publish.
To supplement CLPE, we teach Vocabulary and GPS through the Chris Quigley Teaching and Learning approach which is aligned with National Curriculum outcomes. Pupils are given opportunities to write focussed sentences by applying the substantive and disciplinary knowledge within the Wider Curriculum subjects.
We have high expectations in standards of presentation and we start teaching our pupils to write using accurate letter formation from Y1 and ‘lead in strokes’ from Y2 so that they develop a joined cursive style using Nelson Handwriting with letters formed using the correct size, height and orientation with clear horizontal and diagonal strokes. Handwriting pens are earned and when our pupils show they have developed a cursive style, they are awarded a ‘pen license’.
At the core of our Writing Curriculum is Assessment for Learning (AfL) with AfL techniques used by our staff to plan tasks to ‘close the gaps’ in Writing between where our pupils’ are currently in their learning (due to Covid/School Closures) and where they should be in comparison to age-related expectation.
Questioning is used to gauge what the pupils can do, know and remember – this is used to provide feedback to pupils on ‘next steps’ needed to improve their learning with opportunities to edit and redraft sentences and paragraphs of writing. We want our pupils to become more independent in their own Writing and be able to peer and self-assess work, giving them greater ownership of knowledge and understanding in Writing.
Our children will be able to express themselves using accurate standards of oral and written Standards in English to impart meaning which is clear, well expressed and well-thought out using rich vocabulary.
Our pupils will be able to transfer their skills in Writing to the Wider Curriculum and make choices in terms of which text type is appropriate to impart substantial knowledge for a particular audience and to serve a particular purpose. As our termly cross-curricular themed texts are taught at the same time as History and Geography topics/units, we expect pupils to transfer their key topic knowledge and vocabulary into their writing and vice versa to transfer their spelling, sentence, grammar and punctuation knowledge into the Wider Curriculum.
Progress across classes is closely monitored by the subject leader and senior leadership team. Monitoring will include: regular book looks and learning walks, sharing good practice, next steps feedback for pupil/staff and pupil voice interviews. Termly data drops will be used to inform pupil progress discussions and tracking; identifying intervention where needed. The findings of this monitoring will be used to inform next steps for the children to close gaps further and the implementation of writing across the school as a whole.
We will have consistent and embedded Quality First Teaching of effective Principles of Instruction employed by our staff so that pupils close the gaps in learning and make gains in progress towards their individual targets. Standards in Writing at Statutory Assessment Points will increase to be in line with or above national averages.