Writing in English Lessons
At Holland Park we include writing within the 3 stage English plan which can last up to 3 weeks in KS2. Students have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the genre/text type they are studying, capture their ideas through their reading and through oral rehearsal, leading to teacher demonstrations and modelling. They follow a multi-step process including the elements of planning, drafting, revision, and editing. They make use of this process for all writing assignments.
Teachers use the writing and oracy progression documents to support their planning and teaching of writing within their year group.
Rigorous assessment and review will ensure that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children experience success in English; we believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
Non-negotiables/expectations for staff and students:
- Writing is taught within English lessons using the 3 stage model.
- Clear learning outcomes (LOs) used and shared with students.
- Staff refer to their specific year group skills on the progression maps when planning and delivering lessons.
- Opportunities are provided to write everyday and this should also be through foundation subjects in addition to English lessons.
Writing across the curriculum:
- Children should be encouraged to apply their learning across the curriculum.
- In all lessons where opportunities are provided for students to write the teacher will model the following teaching sequence:
- Think it – Say it – Write it – Check it – Edit/Improve it
- As the children move through KS2 the ‘Say it’ stage may be internalised and not necessarily said out loud.
English Skills Sessions:
At Holland Park children are taught specific skills as discrete sessions and these are recorded in their English Skills Books. English skills lessons include discrete handwriting, spelling or phonics sessions and grammar and punctuation sessions.
- The teacher models agreed formations in their public writing.
- Teachers use the RWI handwriting sentences to model the agreed formation.
- When planning, teachers use the writing progression document to ensure continuity and progression.
- Before a handwriting session children should take part in a physical warm-up. These will enable children to
- Extend wrist position.
- Develop core strength and posture.
- Increase shoulder and elbow stability.
- Develop bi-lateral co-ordination and cross the midline.
- Develop spatial awareness and hand/eye co-ordination.
- Increase concentration and focus.
- Children that are left handed or struggle with fine motor control will receive additional support through paper position guides, additional control practise etc.
- Application of skills learned in handwriting lessons should be evident in writing in all areas in the curriculum.
- Examples of good handwriting should be celebrated and displayed to motivate children.
- Basic elements of a handwriting lesson:
- Sessions should be fun, varied and multi-sensory (age and stage appropriate) e.g. with fingers, write letters in the air, on backs or on hands, orally describe letter shapes and joins with children.
- These activities will enable the children to develop their fine and gross motor skills.
- Check the children’s posture and position of writing book/paper.
- Make sure children are sitting properly with all chair legs and feet on the floor.
- Teacher models and describes.
- Children practise independently with teacher model.
- Sessions include teacher, peer or self-assessment and meta-cognitive questions.
How can you rate your handwriting here? Circle your best word for me … Can any letters be improved? Are your letters the right size? Are your descenders the same length? Where is best to start writing this letter? What letter/s have you made most clear?
Teachers use the progression document to support the planning and delivery of spelling sessions.
Whether a phonics or a spelling lesson is being taught and regardless of the year group being taught the same sequence is used:
- Review/Revisit – Teach – Practise – Apply
- Review and Revisit – children will revisit the previous taught learning and engage in games or activities to help them recall the spelling pattern.
- Teach – children will be taught a new phoneme/grapheme, common exception word, skill or spelling rule.
- Practise – children practise using the spelling rule in context; this could be within the phonics lesson or at word level within the SPAG lesson.
- Apply – pupils will be encouraged to apply new learning independently in their writing in the contexts of sentences.
Grammar and Punctuation
- Teachers follow the writing progression document specific to their year group which follows the National Curriculum 2014.
- Where teachers assess gaps in learning they follow the pacing guide as set out in Writing Revolution to develop sentence structure and to further support punctuation and grammar.
We believe that vocabulary is best acquired through both indirect exposure to words and the explicit teaching of vocabulary and word-learning strategies.
We use a range of approaches and interventions to achieve this:
- Half-termly Knowledge Organisers linked to the class foundation subjects.
- Displays – working walls. Vocabulary including pictures for current topic.
- Vocabulary organiser for independent writes.
The Learning Environment:
- Children will see a variety of print around the classroom and school.
- Handwritten signs are as valid as computer generated signs.
- In all classes a range of writing materials will be available for pupils to work with independently.
- Children in EYFS and KS1 will be given experiences working on vertical or upright surfaces depending on their developmental stage in order to develop and strengthen their muscle tone.
Assessments are made in line with the school assessment policy. English is measured, against year group expectations. It is expected that children will achieve these outcomes by the end of the year. We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using a range of materials, whilst always considering the age-related expectations for each year group. Children will make at least good progress in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening from their last point of statutory assessment. The impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.
Teachers use effective formative assessment to ensure planning is based on prior attainment and that pupils know what they need to do to achieve the next steps.
Regular feedback is given to pupils (see the school’s Feedback Policy) and helps them to understand how to be successful, what they have achieved and what they need to do to improve further. The pupils are given time within lessons or daily timetables to specifically respond to feedback and improve their work.
Moderation of Writing in staff meetings are carried out to give teachers the opportunity to moderate children’s writing together. Team moderation ensures that the termly data recorded is consistent throughout school.