Writing at Ursula Taylor C of E School
At Ursula Taylor C of E School we believe that writing is an important skill which benefits all of our children and offers them opportunity to thrive during their time at school and into their wider lifetime. Our aim is to provide a transferrable skill that builds progressively as children move through their education.
We aim to:
- Provide children with an opportunity to write for a wide range of purposes
- Give every child a solid foundation of phonics to support them to become a fluent writer
- Guide and support our children through high quality teaching to become successful at writing and for the children to see themselves as writers.
- Give children the opportunity to take ownership of their writing and take their writing in different directions
- Provide children with exciting writing opportunities and experiences that engage and enhance their learning
- Teach children a wide vocabulary and to be able to spell effectively
- Teach children to be able to use grammar and punctuation effectively
- Provide a progressive curriculum which builds upon previous teaching, including regular opportunities for assessment which in turn, supports children's progress
- Give children a chance to see writing as an interesting and enjoyable process
- Teach children to be able to organise and plan their writing
- Provide opportunities for writing in a wide range of subjects, e.g. Science, History, RE etc.
- Ensure that children take pride in their work, through legible, neat, cursive handwriting and tidy presentation
At Ursula Taylor we deliver all aspects of the English National Curriculum and enrich our teaching by using a wide range of texts, experiences and opportunities to provide an engaging, fulfilling and ambitious curriculum.
Across our school, the importance we place on writing can be seen in aspects of school life. We teach writing through the vehicle of 'The Write Stuff' by Jane Considine. We have a graduated approach, where children in Reception cover key aspects of The Write Stuff programme and gradually build up to completing the programme in its fullness from Year 1.
To ensure an equitable delivery our rationale is shared by all staff, who follow the graduated approach within their teaching and across the curriculum. In Reception , alongside the teaching of early reading and phonics through 'Super Sonic Phonics Friends', our children are introduced to nine crucial elements to support their communication, listening and talking.
As our children move into Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, they continue to use the Fantastics in a gradually more complex way and then develop the tools of writing through the 'Grammaristics' and the techniques of writing through the 'Boomtastics'.
The nine crucial elements are called 'The Fantastics', these help the children to formulate and structure their ideas.
Feeling - developing an internal insight into a character's emotional state.
Asking - enriching writing through strong dialogue and capturing key ideas.
Noticing - building a picture from a character's perspective.
Touching - developing a rich repertoire of textures to enable them to engage the reader.
Action - building action piece by piece to create a well structured piece.
Smelling - using this complex sense to add detail and enhance a piece of writing.
Tasting - using the sense of taste add detail to feelings and experiences.
Imagining - using outward and inward influences to develop characters.
Checking - using pauses, long silences, short sentences etc. to add impact and tension.
The Grammaristics - Grammar (ABCD) and Structure and Style (P)
A - adverbials and Adverbial Phrases
B - Basics (nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, determiniers, phrases, conjunctions)
C - Complex Sentences (subordinating clauses, ing, ed, ly.
D - Dialogue and Contracted Forms
P - Purpose, Paragraphs, Passive or active voice, Past and present tense, Punctuation.
The Boomtastics - and our progression within Teaching.
The Boomtastics are a hierarchical 10 point system for introducing the devices that help children's writing explode off the page.
Key Stage 1
To be explored through reading and applied through writing in the following order:
Key Stage 2 - Year 3 and 4
All of the above as well as:
- Pathetic Fallacy
Key Stage 2 - Year 5 and 6
All of the above as well as:
The impact of our writing curriculum is determined in a number of ways, including assessments and regular monitoring and review.
We assess our children's abilities and progress in the following ways.
- Half termly assessment weeks, which focus on unaided writing pieces. (Termly submission of assessment information)
- Regular extended writing 'Big Writes' which build up skills over time and encourage longer pieces of writing and the development of writing stamina.
- Constant teacher assessment of children's progress and attainment through marking and feedback.
- Reviewing children's writing across the curriculum to gather evidence of progress from a range of sources.
- Using Year groups based 'Teacher Assessment Frameworks' to assessment work and determine next steps for future teaching.
Writing is seen a cross-curricular skill which is essential in all areas of life, particular attention is given to writing in lessons such as Science, History, Geography and RE and opportunities to write more widely are encouraged by all staff.
The impact our of focus on writing is evidenced throughout our school. Our children's books demonstrate progress and a focus on vocabulary, grammar and writing at length. Handwriting is important to us all and we have chosen to teach pre-cursive in Foundation Stage and move quickly into full cursive script as soon as possible.
The writing on display around our school showcases our children's skill with handwriting and that writing is something to be enjoyed, shared and celebrated. Our children speak positively about their writing and enjoy being able to be imaginative, creative and individual in the pieces they create.
All children in our school are supported to make good progress, adjustments are made to lessons to ensure that all children develop their skills of writing and communication.