At Lacey Green Primary Academy, we aim for all children to be able to communicate powerfully through the medium of writing; they use their ideas, knowledge and emotions across a range of genres, understanding, appreciating and utilising the power of the written word. Writing is a tool which is used to bring to life children’s imagination and which gives them the opportunity to express their understanding of the wider world. From giving meaning to their mark making to writing articulately across a range of genres, children make significant progress. Children experience a rich diet of language, both spoken and read, and through meaningful discussions they develop the foundations on which to build their writing. We blend creativity with grammar expertise to plan engaging lessons. We teach with the conviction that every child can make accelerated progress and write passionately and with flair, including disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND.
Across the curriculum, children write for subject-specific purposes whilst maintaining a high-level of transcription and composition. They are inspired to write by captivating texts that consider their interests and the wider world around them and memorable enrichment activities that equip them with the thirst to write. We give children the knowledge to talk passionately about a topic, allowing them to confidently express themselves in writing that covers an array of subjects. Topics addressed in writing will allow children to develop as a person too: for example, in history, children may develop intellectually through becoming an expert in a historical period and demonstrating this through a written report; culturally, children may develop through experiencing and writing about events from the wider community; and spiritually, children may use writing to consider and express their own beliefs and thoughts. They are active in and enjoy the process of writing and take ownership over it. We recognise the high importance that writing has on developing children’s self-esteem and giving them fundamental life skills, thus enabling our children to have fulfilling and rewarding futures. We strive to give our children both the skillset and knowledge to aspire to have an esteemed career; our children could aim to become the future journalists, lawyers and authors, just to name but a few.
Drawing upon Literacy Count’s Read to Write scheme, our English curriculum is implemented through:
- reference to the national curriculum which informs our long-term plans.
- units of work that are carefully planned to: immerse the children in the quality text, teach them how to analyse, plan and then to write.
- children producing well-structured, detailed writing which has clear meaning and an awareness of its reader.
- enrichment opportunities e.g. World Book Day, drama, hooks that offer children an incentive to write and poetry workshops.
- a number of units which create cross-curricular links and that draw upon and reinforce knowledge and skills learnt in other subjects.
- regular feedback from teachers which not only addresses misconceptions but also deepens, challenges and supports learning.
- the use of regular formative and summative assessment to track progress and identify gaps in children’s writing skills to inform future learning. Classroom Monitor is used to support this.
- the use of effective marking codes allows formative assessments to be easily understood and acted upon. Corrections are highlighted in yellow and clearly evident in the children's work.
- the use of clear and progressive plans that challenge and support children accordingly.
- the explicit of teaching of grammar and punctuation in relation to the children’s writing and its effect.
- gathering ideas to ensure that children have a solid understanding of what they are writing. This can stem from a variety of enrichment activities. In drama that children can adopt, create and sustain a role whilst responding to others appropriately. This is used to build ideas and to further understanding of the context and genre of writing. It can also include use of technology to effectively research a topic.
- regular opportunities for children to listen to others reread their writing, their peers’ and high-quality exemplar pieces that provoke discussions regarding the impact that has been had on the reader.
- discussions that develop children’s confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills.
- a focus on the explicit teaching of vocabulary that utilises effective questioning and strategies to broaden children’s language, their understanding of it and how to use it effectively and with purpose.
- displays that progress the journey of writing.
- consistent use of editing either with their peers or an adult to offer further support. This is indicated with the use of a different coloured pen or pencil to clearly demonstrate a child's writing journey.
- giving children the opportunity to respond to texts, expressing preferences and opinions and demonstrating their understanding.
- children being enriched in a language-rich environment throughout their school day, through spoken language, displays and areas which encourage communication.
Each half term, we celebrate the children's achievements by publishing two pieces of their written work; this is displayed in their published work books.
Through our drafting, marking, editing and improving cycle for writing, we are continuously assessing the children’s work. After the completion of a published piece of writing (twice a term) the children's work is assessed against the year group's essential writing criteria. These objectives are taken from the National Curriculum for writing and broken down for each year group. In assessing the writing, the teacher uses the draft and published work to find evidence of objectives being used independently. Over several pieces of writing, this enables the class teacher to identify gaps and objectives that need to be further addressed. We continuously assess the children, using Classroom Monitor (Simple National Curriculum Framework). This helps the class teacher to plan effective lessons that address the learning need.
In addition, we have a rigorous internal moderation in place that takes place twice a year. This is a collaborative process between teachers across key stages, supports the quality assurance of teacher-assessed judgments and provides professional development for teachers. Exemplification materials are referred to throughout the moderation. This process is led by the English lead, who utilises his experience as a local authority KS2 moderator to ensure that assessments are consistent and in line with national expectations. Additional professional development is provided by the English lead as and when required.
It is our aim at Lacey Green to encourage all our children to become confident and enthusiastic readers; we actively promote a love of reading. We encourage our children to read and to enjoy looking at a variety of fiction and non-fiction books. Book bag books and library books are taken home to share with parents which supports the children's reading progress and love of books. Children in KS2 have daily dedicated reading time for 30minutes. They receive regular reading assignments for homework, through focused questions, which are targeted to develop their comprehension skills of inference, retrieval and vocabulary. Twice a week, during reading time, children have access to First Newsa digital newspaper designed for children. This will ensure that the children have opportunity to learn about what is happening outside their school community as there has never been a more important time for young people to have a rich understanding of the world around them. An appreciation of literature is achieved by ensuring that children are introduced to a wide range of texts. All year groups have dedicated story time built into their time table (20 minutes per day) when well-chosen books are read, with enthusiasm and expression, to the children.
National School Book Week is celebrated annually in March, where both children are encouraged to share their favourite books. The day is dedicated to promoting the love of books. Regular Book Fairs are organised in school.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and Listening skills are equally important and many opportunities are made for children to express themselves effectively and to listen appropriately. We create
numerous opportunities for discussion work in a variety of group situations and give opportunities of expression through drama and presentational speaking.
Drama provides an ideal opportunity for children to engage in role-play and to learn about empathy. In EYFS, role-play and drama, help children to develop their vocabulary, confidence, expression and story telling tech
niques. The children enjoy a wide variety of dramatic activities through the curriculum and school productions. Theatre trips and visits to school from theatre companies are regularly arranged.
Spelling is taught daily through the Read Write Inc Spelling programme and is delivered at age appropriate expectations. Foundation Stage and KS1 pupils are taught to read through a systematic, synthetic phonics programme (Read Write Inc) which is delivered daily by reading teachers.
It is our aim to encourage the progression and development of each child’s handwriting throughout the schools into a fluent, legible and individual style that can be adapted for a range of purposes and will support their spelling and composition.
All children write in pencil; they may use pens only when ‘publishing’ independent writing. Handwriting is taught in discrete sessions focussing on letter formation, consistent size and shape of letters, as well as accurate joining. Letters, letter joins, words and sentences are always explicitly modelled. Teachers give specific advice for pencil control, grip and posture. Please see our Handwriting Progression Document in the downloads section below.