At Spalding St Paul’s Primary School, we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want all pupils, regardless of ability, to have the opportunity 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 have learnt throughout their time at school. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. The belief of all staff is that every child is encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. All good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. At Spalding St Paul’s School, we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc’ produced by Ruth Miskin. Following on from the Phonics and reading part of the porgramme children go on to do a daily writing session where they learn to form letters, spell correctly and compose their ideas.
From Year 2 we teach Writing as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers plan for targeted support for all pupils in order for them to achieve and produce learning, which is to the best of their ability, no matter their background. Opportunities are provided for pupils to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact that their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar features. Teachers will assess pupils’ current understanding of a genre through conducting a “cold” task writing activity to gauge what the pupils can do independently of any formal teaching. The areas of strength and those for development, identified from the “cold” task, are used to inform the planning and teaching for the imitation phase and innovation phase. Daily feedback provides all pupils with support on their learning journey as to their areas of strength and areas that need to be developed further, culminating in an independent piece of writing placing the pupils as sole creators. Detailed planning documents are provided to guide teachers on which text types to teach across the year.
The intended impact is that all pupils at Spalding St Paul’s Primary School will enjoy writing across a range of genres. That pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because learning will be appropriately scaffolded. All pupils will have exposure to a vocabulary rich environment in order for them to independently utilise in their writing in order to support their ability to adapt their writing based on the context and audience for the piece.