Children at St John’s have daily English lessons, with at least 3 weekly lessons given purely to the teaching of writing.
The writing journey begins as soon as our children join St John’s. We want to inspire children to want to write by providing engaging purposes and a variety of mark making materials.
Each year group studies a different high-quality text, lasting from a week to a few weeks depending on the text type, length and year group.
Both medium and short term planning alongside the use of progression maps ensure that a variety of genres and skills are progressively taught and built upon throughout the year and throughout the school.
The writing journey is carefully planned, beginning with a high-quality stimulus such as a text, image or film clip. Teachers spend time making sure children know about the subject, giving them time to grasp vocabulary, facts and ideas in order to support the content of their independent writing.
The text is deconstructed and essential grammar skills are taught, practised and applied.
Children are taught and supported to plan, draft and refine their written work. They are encouraged to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in their writing.
Real purposes to write help to inspire and motivate children to write.
At St John’s, KS1 children use the Monster Phonics spelling books, which follows the progression and order of the graphemes they learn within phonics sessions. They also learn Common Exception Words alongside this. In KS2, we use Spelling Shed to support children on their spelling journey. The spelling lists on Spelling Shed are grouped together, helping children to learn and apply different spelling rules effectively. Y1 to Y6 have weekly spelling tests as part of home learning.
The Nelson Handwriting scheme is used as a resource to provide progression for letter formation and joins. Handwriting lessons are taught weekly from EYFS up to Y6.
Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps.
Marking of written work in books against the school’s marking policy. Final pieces are given a wow and now statement so children are aware of their own next steps.
Teacher assessment of writing using independently written pieces to provide evidence of national curriculum skills and understanding.
Monitoring of progress from year to year ensuring pupils remain ‘on track’ from their starting point
Moderation and scrutiny of pupil’s books and professional dialogue between teachers to assess the quality of children’s learning
The writing lead carries out teaching and learning monitoring cycle twice a year where evidence is gathered in the following ways: pupil voice interviews, book scrutiny, lesson drop- ins, discussions with staff etc.