Writing Subject Leader: Mrs R Tarbuck
Writing at Girnhill
Our Writing Curriculum Intent:
At Girnhill Infant School we strive to make writing fun and engaging whilst equipping all children with an essential tool for life. We strive to ensure that all our pupils receive a well-rounded learning experience when writing, speaking and listening which will equip them with the fundamental skills to achieve in our school and beyond. It is our intention to immerse children in quality texts in order to instil that love of literature, increase their vocabulary and therefore create the confidence for them to explore their imagination in order to create purposeful pieces of writing.
The Early Years Foundation Stage is underpinned by the Characteristics of Effective Learning. They are:
Communication and language
Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
Moving and handling: children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
Our Writing Curriculum Implementation:
Writing opportunities are carefully thought out, planned and delivered across each phase, ensuring there is a balance between fiction, non-fiction and poetry across the academic year.
In Early Years our writing curriculum provides opportunities for at least four guided writing pieces per week for each child. There are two pieces relating to the weeks phonic learning, one piece incorporating the Oxford Reading Tree characters and one piece of topic writing. In addition to this there is ample opportunity for writing in continuous provision both indoors and outdoors.
In Key Stage 1 our writing curriculum is usually book led and works on a two week ‘Cold to Gold’ cycle. The Gold write is the assessed piece of independent writing at the end of the two week teaching block. This independent piece allows children to apply their knowledge in a focussed activity whilst using classroom resources to help with spelling, punctuation and language choices. This piece of writing is then marked against our assessment grid. The grid provides evidence for individual targets and helps the class teacher when planning, teaching and assessing.
High expectations of presentation, handwriting and age related spellings and grammar is promoted by all staff and monitored by the Writing co-ordinator.
Our Writing Curriculum Impact:
Writing assessment is ongoing to inform teachers with their planning, lesson activities and differentiation. Summative assessment is completed at the end of each unit to inform class teachers and leaders of the improvements or skills that still need to be embedded. In KS1 children are assessed at least twice per half term in the form of a ‘Gold Write’ which is then marked off against their year group age related criteria. Writing is monitored throughout all year groups using a variety of strategies such as folder/book scrutinies, lesson observations and pupil interviews. We intend the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond our school.