At The Avenue Primary School, we strive to create exciting and stimulating writing opportunities for all children. The writing curriculum has been developed by experts across the James Cook Learning Trust and maps out a progression of skills linked to National Curriculum guidelines.
Writing is linked to topics from the Cornerstones Curriculum, meaning that it is cross-curricular and develops knowledge in the foundation subjects. Key topic-based vocabulary is identified and displayed in classrooms to enable children to convey their topic knowledge accurately and precisely through writing. A range of genre, increasing in breadth in Key Stage Two, are taught in all year groups, encompassing both fiction and non-fiction text types and a wide range of poetry that children will listen to, write and perform; this includes an annual celebration of National Poetry Day.
Children study high quality model texts to understand the context, audience and purpose of writing and identify features so that they know what to include to achieve the desired effect on the reader. They may then gather ideas, plan, draft, edit and improve, and often produce a polished piece of work at the end of a writing sequence. In Key Stages One and Two, emphasis is placed on children editing their writing independently or with the help of peers before marking, though they must also make improvements in response to teacher feedback in green pen. This editing process is modelled and supported with a range of resources and by adults where necessary.
The relevant features of punctuation and grammar are taught and applied during writing sequences, though teachers often supplement this with discrete grammar sessions or quizzes if it is required.
Spellings rules from the National Curriculum are taught in conjunction with statutory spelling lists relevant to each year group. Lists of spellings are issued on Spelling Shed for children to practice at home for spelling tests. In class, children are given the knowledge to apply spelling rules, come up with ways to remember more difficult words and play spelling games to consolidate their learning.
Handwriting is taught throughout school and high standards are promoted, modelled and reinforced in all written work. In Early Years children are taught the correct letter formation. During Year One, a pre-cursive, unjoined style is adopted to prepare children for Year Two, when they will be expected to develop a joined, cursive script. Children in lower Key Stage Two can earn a pen by maintaining high standards of joined handwriting and by upper Key Stage Two, the expectation is that all children are writing carefully and legibly enough to use pen.
James Cook Learning Trust
English subject leaders across the James Cook Learning Trust meet termly to share practice and drive forward initiatives to improve writing throughout the Academy. They also host termly cross-trust moderation meetings for each year group in Key Stages One and Two, to ensure that the assessment process is objective, consistent and robust across the Trust.