At Uplands we strive to create a stimulating writing environment where children thrive and feel empowered to be the best they can be. We aim to support children in their progressive learning journey, to become knowledgeable and resilient writers, through engaging and purposeful teaching. All staff endeavour to equip our children with a complete set of writing skills and give children the knowledge of where to apply them, to have the skills to complete pieces of writing to suit different genre and understand the required elements of each.
While at Uplands we aim to provide our children opportunities to write exciting and engaging pieces of work across the whole curriculum through quality first teaching. Progressive, stimulating and relevant lessons are taught with the purpose of writing embedded in each task, children are encouraged to offer ideas to shape their own curriculum. Every opportunity is made to make writing relevant to the real world and practical projects linking with the community.
The programme of study meets the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014. Key elements of writing are taught within English lessons (spellings, punctuation, composition and grammar) and applied to a range of other contexts across different foundation subjects. This can be seen in our ‘Writing Curriculum Map’. Ambitious and technical vocabulary is encouraged across different subjects and strengthen through reading tasks, children are also taught the natural link between reading widely and purposeful writing.
All children are given a broad range of writing genre which build on their KS1 experience and reading studies. English lessons are taught on a daily basis with a joint focus on reading and writing, each genre sequence starts with a cold task and ends with a hot task. There are also frequent opportunities for independent writing through other curriculum areas such as free writing and sketch stories.
Children are taught within mixed ability class groups. After assessing the needs of the children from the cold tasks work is set as followed: Main Task (set for children working at expected), Scaffold (Main Task but with scaffolding i.e. teacher support, teaching assistant support, modelled examples or Main Task in smaller steps) and Challenge (Main Task with elements of Greater Depth expectations for writing). The teaching of English provides opportunities for: group work, mixed ability work, whole class teaching, independent work, peer assessment and self assessment.
Handwriting is taught through the ‘Nelson’ handwriting scheme allowing children to progressively develop a consistent, fluent and joined style of writing. As children develop a joined style of writing they will progress from pencil to pen.
Spellings are taught within the English lesson and follow the National Curriculum (2014). Children are shown the spelling patterns and encouraged to find other words that match this pattern. Spellings groups are created to match the needs of the child and tested on a weekly basis, some list may link to RWI (Read, Write, Ink) or IEP (Individual Educational Plan) targets. Ambitious vocabulary is encouraged through ‘Word of the Week’ and built into ‘Sketch Stories’.
By implementing the intent, children should be confident in the following areas:
producing engaging pieces of extended writing across different elements of the curriculum,
editing their own work: improving structure, grammatical features and engagement for the reader,
applying knowledge and skills from an English lesson to other topic areas,
recognising and create the appropriate style of writing to match formality and purpose.
The assessment of writing is through a ‘cold and hot task’ process where teachers identify elements in children’s independent writing judging them as working towards, expected and greater depth within their current year group. Throughout the cycle the teacher will be responding to children’s work providing praise, support, encouragement and future thinking points to move their work forward.
It is the role of the writing champion to ensure continuity and progression across the whole school. This is carried out through the following opportunities: book trawls, learning walks, pupil voice, moderation meetings and working alongside the local network school to ensure standardisation of work.