English Writing at Holt Farm Junior School-
Intent, Implementation and Intended Impact
‘To develop a love of writing inspired by our curriculum’
At Holt Farm Junior School, we believe that all children should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. English permeates the whole of the curriculum but also stands as an independent subject. We have a very strong tradition of using high quality texts to drive our teaching and make connections with the topics/curriculum areas that we teach. We ensure that there is a balance of fiction and non-fiction reading, writing and spoken language and actively look at ways to link to real life experiences. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate grammar, punctuation and spelling creatively into their daily English lessons as well as through our cross-curricular approach where skills are transferable.
We want children 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 learn throughout their time in 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. We believe that all children should be 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.
We believe that 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 do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress.
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.
Classroom organisation: We teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Our lessons are inspired by our curriculum and the powerful texts that we share. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support and adapt lessons so learners of all abilities can access the learning and achieve to the best of their ability. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and access to additional support materials such as Writers Toolkits, Word Banks or a greater level of modelling. Children working at greater depth are given opportunities 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. A clear learning objective, success criteria and appropriate challenge allows all children to aim high and show their best.
Spellings: Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in the English National Curriculum. Teachers use the Rising Stars Spelling Scheme and Spelling Shed to support their teaching and to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings. Children are given spellings to consolidate each week and are given a spelling dictation task the following week. When marking work, teachers identify up to five words that children have spelt incorrectly from within that child’s known ability for them to correct/copy correctly.
Grammar and Punctuation: Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible, whilst also making links within other curriculum areas. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand-alone lessons, if they feel that the class needs additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
Handwriting: The Nelson Handwriting Scheme is followed to ensure a consistent, whole-school handwriting style. This includes pattern practice and motor skills work with three levels to support all learners. This scheme introduces cursive handwriting in step-by-step stages and builds towards children developing their own personal handwriting style to ensure they meet the ‘expected standard’ at the end of key stage writing teacher assessments.
English Lesson Sequence: Each year group has a yearly overview of the writing genres, both narrative and non-fiction, that they will teach. These have been planned to ensure correct coverage of the key genres as well as to build on skills from year to year. Units vary in length and the outcome of each unit will be the opportunity to produce an extended piece which will be used to assess the children’s skills against the agreed success criteria. Writing is linked to a carefully chosen text (often topic inspired) that acts as a stimulus for teaching the identified text, word and sentence level features that children will be expected to include in their extended writing outcome for that unit. A ‘WAGOLL’ – What a good one looks like – is created, based on the stimulus text, and supports children to identify and mimic the identified features in their own writing. Non-fiction units are also taught through a quality WAGOLL that may be based on a stimulus text or may be related to another curriculum area.
Marking and Feedback: Feedback and marking should be completed, where possible, within the lesson. All marking and feedback is given in line with our marking and feedback policy where successes are highlighted and next steps provided for children to action.
Assessment: Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below at the end of each half-term. They will base their judgements on the quality of the extended writing that children produce from across the curriculum as well as using half-termly independent writing assessment tasks that are moderated with other teachers (internally and with teachers from other schools). This determines to what extent children have met the agreed success criteria in order to support the judgements made and to inform future planning. Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation is also assessed using assessment written tests that provide a standardised score to inform teacher judgements and future planning. Regular progress meetings are held to identify those children who are not making expected progress or who are not yet working at age related expectations. This information is used to inform future planning, guided support and interventions.
Children will enjoy writing and are inspired by texts, topics and real life experiences.
Children will confidently apply the knowledge and skills that they have to adapt their writing based on the context and audience.
Children will know how they have been successful and how they can improve their writing further through next quality marking and feedback and self/peer assessment opportunities.
Children will have a wide vocabulary, techniques and devices that they use within their writing that have been built upon year on year.
Children of all abilities will be challenged so that they can achieve in all English lessons because work will be appropriately adapted and supported.
Children will develop their own personal handwriting style that is consistently formed and joined by the end of the key stage.
Children will leave school being able to effectively apply the spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.
Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition and home, and contribute regularly to homework
The % of children working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.
The % of children working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national averages
There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of children (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged).