If you are a dreamer come in
If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar
A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
Why we teach Writing at Boddington Primary Academy
Our writing curriculum is purposeful, engaging and progressive within the mixed aged classes, where writing is based on talk as a starting point, especially in the early years. We acknowledge that writing enables powerful communication between author and reader and that being literate enables children to clarify their thoughts and make sense of their world and the learning within it. Our writers are aware of their audience and the purpose for writing and producing texts.
How Do We Teach The English Curriculum?
Through high expectations and standards, we actively teach pupils the writing process, using the same teaching strategies across the school to ensure these writing skills are embedded. The overarching aims of writing units are shared with pupils as “A ‘big picture framework’ helps students organise their thoughts more efficiently in a schema.” (A. Shimamura MARGE A whole brain learning approach) Pupils are set specific goals to encourage responsibility for their own scholarship and foster inquiry skills during the editing process. Within lessons, pupils are taught to become fluent with handwriting, spelling and sentence construction, ensuring that the building blocks of writing are explicitly taught. Typing and word processing are also encouraged to support children experiencing the writing process across a range of media, adapted to their needs. Within the school day, children are encouraged to write. We see writing, as well as reading, as a golden thread that runs throughout the curriculum. Through working with schools within our MAT on writing competitions and writing for the newsletter, we create a purposeful community of writers.
Writing is interwoven into our learning themes. This ensures that prior knowledge content supports the writing process to reduce cognitive overload. Our Writing curriculum engages children through different experiences, through well-presented visual and physical prompts and is stepped in vocabulary-rich texts. Writing is progressive across the school, supporting children through scaffolding, setting clear expectations and open-ended challenge, which allows all children to achieve to their fullest potential. Our aim is for our children to become creative writers that are not afraid to experiment with language and use the ideas and models of shared texts to push their own thinking further. We ensure coverage of curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, focusing on the needs of the children at the centre. Children are always encouraged to ask questions and engage in discussions with adults and their peers about what makes writing successful.
Our Writing curriculum engages children through different experiences, through well-presented visual and physical prompts and is stepped in vocabulary-rich texts.
Phonics continues to play an important role in developing children’s understanding of writing, moving into an appreciation of etymology and word construction throughout KS1 and KS2. Spellings are learnt through applying the principles of memory retrieval such as opportunities for overlearning, where spellings are revisited on a regular basis. Furthermore, explicit links are made to word matrices, where the root word, prefixes and suffixes are examined so pupils can see how numerous words are connected. This linking of knowledge helps to build onto pre-existing schemas (memory connection in our brains). Teaching spellings in this greater depth also enables our children to become more fluent readers as they recognise and can decode using this greater understanding of word construction.
Writing assessment is consistent across the school. All teachers assess against a framework, which focuses on composition and content. From this summative assessment, targets are identified to support their progress. Children are encourage to assess their own work from a young age as the editing process is crucial to developing independent writers.
What Does English Look Like At Boddington Primary Academy?
With the implementation of a consistent teaching approach to writing being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and all children are confident in their creative writing abilities. Further up the school, teachers can focus more deeply on writer’s craft, where careful manipulation of grammar and punctuation develops greater depth writers.
Children’s writing deserves to be recognised and praised and we provide these opportunities with their peers in class, with visitors to our school through displays and through online communications with the wider community.
Please click on the links below to explore different areas: