Purpose of study

A curriculum designed for Billinge Chapel End Community Primary School


Purpose of study

At Chapel End Community Primary School, we believe that the ability to write with confidence and accuracy is an essential life skill.  Writing is a complex process that draws upon more than handwriting and spelling.  It is the ability to effectively communicate ideas, information and opinions through the printed word in a wide range of contexts.  Successful writers understand the social function and characteristics of writing in order to use different genres appropriately, matching it to audience and purpose.  Writing also requires the writer to understand and accurately apply the conventions of syntax, spelling and punctuation.  We aim to equip children with the skills necessary to achieve this, throughout the curriculum.

At Chapel End, we want children to enjoy writing from an early age. Our ultimate intention is to enable children to independently and effectively communicate in writing for a wide range of audiences. Integral to the process of writing is speaking and listening.  

Throughout EYFS children are encouraged to attempt their own emergent writing and their efforts are valued and celebrated.  Emergent writing is encouraged through the use of different writing materials, including felt tipped pens, crayons, chalk, sand, magnetic letters, big brushes, water, paint and computers, as well as writing in the role-play areas, such as postcards, menus, invitations, labels etc.  As their phonic knowledge increases, so does their ability to write independently. At the same time, their knowledge of key words is supported through reading and writing activities, including shared reading and writing. However it is evident that many children do not have the fine motor (or gross) skills at this age to hold mark making equipment effectively so a great emphasis is placed on developing these skills first and foremost. For those children who are ready, legible letter formation is explicitly taught and modelled on a daily basis. A wide variety of opportunities are provided for children to engage in writing activities and independently apply their phonic skills through role play, creative activities, computing and the outdoor area.

 Throughout Key Stages 1 and 2 children have the opportunity to write independently and at length.  In these writing sessions, we use a variety of teaching and learning styles. Our principal aim is to develop student's knowledge, skills, and understanding.

Modelling Writing: The teacher talks aloud the thought processes as a writer.  They model strategies in front of the children, communicating the strategies being used.  Teachers may model writing skills such as punctuation, rehearsal, proof reading, editing, word selection, sentence construction and paragraphing.

Shared Writing: This is a collaborative approach in which the pupils contribute their ideas and thoughts for the teacher to write.  The teacher models and teaches specific writing skills and there is the opportunity for discussion to choose the most effective or suitable ideas. 

Supported Composition: The children work in pairs to provide the next sentence of the text.  This may follow from the modelled or the shared writing process.

Guided Writing: Pupils are grouped by writing ability.  The teacher or other adult works with the group on a carefully selected task appropriate to that group’s needs and targets.  This will focus on a particular aspect of the writing process rather than writing a complete piece. 

Independent Writing: Children are given opportunities to apply their understanding of the text type in their own writing.  They are encouraged to plan, draft, write, edit and assess their work, applying the skills they have learnt throughout the unit of work on that particular genre.

As children progress throughout the school, they are given many opportunities to write independently and to apply the skills they have learnt and practised in shared and guided writing.  Wherever possible, writing is made meaningful by being planned for a specific purpose or in response to a particular experience.  We utilise a great variety of materials, visual and written, to inspire their writing.

Daily phonics lessons build children’s phonic and spelling knowledge enabling them to sound out words and spell high frequency words correctly.  Children throughout the year groups have spellings to learn relevant to their age, and these focus on high frequency words or a particular spelling pattern.

In our school we aim to instil a positive attitude towards handwriting. Handwriting is discretely taught daily in the Foundation Stage and the beginning of Y1, at least twice a week in Y2 and once a week in KS2.We introduce joined up handwriting at an early stage of a child’s development. From Year 1 students are encouraged to develop a joined, confident handwriting style that is clear, legible and fluent by the end of Year 2. Many of our children require further consistent practise of joining handwriting in LKS2. 

Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation is planned and taught as an integral part of each unit of work.  The objectives are carefully matched to the unit of work to enable them to be taught and learnt within a meaningful context. .

Writing has obvious links to many subjects in school and teachers aim to make the most of those links to create exciting and purposeful writing opportunities. School trips and visitors are an integral part of our  curriculum and often foster inspiration to write. Children practise and develop their writing skills in other subjects such as science, history or geography and use knowledge from other subjects to inform and inspire writing in English lessons.