The writing curriculum at Didsbury CE Primary School
Intent – why we teach what we teach
At DCE, we want to instil a love of writing in the children we teach so they are motivated and enthused to write for a range of purposes and audiences. We provide a writing curriculum that provides children with the opportunity to develop their writing stamina and express their ideas. They will be equipped to:
- write cohesively and coherently
- express their ideas creatively
- use appropriate and ambitious vocabulary
- understand how to use and apply a range of grammatical structures
- accurately use age-appropriate punctuation
- use spelling strategies
- use consistent letter formation with appropriate sizing that leads to high quality presentation
We believe it is important that pupils can communicate their ideas clearly in their writing but also orally. They will often participate in group activities (including role play and other drama activities) to share ideas and they are also encouraged to read their work aloud.
As part of the writing process, children are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their work. We place emphasis on reading and checking work carefully for errors (age-appropriate). We want pupils to be able to recognise spelling and punctuation errors and edit these where appropriate. If children are able to do this, they are developing their independence and confidence with writing.
Implementation – how we teach what we teach
In EYFS, writing is taught as part of the topic through shared and guided sessions and then children apply these skills in the workshop areas both indoors and outdoors.
In Years 1-6 writing is taught daily. Three pieces of writing are taught half-termly covering a range of purposes and audiences. To ensure that pupils are equipped with the grammatical skills to create these pieces of writing, each week there is a Grammar and Punctuation lesson which focuses on an objective linked to the genre of writing. As a school, we follow the Letterjoin handwriting scheme.
Furthermore, EYFS and KS1 follow the Letters and Sounds programme for phonics and KS1 have weekly spelling tests based on this. In KS2, there is a weekly spelling session in which a specific spelling pattern is taught, practice and applied. For pupils who have a particular difficulty with writing, interventions and narrowing the gap work is carried out to ensure that they are supported.
In addition to the writing lessons, children are encouraged to apply the skills and understanding to their writing in other subjects too. This enables children to utilise the knowledge which other subjects offer whilst still applying their writing skills.
Impact – how we measure what we teach
The impact of this writing curriculum is that children will be confident, fluent writers who enjoy expressing their ideas. Consequently, this will enable them to write for a range of purposes and audiences in their future lives. Every half term, class teachers assess each child against the year group’s writing objectives. An individual piece of writing is also assessed every half term and children are given feedback detailing strengths and an area for improvement. In addition to this, pupils will complete termly assessments for spelling, punctuation and grammar.
The final teacher’s assessment of writing is reported on formally to parents at the end of each academic year. The progress of each child will be tracked throughout their time at Didsbury CE Primary.
- BBC – there are a number of resources available through the BBC website, for example:
- Family Learning:
- Phonics Play – this is a subscription website. We have paid for in school use and the children are familiar with the games on it. Unfortunately, the subscription does not extend to home use, but individual subscriptions are available to purchase at £12 per year. Some games are free to play.
- Kent Trust
- ICT games
- Letters and Sounds – we use this website in school for resources and games. There are useful online games accessible via this website for example:
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
The statutory Year 1 Phonics Screening Check which will take place during a specific week in June. Every child in the Year 1 cohort will complete the check.
The check is a list of 40 words which children will read one -to-one with a familiar teacher in school. It will assess phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1.
It will check that your child can:
- Sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words e.g. n-igh-t
- Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
- Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as ‘pseudo words’.
Parents are informed of their child’s progress from the checks in the end of year school report to parents.