Statement of Intent
We recognise that competence in speaking, listening, reading and writing underpin the whole curriculum. Therefore, a quality English curriculum should develop our pupils’ love of reading, writing and discussion. Our aim is to enable our pupils to become confident and able writers, who make conscious links to reading. We aim for our children to write as a readers and read as writers.
We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where our pupils take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. Our whole-school approach to English interleaves with all areas of our curriculum and is key to raising standards across the school. We want to inspire our pupils to be confident in the art of speaking and listening, and communicate effectively using standard English to enable them to thrive throughout their time at school and beyond.
We believe that a secure basis of English skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our pupils the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
We make clear how language and literature have been, and can be instrumental in changing the world we live in.
At Ham Dingle, our United Learning Writing Curriculum is centred around a core-text approach. This enables our pupils to be immersed in literature, which is rich in vocabulary, purposefully written and enhances their cultural capital. Our writing curriculum is purposefully sequenced so that knowledge and skills for writing are built upon term by term and year by year. We ensure that knowledge, skills and concepts are secure before moving on and that pupils have regular opportunities to revisit prior learning to apply their understanding in new contexts.
It is our expectation that every child will leave our school with the skills of a proficient writer who is able to express their thoughts and ideas confidently and creatively through the use of the written word. Furthermore, we intend to create writers who have the following literary skills:
- the ability to write with fluency and stamina;
- can write for a particular purpose, paying particular consideration to the audience who the writing is intended for;
- can imitate and manipulate the language, structure and punctuation devices used in effective writing models;
- can use an extensive bank of higher-level vocabulary and have an excellent knowledge of writing techniques with which to communicate the written word with an appropriate authorial voice and tone;
- can display excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented, punctuated and spelt correctly
- can review, edit (secretarially and for impact) and proof-read their writing so that every time they write it is of the highest possible standard, continuing to develop and improve over time
The core texts we use as our immersion into high-quality writing provide a mirror in which pupils can see characters similar to themselves and a window to view inspirational and aspirational figures. Our aim is for pupils to leave us as passionate writers, with a love of literacy, ready for the next step of their educational journey.
The Teaching of Reading
Reading is taught through the explicit delivery of reading domains from Year 1 onwards where these domains are regularly revisited to secure the skill of comprehension and the tools we use to connect a text to full understanding. This is delivered in small steps and scaffolded using structure strips which reduce cognitive load for the child and act as a prompt to remind them of the journey they have been on throughout the lesson. Each reading session consists of a vocabulary focus; reading focus; explanation; I, we, you question exposure and a challenge for those pupils who are ready.
At Key Stage One, all children receive phonics lessons daily following the Ruth Miskin programme RWi. In addition to this, all children access English which follows a 3/2 day rolling programme for Reading and Writing. This enables all children to be exposed to the full range of texts within our Literature Spine; allows all children to access the interleaving that takes place between subjects and provides all children the opportunity to develop key reading (word reading and comprehension) and writing skills.
At Key Stage Two, all children access whole class reading and a separate writing session daily. Reading enables children access to expert writers and will be taught comprehension skills to secure their understanding. Children are able to make connections between the authorial style and skill they see as a reader, to how they can develop themselves as writers.
In addition to whole class teaching, children are also encouraged to read for pleasure at home. For this we use Accelerated Reader for Years 2 to 6 and class library books for Reception and Year 1.
During our children’s first encounters of school life, they learn to write by being exposed to a range of stories to develop their vocabulary. Daily Literacy sessions are taught discreetly and are always based on a quality core text. Writing materials are available in all areas within the reception setting and there are opportunities for children to develop mark making through the carefully selected provocations and provisions, which are changed regularly. This continues throughout EYFS to promote a love of writing.
In EYFS, children are fully immersed in daily phonics sessions (using RWI) where they begin to write letters, CVC words and then simple sentences. In addition to this, shared writing takes place daily, with the teacher modelling the basics of writing, exposing children to the key elements of simple sentence structures.
From the Spring Term, all children in Reception take part in Guided Writing sessions in small groups and record in books weekly. This ensures that children are Year One ready by the time they leave Reception in the Summer Term.
Writing in Years 1 - 6
As a school, we follow the United Learning Writing Curriculum which ensures the highest expectations for the attainment and progress of all pupils. This curriculum is based on 4 key principles:
Pupils are exposed to a variety of fiction and non-fiction outcomes based on a high-quality core text. This enables them to delve deeper and be hooked on the language and techniques intentionally selected by the author. Writing lessons are delivered daily in National Curriculum Year Groups 1-6 with EYFS also accessing Literacy on a daily basis.
In Years 1-6, the structure of our writing units is as follows-
We begin each unit delving into the core text: enabling our pupils to become fully engaged with what we are writing. At this stage, pupils will explore vocabulary, structures and conventions of the core text and the intended outcome for the genre in which the children will be expected to write in. To ensure children have an awareness of the purpose and audience for their written outcome, it is planned and shared at this point in the journey.
- Adding detail
During this stage of our writing journey, pupils will develop their word and sentence-level skills. At this point, teachers will explicitly revise and teach core skills and GPS appropriate to that year group and the intended outcome. The purpose of this phase is to generate ideas, practise writing and linking sentences. This phase will integrate multiple GPS skills where teachers will authentically model manipulating techniques to ensure the writing is having the desired impact on the audience.
Pupils will be taught to discuss and plan for writing using a range of structures dependent on the genre. This will enable them to understand and select appropriate vocabulary, grammar skills and content in preparation for extended, purposeful writing. Pupils are taught to record using age-appropriate methods, including visuals and note form.
- Drafting & Revising
At this point in the journey, pupils review the learning from the unit so far, creating a shared success criteria. Pupils then draft and revise their written outcome, supported by their plans, the success criteria, and any words, phrases and ideas collated on the working wall over the course of the unit.
As pupils write, teachers provide feedback and personalised support through 1:1, group and whole class conferencing, as appropriate to the needs of the class. Pupils will be reminded to regularly pause to proof-read for misspelt words, omissions and punctuation errors. They will also consider the impact and atmosphere they have created for the reader, revising their choices as they write.
- Proof-reading, Evaluating & Editing
Upon completion of their first draft, teachers model the skills of proof-reading for errors in spelling and punctuation, focusing on the accurate use of intended GPS skills for the unit delivered. The whole class will evaluate and edit their writing, highlighting examples within the text of where they, as a writer, have met each element of the shared success criteria and suggesting any improvements or changes to grammar and vocabulary.
Pupils share their own completed stories with a collaborative partner, proof-reading for errors and evaluating and editing the writing.
- Publishing, Presenting & Performing
To finish, pupils create a final and polished published piece to share with their intended audience. Additionally, pupils will seek feedback from their intended audience to feedforward into their next piece of writing.
As our writing journey is recursive not linear, elements of the learning journey may be repeated at different times throughout the unit.
An evidence informed and knowledge-rich curriculum:
Throughout school, we have a rigorous and well-structured English curriculum and framework in Key Stages One and Two, which provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Writing outcomes in each year group are planned to provide opportunities for interleaving across the curriculum, which incorporate the key writing skills specified in the National Curriculum. Writing genres and skills are revisited throughout the year and across year groups to enable children to make schematic connections.
We use a range of expert written texts and core texts from our Reading Spine to motivate and inspire our pupils to write a range of outcomes through fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The core purpose is to expose pupils to a range of high-quality literature that gives every child a mirror in which to see themselves and offers a window to children to see a world beyond their own.
Cultural capital is important to us and ensures that pupils have the knowledge required to prepare them for future success. We therefore ensure that in each year group, pupils have the opportunity to explore texts based around a range of times, cultures, traditions and subject matter to provide opportunities for making connections.
Pupils with SEND:
We are an inclusive school, so when a class teacher or the SENCO identifies a child with SEND, the class teacher provides interventions that are additional to and different from those provided as part of the school’s usual mastery curriculum offer and strategies. This is mainly through the teacher accurately identifying the pupil's barrier and then providing reasonable adaptations and adjustments to the curriculum; this may be done through use of scaffolds, additional support and adaptive teaching. Children with SEND may also receive targets which have been taken from their Writing Continuum, rather than the expectations from the National Curriculum for their age. This ensures that the learning is bespoke to their needs.
Assessment of Writing:
- Daily, through Wave 1 teaching (strategies may include questioning, independent opportunities to practise skills, low stake testing etc).
- Weekly, through pupils’ oral and written responses (in English books and across the curriculum).
- Pupil target cards support children to identify success and next steps for their learning.
- Termly, through writing assessment tasks completed by all pupils throughout each academic term. This data is used to inform future planning.
Moderation takes place in all year groups. This is completed with:
- the local authority at different points across the year with statutory assessment year groups;
- each term with schools within the West Midlands UL cluster;
- throughout the academic year with schools from the United Learning Trust.
Moderation supports teachers and helps them to make accurate judgements about their pupils’ writing at the end of the year.
At our school, we believe all our pupils have the potential to succeed. Through our high-quality teaching of English alongside our knowledge-rich curriculum, we realise a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Children are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Outcomes of work in both English and other subject areas evidence the high quality of work and the impact of varied and cross curricular writing opportunities. These enable children to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, considering the purpose. Our children will leave us with transferrable skills that support their future learning.
As a result of our Writing Curriculum, pupils will have developed independence and autonomy to foster their own unique writing voice and adopt a sincere pleasure for writing. Progress will be strong, consistent and evident from their own unique starting points. They will have established an authentic understanding of writing for different audiences and purposes meanwhile securing the writing skills they need to progress year on year. Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly, they will develop a love of writing and be well-equipped for the rest of their education in Key Stages 3, 4 and beyond.