Curriculum Statement - Writing
Our Writing Curriculum
The primary intention of our writing teaching at Strawberry Fields is to give our children the ability and confidence to communicate effectively in writing. In addition to teaching the physical essentials of good handwriting, we know that writers are able to express themselves effectively in clear and grammatically accurate sentences. Even when produced on a computer, the skills of a writer are essential when completing key life-defining documents such as job applications and other essential paperwork. Further, we aim to allow children to love the creative freedom that comes with writing and to develop their vocabularies .
We are firm believers that most children need to be able to verbalise a sentence in order to write it, and as such, we aim to make explicit the link between spoken and written language. Equally, we know that often, the most confident writers are those who read regularly, so our determination to create a love of reading in all our children feeds into our writing teaching too. Writing tasks are often set based on class novels which have been investigated in depth. We also use real life experiences to engage children in their writing.
Currently, writing is taught in Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage using the principles of the Talk For Writing Scheme. This scheme was chosen because we know, particularly in the years following the pandemic, that some children will need additional support to develop their spoken language and vocabulary. Furthermore, for all children, being able to articulate a sentence, however complex, is an important first step towards being able to write it.
In Key Stage 2, writing is taught using The Write Stuff. This scheme was chosen for Key Stage 2 as it allows children to incorporate a wide range of grammatical structures in their sentences.
Over the coming year, we will be working towards creating a bespoke writing scheme for Strawberry Fields which takes the best elements of each of these approaches and which runs throughout school. Ultimately, we encourage children to move towards independence as writers, using the structures and features learned in taught sessions and making considered choices about how to use there in their own work.
We use Sounds Write to teach phonics and spelling in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. The Sounds Write program also runs into Key Stage Two, where it can be used to deliver whole-class spelling sessions as well as reading and spelling interventions as required.
Letter formation is taught discreetly in Foundation Stage and Year One. We do not teach letter formation alongside phonics as we believe the primary and most important purpose of phonics lessons is to give children the knowledge and skills required to read. Children begin to join their writing in Year Two.
Each class in school has a daily English lesson to teach the skills of writing. All individual element of writing – handwriting, spelling, grammar, planning, editing and redrafting – can be taught discreetly, but always with the intention that what is learned in a discreet session is then incorporated into children’s independent work quickly and effectively. We give children regular opportunities to produce writing in other areas of the curriculum – for example to record an investigation in science, or make comparisons between different localities in geography.
All children have the appropriate writing standards for their year group stuck into the English books. As soon as they are able, we encourage our children to begin to make their own editorial decisions about which of these features to incorporate into a particular piece of work, as well as referring to them when editing and/or redrafting their work.
The impact of our writing curriculum will be assessed against the outcomes for our children.
The quality of ALL written work, including that undertaken during other subject areas. This work should be of the same high quality as that produced in an English lesson