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Water Mill

Primary School

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Writing at Water Mill

Water Mill Primary School

Writing

Intent

At Water Mill, the teaching of writing supports and links our whole curriculum; hence we strive to provide a highly motivating and engaging writing curriculum that is well developed and gives pupils the opportunity to enrich their skills in writing across all subject areas. It is our aim that our children are able to articulate their ideas clearly and eloquently through both spoken and written language as this is a vital skill that will allow them to be proud of what they have achieved and to be prepared for the future.

Staff at Water Mill celebrate the diversity in our school; they understand the importance of being able to meet the needs of the differing groups of learners: teachers plan and teach personalised writing lessons which focus on the particular needs of each child.  We recognise that each child has their own learning journey, with different starting points and so progress is measured in line with baseline data to ensure every child can celebrate success and be the best that they can be. Teacher’s prepare and deliver writing activities and experiences that are relevant to Water Mill children’s lives and cultures; we plan for children to understand the wider, richer, subject specific vocabulary they are exposed to throughout various curriculum areas.

 

Implementation

 

In order to achieve our intended outcomes, enjoyment, immersion and engagement are at the heart of our writing curriculum. All classes have opportunities to experience creative writing workshops with ‘Write Is Right’: we have visiting panto/dance workshops and other visiting artists to engage and inspire children’s’ writing.

Children at Water Mill receive discrete writing lessons each day; they also have opportunities to develop their writing skills explicitly across the curriculum. The school’s marking and feedback policy also ensures that high standards of writing are promoted across the whole curriculum; basic English skills related to spelling, punctuation and grammar remain a focus for marking (not only in writing lessons but across all subject areas) as well as the promotion of high standards of presentation. Through the close monitoring of basic skills and presentation, children are able to take pride in their work and are able to express their ideas fluently across all areas. This is something that we feel is essential in allowing all pupils to make outstanding progress and achieve the very best that they can. Each term, teachers choose a child from their class to have their writing displayed on the ‘writing Wall of Fame’ - introduced to inspire and reward effort and achievement in writing.

Teaching in writing at Water Mill is highly personalised to the needs of each child and so children will often receive smaller group inputs during lessons, which help them to achieve the right next steps for them. Live marking, when appropriate, means children receive high quality feedback on the spot to allow them to make accelerated progress within and across lessons.  There is a clear progression of skills from KS1 to KS2, which meets the requirements of the National Curriculum. As a school, we use Alan Peat’s sentence types to teach and embed sentence structure, this is built upon throughout the school.

The teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar are consistently used to inform and build upon children’s writing opportunities. Children therefore have an understanding of the whole writing process, which is embedded across different curriculum contexts. Regular monitoring by subject leaders and senior leaders ensures that each class is teaching the correct explicit knowledge for their age group, whilst internal, local and external moderations ensure the accuracy of teacher assessment in reading and writing.

 

 Key Concepts in writing

 

Speaking and

Listening

Spoken language underpins the development of writing. The qualities of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their understanding of vocabulary and grammar. Spoken language should empower pupils to share their ideas in an articulate and confident manner.

Transcription

Effective transcription refers to accurate spelling and handwriting. This is achieved if pupils have a good understanding of the relationship between letters and sounds, word structure and spelling structure.

Vocabulary

Vocabulary refers to a set of words within a language. Vocabulary usually develops with age and experience and is essential for effective communication. Giving pupils opportunities to develop their vocabulary is essential in aiding their spoken and written language.

Grammar, and punctuation

Punctuation is the system of symbols that we use to separate written sentences and parts of sentences to make their meaning clear. Each symbol is called a "punctuation mark". Grammar refers to the study of words, how they are used in sentences and how they change in different situations.

Sentence structure

This refers to the ability to recognise different parts of a sentence and understand how to manipulate these for affect.

Editing

This is a crucial part of our writing curriculum and refers to the process of changing, refining and improving writing.

Purpose and audience

The idea that each piece of writing is written for a reason, and being confidently able to understand the reason. The idea that all writing has an intended audience and being able to manipulate style, content and vocabulary, as necessary, to reflect the intended audience.

  

Impact

The impact of a well-developed and engaging writing curriculum is clear. In pupil feedback surveys, children report that they are enjoying and are excited about writing. We have children who are articulate, motivated and who are making outstanding progress across the curriculum. All groups of learners make excellent progress due to a highly flexible teaching approach whereby each child is valued and nurtured to reach their full potential. With the implementation of the writing process becoming more securely embedded, and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers. Our high standards of presentation, spelling, grammar and punctuation are then applied across all subject areas and focused marking ensures that standards remain high throughout the whole school. As writing is a highly valued aspect of the curriculum, cross curricular writing is excellent and skills taught in writing lessons are transferred into other subjects; this shows a consolidation of skills and an in-depth understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives (by upper KS2).  We hope that as our children move on in their educational journeys; their creativity, passion for writing and high aspirations continue so that they can continue to grow to be the very best that they can.

For more information about our writing curriculum please click on the links below

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Water Mill Primary School Water Mill Close, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6TS
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