Writing at Streethay
Our principal aim is to nurture, inspire and prepare our children so that they leave Streethay Primary School with a wide range of happy and rich memories in English formed through interesting and exciting writing experiences. Writing is at the very heart of our curriculum and we aspire to ensure all children become confident and competent writers which will enable them to have future successes in their lives.
From the very earliest stages in EYFS at Streethay, our children will receive a broad and rich writing curriculum that is mapped out in conjunction with new EYFS Curriculum by highly experienced, engaging and enthusiastic practitioners. This exciting curriculum engages pupils through hands-on, purposeful learning experiences that ignite their love of Literacy. Our KS1 and KS2 children will meet the National Curriculum expectations in English, which will be taught by highly qualified and passionate staff who will support children to develop mastery of concepts and inspire enthusiasm and interest in the subject.
Opportunities to celebrate writing will exist throughout the year and will promote learning beyond the classroom. This will allow them to enrich their knowledge in English. This may include, visiting a local library, welcoming in an author to work with the children, visiting a theatre to see a live production of a studied book or by visiting a museum or specific location relevant to an author being studied. Writing opportunities across the year will be used to explore our Streethay Values and Traits, which encourage children to become resilient, respectful and eloquent citizens of the world who are innovative with their own ideas. The writing opportunities we will provide also aim to provoke our pupils deeper thinking and questioning about the modern world.
Pupils at Streethay will develop a deep understanding of the English Curriculum and they will increasingly use their prior knowledge to develop the sophistication of English.
Our curriculum design allows for as many speaking opportunities as possible as our teachers understand that oracy and eloquence are a vital part of the whole curriculum. Not only are they the foundations for reading and writing, they are also essential skills for thinking and communication. In addition, Streethay is part of the ‘Voice 21 – Oracy Schools’ Programme. As part of this, we aim to establish a valuable community of resources and peer relationships to embed high-quality oracy practice within our school.
Our teachers are role models for good spoken English, using ambitious vocabulary and correct grammar. Children are encouraged to read aloud, discuss ideas with their peers and teachers, engage with and learn new vocabulary to extend their spoken and receptive vocabulary. Our writing process begins with immersing the children within a high-quality text and exploring language through retelling, drama, actions and performances.
Streethay pupils will develop a real understanding and appreciation of the world through immersion in real texts and will use literature from a wide range of authors. They will experience writing in a range of genres, such as, historical fictions, classic fiction, modern fiction, poetry and a range of non-fiction genres. Our Pupils will be continually presented with high-quality texts as a model for their writing.
At Streethay Primary School, we have carefully designed our English Curriculum to ensure consistency and progress of all learners. We are dedicated to staff CPD to enable our staff members to continually develop their teaching and learning as well as continuing to be updated in latest writing pedagogy and strategies.
We take a mastery approach to the holistic teaching of writing: where all KPIs for composition, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, transcription and spelling are progressively mapped out across each year and are used actively to guide the teaching and learning.
The process of writing at Streethay incorporates our ‘Seeds of Learning’ approach over a unit of work, whilst at the same time, uses key principles of the Talk for Writing Approaches to support the process of writing. This supports the teaching and learning process and ensures that there is the correct progression throughout a unit.
Our teachers use the Seeds of Learning Approach shown below, alongside our Progression of Skills Documents and Mastery Keys for each year group. Alongside this, teaching and learning is supported by Genre Checklists that set out the aims for each specific unit.
The implementation of our Writing Approach is also informed by the research and training from the CLPE and the Power of Reading approach for our class texts. We prioritise the use of high-quality texts across the school, which are used as an engaging stimulus to get all children excited about writing.
Our high-quality texts are specifically chosen based upon the age appropriate, stimulating and engaging texts of Power of Reading Programme. They are also chosen based on the level of vocabulary challenge and their links to our overarching themes in the curriculum. Our thought-provoking texts aim to ensure our pupils receive a vast breadth of reading experiences that teach them about the modern/wider world and diversity in all forms.
Grammar and punctuation are embedded within our text-based approach to the teaching of writing, allowing children to apply these concepts as they explore them. The teaching of spelling is explicitly taught with the relevant progression following the RWI Spelling Programme. Spelling is also a high priority within our Phonics Programme, Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. This is a key part of our Phonics lessons from Reception (Autumn 2), progressing all the way through to the end of our pupil’s phonics journey.
The combination of a mastery approach, and a quality text-based approach, provides children with a broad and balanced breadth of writing experiences. This also breaks the process of writing down into manageable, explicitly taught, chunks. Across the year children build on mastery writing skills and are given the opportunity to repeatedly practice each of them both within writing lessons, and within writing opportunities built into the wider curriculum. They will increasingly use their prior knowledge to develop the sophistication of English through the progressive objectives taught. This approach aligns with key principles of cognitive science and metacognition.
Alongside this, at Streethay English is timetabled 5x per week from KS1-KS2 which is monitored by our SLT. Additionally, our pupils receive additional writing experiences across the curriculum, including Phonics, Spelling and in many Foundation Subjects. The high-quality teaching is monitored regularly to ensure teaching is responds to the needs of the children and work is appropriate to guide the children into meeting their full potential. Through our rigorous moderation process, our teachers work in unison to ensure our pupils are making excellent progress. The moderation process also focuses heavily upon any gaps in our pupil’s knowledge. From these successful meetings, teachers work together to plan adjustments in teaching and learning. ‘Fix it’ lessons are subsequently planned to specifically address any areas where pupils need further support or challenge. During these Fix-it lessons, our trained staff share pupils targets and next steps in learning to ensure our pupils understand their own learning journey.
The pupils at Streethay become happy learners within English and engage fully with enthusiasm and enjoyment. They will enjoy the experience of writing and experience a wide-ranging number of writing experiences and challenges which will broaden their ever-growing vocabulary. Through the writing curriculum, children celebrate difference and diversity and are actively engaged with the wider society. This impact is evident during Pupil Voice interviews where pupils are able to speak eloquently about their writing experiences and share their knowledge/viewpoints about writing experiences they have received.
Visits and experiences within English have enriched the lives of children and they are able to discuss how the experiences have impacted their knowledge and understanding. Children can talk enthusiastically about their writing experiences and understand their targets for future learning.
All children, including all abilities and backgrounds achieve well in English which is reflected in excellent progress that reveals their clear learning journey. This will be evidenced through a rigorous moderation process and clear tracking of our pupil’s achievements. Gap Analysis’ are formed from Assessments which teachers and leaders will use to ensure children are being supported and challenged where this is appropriate. Interventions within writing, spelling and phonics are clearly evidenced and progress checks will be made to ensure pupils are not falling behind.
From our Writing Curriculum, pupils at Streethay will present well-organised and structured writing and will gain the experience to write fluently. With their growing flair in writing, children will develop a vivid imagination which will make reader engage with and enjoy their writing. Children will grow a highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques. This is evident through SLT/peer book looks, where professional dialogue continually ensures consistency in expectations of our pupils writing across the school.
Our pupils will speak clearly so that can be easily understood by a range of audiences and children will develop an excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tenses and the grammatical structure of sentences. Children will gain a highly developed ability to tell stories that capture the interest and imagination of the audience and will delight in initiating and joining in conversations. Children will show respect for others when communicating, even when views differ. These skills will be evident during conversations with pupils and listening to them read their own and others work with passion and enthusiasm.