At Houghton Conquest we believe that the ability to write (or put ideas into print) is fundamental to our children succeeding; enabling them to access the next stage of their education and beyond. Our curriculum has been designed to ensure that pupils enjoy and take pride in their writing and have passion and enthusiasm for it.
Our intent is for all children at Houghton Conquest to:
Our intent is to develop, through our teaching of writing, the following attitudes:
Writing at Houghton Conquest Lower School is encouraged and celebrated in a range of ways and is taught daily throughout the school, across a range of subjects. We aim, wherever possible, to create cross-curricular writing opportunities, as we believe that in order for children to see themselves as successful writers they need to be involved in writing for a purpose.
We follow the National Curriculum (2014), which ensures that a range of genres are covered, including narrative (e.g. extended stories, stories by the same author, myths and legends, adventure stories and traditional stories), non-fiction (e.g. persuasive texts, nonchronological reports, information texts, recounts, reports and letters) and poetry (e.g. rhyme, nonsense rhymes, shape poems, acrostic and descriptive poetry). Genres are taught and learnt considering the:
Throughout each unit taught, the links between reading and writing are made explicit – we read as writers and we write as readers. The progress throughout each unit of work shows the transition between reading as writers (focusing on structure, characterisation, and language features etc.) to writing as readers (word play, describing, composition, planning, editing, revising etc.). We use the following structure for the learning journey:
Integral to the process of writing is providing children with high quality texts which challenge, enthuse and engage children’s speaking and listening skills. Providing opportunities for children to talk about their writing is fundamental for the writing process, enabling children to articulate their thoughts, retell stories, orally create new stories and orally rehearse what they are going to write and re-read what they have written. This underpins and runs alongside the writing process.
At Houghton Conquest we teach writing by:
Writing skills are taught in a range of ways:
Handwriting – Explicit, standalone daily handwriting lessons take place in each year group. From years 1-4 we follow LetterJoin as our guidance for progression and letter formation. It is our expectation that most children will be using joined cursive handwriting by the end of year 2, while year 1 will be using a pre-cursive style to ensure correct letter formation is secure and ready to begin joining in year 2. More information can be found on our Handwriting page.
Modelled Writing – The teacher talks aloud the thought processes as a writer. They model strategies in front of the children, communicating the strategies being used. They have complete control over the writing and make explicit the structure, language features, spelling and punctuation of the text type as appropriate.
Shared Writing – This is a collaborative approach; pupils contribute their ideas and thoughts for the teacher to select the most appropriate. The teacher models and teaches specific writing skills and there is opportunity for discussion to choose the most effective or suitable ideas.
Supported Composition – The children work in pairs to provide the next sentence of the text. This may follow from either the modelled or shared writing process.
Independent Writing – Children are given opportunities to apply their understanding of the text type in their own writing. They are encouraged to plan, draft, write, edit and assess their work, applying the skills they have learnt throughout the unit of work for the specific genre. This is vitally important if children are to develop their skills as writers within different genres.
Writing Inspiration Days – Days throughout the year are planned to excite learners and provide meaningful context to inspire children to write. Writing inspiration days will entail a theme that all children across the school take part within and write about. On these days, learning is centred on one theme and each year group plans their writing based around this theme. Progression in learning is evident throughout the year, as is progression in the writing skills between different year groups as children progress through the school.
Children are taught spellings through the use of letter clusters, using the LOOK, COVER, WRITE, CHECK, technique i.e. LOOK carefully at the word, COVER the word, WRITE the word down, CHECK to see if you were correct. Spellings are sent home to reinforce learning. We encourage pupils not only to learn spellings but extend their vocabulary through the use of a dictionary and thesaurus.
The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience and that they have a love for writing, being inspired as writers by a range of stimuli. They become confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work. By the end of Year 4 children have developed a writer’s voice , they enjoy writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum: skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects. This shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.
Attainment in writing is measured consistently throughout the year. At the three assessment checkpoints, progress is tracked, using our internal tracking tool.
For those children who have yet to access the Year 1 statements, pre key stage statements are used.
Termly moderations take place, to quality assure judgements made. These are either in house, or as part of a cluster of local schools.
Termly unaided writing is added to a pupil’s Big Write book and formally assessed. Assessments are recorded on the Sonar monitoring and assessment programme.
End of Key Stage writing: teachers will assess a selection of pieces of writing in Year 2, using this to inform reported Teacher assessment judgements. Exemplification materials are used to support judgements made.