Overarching our entire curriculum is our desire for every child to become an enthusiastic and fluent writer. It is our belief that children should learn how to communicate effectively, not only verbally, but through writing. Therefore, every opportunity is given for children to develop their experience of writing for a range of purposes and audiences, in order to foster a life-long love of writing.
At Whitmore Park School, developing pupils’ writing skills is embedded at the heart of our curriculum. Pupils are given the opportunities to learn new skills and consolidate them within a broad range of exciting contexts. As a school, our planning aims to develop these skills in a fun and meaningful way, writing for a range of purposes and audiences.
Children are motivated to use and apply new vocabulary and grammar structures in their writing, by exploring them within real life contexts.
In Key Stages 1 and 2, all classes have a daily Writing lesson, which is taught following a three week structure. A typical teaching sequence contains the following:
Week 1 – Skills pertinent to the genre are taught explicitly. Children become familiar with the text type being taught.
Week 2 – Children are provided with opportunities to practise their skills in context through modelled, shared and guided writing. Children are encouraged to develop their own ideas during this phase.
Week 3 – Children are taught to plan, draft, edit, improve and evaluate their own writing and the writing of others.
In addition to their daily Writing lessons, children have skills sessions, focussing on the teaching of grammar, spelling rules and handwriting.
From Year 2 onwards, children are taught discrete grammar lessons. The content is taken from the National Curriculum 2014. These skills are then consolidated and applied during writing lessons.
During spelling lessons, the children learn new spelling patterns and rules, which they take home as part of their weekly homework. There is also a huge emphasis on children learning to read and spell high frequency words accurately.
As a school, we have the highest of expectations for handwriting. From Year 1, children are taught to begin every letter on the line; this will then progress to a cursive script. Typically, by the end of Year 3, all children should be joining letters fluently.
Our vision is for all of our children to leave us as confident, competent writers.