Writing Vision Statement
At St John Bosco, it is our aim that children are taught and have opportunities to express themselves and develop their understanding of the world through their speaking, listening, reading and writing.
We want children to become avid readers who engage in high quality reading opportunities that are both enjoyable, challenging and cross- curricular. We aim to ensure all children have access to a broad range of high quality reading materials & opportunities, which will enable them to become lifelong, independent and confident readers who read for pleasure and information. We want our children to be able to read fluently and widely and express preferences and opinions about the texts that they read.
It is our intention that children can then use their rich and varied reading experiences to inform their writing. We aim to expose our children to a wide range of ambitious vocabulary (through reading and writing) which they are expected to apply in their speaking, listening and writing. We want children to have opportunities to write for a range of audiences and purposes using the grammatical accuracy, application of their spelling and phonic knowledge and the use of a cursive handwriting style appropriate for their age.
At St John Bosco the development of writing begins with the understanding and application of phonic knowledge to writing words as they sound. Alongside phonic knowledge, correct letter formation is taught and a wide range of opportunities to apply their knowledge of phonemes and graphemes to writing for different purposes are provided in the EYFS.
Writing composition is taught across the school using a teaching sequence that incorporates many of the elements of ‘Talk for Writing’ and focuses on making decisions as a writer based on the purpose of the written outcome. This is approach is supplemented through the use of the Jane Considine ‘Write Stuff’ materials (alongside Literacy Shed +) which is used in KS1 & KS2 to support children’s understanding of the link between reading (using high quality texts) and writing and to practise the application of the spelling, grammar, punctuation, composition and proof-reading elements from the National Curriculum Programme of Study.
The focus of written outcomes is based on four purposes – to entertain, to inform, to persuade and to discuss (and any appropriate combination) – which are addressed progressively across the school. Using the ‘Talk for Writing’ writing journey approach, the children follow a teaching sequence which will generally include:
- a stimulus for writing, e.g. a short film, a real-life experience, an extract from the class book;
- an analysis of the written genre to identify the structure and language features required for the purpose and audience of the writing and create a ‘toolkit’ or success criteria for writing;
- use of role-play, role on the wall, hot-seating, improvisation, discussion and vocabulary banks;
- organising ideas using planning templates or story maps;
- the writing phase, step-by –step using modelled writing and shared writing leading to guided and independent writing.
- opportunities to assess own writing against the ‘toolkit’ or success criteria, proof-read, edit and improve written outcomes.
Writing outcomes are often linked to other areas of the curriculum to assist children with the writing content and we actively seek opportunities to develop our writing skills not just in English sessions, but also across the curriculum in other subjects.
The grammar and punctuation elements of the National Curriculum are taught discretely as part of a lesson, identified in the text analysis, modelled explicitly during modelled and shared writing and used by children in their written outcomes. The range of vocabulary used by children in their writing is enhanced by the use of vocabulary ‘banks’ developed by teachers and children as part of the teaching sequence, in particular the use of any necessary subject-specific or technical language in their writing; work on synonyms and antonyms, use of thesauri and vocabulary displayed as part of the classroom learning environment.
The transcription skills of spelling and handwriting are taught discretely following the National Curriculum Programme of Study and using additional commercial materials. A cursive script is taught from Key Stage 1 and this is modelled by teachers and used in the classroom environment. It is expected that children write using the cursive script from Year 2 as they prepare to start Key Stage 2. It is also expected that children apply their phonic knowledge to spell words correctly in their written work, use a dictionary, the learning environment or a spelling buddy to find the correct spelling or to make corrections to spellings. In Key Stage 2, spelling lessons are taught regularly throughout the week (over a two week cycle) and children are able to practise spellings using online platforms, where weekly awards are given. Children also have access to the common exception words and the word lists for KS2 for reference/practise.
At St John Bosco we recognise the vital role that spoken language has in developing learning and understanding across the curriculum. Children are taught to ask and answer questions to increase their understanding; to use spoken language to express their feelings and ideas to use the appropriate spoken language to discuss, explain, justify, hypothesise and analyse across the curriculum. When responding to questions or adding to other people’s contributions, children are encouraged to stand to speak to acknowledge the importance of oral contributions to learning.
In reading sessions, children are taught to use appropriate standard English to discuss predictions, inferences and opinions from the texts they are reading and to make recommendations to peers.
Drama activities such as hot seating, role play, and conscience alley allow children provide children with opportunities to express themselves orally in preparation for written tasks and to explore the thoughts and feelings of people and events across the curriculum. Poetry and play performances and presentations across the curriculum to audiences give children the opportunity to practise speaking fluently, audibly, with intonation, expression and using the appropriate level of formality.