The Writing Curriculum at Parochial
An inclusive, inspirational school, preparing for the future;
living, learning and growing together in God.
At Parochial, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language. Through the use of an in-depth text spine, pupils read and listen to books by significant authors to ensure they are hearing rich language structures and imaginative ideas. Writing across a range of genres, including writing to persuade, entertain, inform and discuss, enables pupils to write accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Writing encourages pupils to use discussion in order to learn; elaborating and explaining clearly their understanding and ideas. At Parochial we also aim to develop competent speakers and listeners, who are able to make formal presentations, demonstrate to others and participate in debate.
At Parochial we are:
Educating for Wisdom, knowledge and skills in Writing through the use of the Talk for Writing approach. Moving from imitation to innovation to independent application, the Talk for Writing approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. The key phases of the Talk for Writing process enable children to imitate orally the language they need for a particular topic, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version. Language, punctuation and sentence construction is built upon from EYFS through to Year 6 using the foundations of Pie Corbett’s grammar progression guide.
In EYFS, phonics is the gateway to writing. Pupils will learn to write through the Read Write Inc phonics programme, the children write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to say, before spelling the words using the graphemes and ‘tricky’ words they know. They practise handwriting every day: sitting at a table comfortably, they learn correct letter formation and how to join letters speedily and legibly. Children’s composition (ideas, vocabulary and grammar) is developed by drawing on their own experiences and talking about the stories they read.
Building on these foundations, pupils learn rhymes and simple stories using role play to immerse themselves in the text. Appropriate props and resources are provided to the pupils which encourage and develop the children’s story telling skills, ultimately impacting on their spoken vocabulary. As a class, the children make simple innovations to the original story by considering alternative characters and settings. They then re-learn the text with the adaptations and the teacher models writing to them. Within continuous provision, writing opportunities are provided to the children to encourage them to write captions, labels, familiar phrases or sections of a story using the skills they have been taught. With a wealth of stories already in their heads they are able to focus on the technical parts of writing as they move through KS1 and beyond.
In KS1, the Talk for Writing process continues. Pupils internalise the text through expression and actions, with pupils encouraged to use a story map to support their retelling. In KS1, pupils develop the process of innovation through sentence substitution. Pupils are provided with a range of scaffolds to support them in adapting the text to create alternative versions. At the end of the innovation process, pupils plan their own stories using the structure and vocabulary they have learnt – allowing all children to demonstrate their skills as a writer.
In KS2, pupils develop rich language structures, age appropriate, powerful vocabulary and imaginative ideas. They begin to experiment with their sentence structures and become aware of their audience. They begin to ‘shake hands’ with the model text, rather than closely ‘hug it’. Pupils actively read through their writing assessing the effectiveness of their own and others writing and suggest improvements. Throughout the process, teachers are continually creating word banks, adding new vocabulary and encouraging pupils to magpie ambitious, powerful vocabulary in their sentences – both orally and written.
Educating for hope and aspiration through writing by immersing children in high quality model texts. Whether, it’s fiction, non-fiction or poetry, at Parochial we want to use literature as a context for writing and an opportunity to analyse an author’s style, word choices and approaches which pupils can magpie and mimic as they move through the imitation and innovation process and into the independent writing stage . Through the use of high quality model texts, pupils will be exposed to a range of writing genres filled with ambitious spelling, punctuation and grammar choices appropriate to its audience, placing great literature at the heart of every Talk for Writing cycle. In addition, writing is modelled to a high quality through the use of shared and modelled writing techniques.
Educating for community and living well together by providing a real, authentic audience and purpose for children’s writing. At Parochial, we provide our pupils with writing opportunities which draw on issues within the local community and beyond. In KS1, pupils write to inform as they explore environmental issues through the themes of ‘Under the Sea’ and ‘Save the planet’. In KS2, pupils write to persuade in themes such as the ‘Rainforest’. They discover how to formally debate through the English curriculum and this skill is used to explore issues around conservation and sustainability in Science.
Educating for dignity and respect by providing pupils with opportunities to take part in self and peer assessment. By the end of Key Stage 1 pupils are able to discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils and read their writing aloud, clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher. In Key Stage 2, pupils evaluate and edit by assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing responding with empathy and compassion. They propose changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning. They gain a resilience when trying to improve and reflect on their work appropriately. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming creative, sophisticated and effective writers.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics and the Talk for Writing process, our children become confident and accurate sentence writers by the end of KS1. By the time children leave Parochial, they are fluent, confident writers who are able to reflect on their understanding of the audience for and purpose of their writing by selecting appropriate vocabulary and grammar. Our pupils actively strive to improve their work, reading it aloud to themselves and others moulding their language, and most importantly their tone, to make their writing successful.