English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others.
The Curriculum Intent for Writing at LCA
At Lincoln Carlton Academy, the teaching of writing is of paramount importance within a broad and balanced curriculum. Our aim is to ensure that every child within our school, regardless of background and potential difficulty, leaves our school as a competent writer and with an understanding of the conventions of Standard English and when to use it effectively. This ability to write with confidence for a range of purposes and audiences ensures that children leave LCA fully prepared for their secondary education, ready to achieve their aspirations and thrive in their adult life. The writing curriculum at LCA encourages children to immerse themselves in different text types, understand the features and impact of these, and realise the importance of them beyond education. A secure knowledge of spelling and grammar and an understanding of how to edit writing is taught throughout the school in a systematic and progressive way. The content of writing lessons is planned to build on children’s previous knowledge as well as introduce new learning in a fun and memorable way. Children leave LCA with a deep understanding of different text types and how to construct them effectively, with clear purpose.
Our intentions in writing are for children to:
How will this be implemented?
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Phonics teaching begins within the first two weeks of the beginning of the school year after an initial baseline assessment has been completed. Phonics is taught using the Letters and Sounds Programme. Children are grouped according to their prior attainment with some starting in Phase 1 and the majority starting on Phase 2. Phonics is taught every day, building up to a 30-minute daily session by the end of EYFS. In Phase 2, children are introduced to initial sounds and they also learn the name of each letter and how it is formed. They are also taught the alphabet as well as the difference between consonants and vowels. As soon as children have been taught enough letters, they are then introduced to segmenting for spelling. They are encouraged to do this orally and using magnetic letters and mark making materials, including pencils. Alongside this, they are taught how to spell tricky words. Teachers provide many writing opportunities during continuous provision to give children the opportunity to write independently, applying the skills they have been taught through phonics.
Writing in Year 1
Year 1 begins with a transition period between the EYFS curriculum and the National Curriculum. Children continue their phonics journey and have 30 minutes of discrete phonics teaching everyday. Teachers continue to follow Letters and Sounds where they continue to practise and apply segmenting skills to write different labels, captions and then sentences. Teachers will continue to use the strategy, ‘Say it, break it into words (put each word on one finger), write it’ when writing simple sentences.
Children will then take part in a daily writing ‘lesson’ which will last for one hour. These lessons will be based on a number of core, quality texts as laid out in this document. In the autumn term, teachers will keep carpet time to a minimum (5 minutes only at first) and will use this time to engage children in high quality texts that will support their writing journey. After any initial input, children will access continuous provision (both inside and outside) where they will have opportunities to practise the skills they have been taught, during their play. Teachers will use the rest of the session to work with guided groups and individual children to support them in their individual next steps in writing.
After Christmas, teachers will have extended carpet time to around 10-15 minutes where they will spend more time modelling the writing process to the whole class. There will then be an opportunity for all children to complete an independent writing task linked to the learning and differentiated to their needs. The teacher will work with different groups of children on different days to offer feedback and challenge where necessary. Children will still have opportunities to practise the skills taught during continuous provision, but the time spent in purposeful play will reduce as the year progresses in preparation for Year 2.
Writing in Year 2 to 6
From Year 2 onwards, teachers at LCA follow a framework when planning for writing. The purpose of this framework is to put the audience and purpose at the centre of any piece of writing we ask children to produce. With this approach, we aim to produce ‘writers’ and not just ‘writing’. The framework is made of three different stages: Fit for Purpose, Building Confidence and Reflective Writing
Fit for Purpose
The first section of the framework is designed to engage and immerse the children in the text type they will be exploring. This will include a WOW element to get the children excited and motivated to write. This section allows children the opportunity to dive into the chosen text and pick of the structures and features that make it fit for purpose and the chosen audience. The National Curriculum states that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing and, with oracy being such a high priority for children at LCA, we weave talk opportunities into every lesson. Using a variety of drama strategies and groupings for talk, children have numerous opportunities to orally explore a text type before they start to write.
Having studied different texts, pupils immerse themselves in the language and structure of these to create their own toolkit – an aid to writing. This ensures that language patterns, punctuation and key phrases are internalised by the children so that they become confident and competent writers. Repeated practice of writing genres ensures that pupils leave our school capable of writing for different audiences and purposes. Spelling is taught outside of literacy lessons and children understand the importance of learning spellings in a memorable and interesting way. A range of strategies are used to ensure personable learning which supports pupils in becoming competent lifelong spellers. Accurate spelling is expected in all writing across the curriculum and children are taught and given time to edit their spellings and recognise their own errors. The teaching of grammar and standard English is an integral part of these writing lessons and across the whole curriculum. Using the National Curriculum, key grammar and Standard English skills are taught progressively and systematically throughout the school.
Children now start to plan their final piece using an age-appropriate planning tool. Teachers model this process in each unit so that children understand the process behind writing. During this process, teachers think out loud, edit and demonstrate how and why they have structured their writing in the way they have. Children then complete a first draft of their piece of writing and then proofread and redraft sections to further improve, always with the audience and purpose for writing in mind. Finally, the children will publish their work and where appropriate they will present it to their audience. The section allows teachers to provide focused feedback to support children to improve their writing outcomes.