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The Catholic School of St Gregory The Great Believe and Achieve

English Curriculum

 

Writing

Intent

In writing, we aim for all of our children to see themselves as authors.  We recognise the strong links between writing and reading and hope that children will be inspired by their reading and that their love of reading will ignite a passion with them to become writers themselves.  We endeavour to inspire in our children a curiosity about language, an appreciation of the power of written word and an understanding of the way that writing can be used to have a positive impact on God’s world around them.

 

To be an author and write in a skilled and fluent fashion, children need to build up the skills of transcription and composition and develop a strong understanding of the written word.  They need to deepen their knowledge of other writers’ work and understand the purpose and audience of their writing.

 

They need to be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.  Children need to develop their knowledge of spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation and be able to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.  This allows them to communicate their ideas and emotions to others so they are able to participate fully and confidently as members of society.  At St Gregory’s, our children hone this knowledge by applying these writing skills and knowledge across the curriculum, making connections both within writing and across other subjects too.
 

Implementation

The aims of the National Curriculum (2014) for writing are:

  • To promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written word. 
  • That children acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • To appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • To write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences 
  • To use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

 

The National Curriculum is the part of the St Gregory’s curriculum that maps out the knowledge and skills that we want our children to learn and experience in each subject. 

How we plan for progression in writing at St Gregory’s:


The St Gregory’s Curriculum is designed around year group themes. Each has been structured and sequenced in order to engage pupils in purposeful learning by building on prior knowledge and helping connect knowledge, understanding and skills year-on-year both within writing and across other subjects too.

 

Each year group theme is driven by high quality texts. Encompassing texts into our themes captures children’s imagination, supports a deeper acquisition of language, vocabulary and knowledge and generates stronger links between subjects as well as promoting a love of reading and providing high-quality opportunities to develop children’s writing skills.  

 

Writing is taught daily throughout the school year and children are provided with further opportunities to develop their writing skills across the curriculum in nearly all subjects. These opportunities are often based on hands-on experiences.  

 

We recognise that foundations for becoming an author are laid in the Early Years Foundation Stage through all seven strands of the Early Years Framework (especially literacy) and to be ready for the next stage in their education, the starting point that we strive for every child to have upon entry to Y1 and working towards the aims of the National Curriculum is:

  • To be able to have a conversation with adults and peers. 
  • To be able to learn and use new vocabulary. 
  • To engage with and retell a broad range of stories, non-fiction, poems and rhymes. 
  • To become confident to share ideas in full sentences.
  • To segment and blend simple words. 
  • To sight read high frequency words. 
  • To be able to form letters correctly.
  • To verbally rehearse before writing.

 

Once children enter Y1, they work progressively towards the aims of the National Curriculum.  To ensure progression, the teaching team worked together to plan out curriculum coverage and then the subject leader identified the progression of skills and vocabulary required at each stage of learning to prepare children for the next stage in their learning.

 

Writing curriculum coverage
Our writing curriculum coverage is based on the National Curriculum 2014 PoS.  At the start of each new unit, teachers identify the objectives that will be taught and insert these onto their medium term plans. These are broken down into WALTS for each lesson to ensure coverage of each objective. The medium term plan gives a brief outline of the main teaching and learning that takes place in lessons.   Many of the objectives will be recapped/repeated throughout the year to ensure skills and knowledge have been embedded. 

 

Progression of Vocabulary
Vocabulary, at an age appropriate level, is paramount to the children’s understanding and ability to articulate their intent and enable questioning. It is, therefore, a key consideration in writing planning.  Key subject vocabulary is introduced at the appropriate time, building on prior knowledge. 

 

We also place great emphasis on developing children’s vocabulary and have developed a culture where children are not afraid to try out new words.  Lots of classrooms have vocabulary walls which aim to inspire children to use more sophisticated and interesting vocabulary in their writing.

 

 

Planning

The majority of narrative and non-fiction English units are taught using the storytelling/ Talk for Writing method, beginning with a cold task and ending with a hot task.  The only exception is our poetry units, where we have slightly changed the Talk for Writing structure by removing the cold task and adding more opportunities for performance.

 

 

Typical Lesson Design
Each individual lesson is created in a Notebook format and follows a ‘mastery’ structure:

  • Starter activity
  • WALT and Steps to Success
  • A ‘hook’ to engage and promote oracy or reflection
  • Conceptual variation (use of mistakes and misconceptions)
  • Procedural variation (problem solving and application)
  • Twist it (turning the learning on its head to ensure secure understanding)
  • Shared writing
  • Review of learning

 

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Spelling, punctuation and grammar are cross-curricular skills and are taken into consideration in all lessons.  In addition, in KS1 children are taught spellings through their daily phonics lesson.  In KS2, spelling is tested weekly and taught three times a week in LKS2 and twice a week in UKS2.  Word lists have been created for each year group to follow on a week-by-week basis. These word lists include the words from the statutory word-lists for years 3 and 4 and years 5 and 6. They also group words according to spelling patterns to aid teaching, learning and progression across the school.  Spelling sessions explore the weekly word list and focus on cognitive and metacognitive strategies for learning them including pattern spotting and the use of mnemonics.  

 

More information can be found in our Spelling Scheme document.
 

Grammar lessons are taught discretely on a fortnightly basis.  These sessions follow the same mastery format as our writing lessons.  

 

Handwriting
We aim for our pupils to develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking.  Handwriting is a cross-curriculum task and will be taken into consideration during all lessons. Teaching of handwriting is carried out regularly and systematically to ensure Key Stage expectations are met.  More information can be found in our Handwriting Policy.

 

See Writing vision 2022 for more information

 

Cheltenham Literature Festival 
World Book Day 
The whole school love getting involved on world book day. This year we held a poetry slam. 

Performing poetry on stage

Dressing up

The teachers get involved too

BIG Write!
Each term the whole school take part in a big write this create a great shared atmosphere around the school and really helps to inspire children to write. 

We wrote persuasion letters to the Governors and Mrs Blanch to ask for a swimming pool. 

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXeJMAtA_lU

 

Writing Display
Writing is displayed around the school to show that we are proud of all of the children’s hard work 

Explores topic based writing

 

 

Ancient Egyptian topic based writing             

Presenting facts in a variety of ways

 

 

Working Walls
We use our English working walls to showcase some of our work and support us with our writing 

Spelling, punctuation and grammar support

Story map

Working wall
 

 

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