The Medlock Writing Curriculum.
Our aim at Medlock Primary School is to enable all children to be confident writers and have not only an understanding of the English language, but a love of language and passion for using it to communicate for a purpose.
We see it as our job to teach children the writing skills they need to succeed in further study and to be ‘life ready’ so they have the opportunities to be successful as they move on to secondary school and in a future career of their choice. As well as learning the writing skills needed to communicate effectively, we also promote a love of writing through creative writing and exploring language.
We recognise that oracy skills are also an important part of communicating effectively in the English language and will support the development of writing. Because of this we ensure that oracy is a focus in every lesson and weekly Philosophy lessons are used to support the children in sharing their ideas and the skills needed for class discussions.
Our Text Led Curriculum gives an overview of texts studied in each year group and the genres that should be taught in each half term. The texts are carefully chosen to provide a rich, varied diet for the children and provide more opportunities for cross curriculum learning. This helps the children to hear vocabulary in different contexts across the curriculum. The Text Led Curriculum covers 7 genres that are repeated throughout the school year and across the school. This allows the children to develop the skills needed to write in each genre effectively and ensure progression.
Poems are also suggested for each year group to fit into the curriculum, with key poems expected to be learned off by heart.
Phased planning is used to plan for the units of work outlined in The Text Led Curriculum. This involves three phases of learning that centre around exploring and text; immersion, analysis and application.
Planning a unit this way helps us to think more about the big picture and where the children are heading without missing any of the gaps or steps to learning in between.
To support the development of writing skills we follow a handwriting scheme (Excellence in Handwriting) that involves x3 weekly handwriting lessons in KS2 and Daily lessons in Reception and KS1. As well as teaching the correct letter formation, it also celebrates the children’s progress in presentation and the children develop a sense of pride in their work. The development of fine motor skills is a focus in EYFS and KS1. Interventions are carried out throughout the school for children who need extra support.
Spelling is a focus in all lessons as children develop strategies to help them with spellings. This includes the use of ‘have a go’ sheets, temporary spellings and spelling journals. In addition to this, we also follow a spelling scheme called ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ that provides clear lesson plans for discrete lessons and an overview that ensures progression throughout the school. The focus on revising previous learning in each lesson helps the children to retain previous knowledge and build on their learning.
Staff across the school are trained in specialist interventions such as Word Shark, Colourful Semantics and Wellcomm to help children who need extra support with English.
Impact is measured regularly and in a variety of ways. Our staff are regularly observing and monitoring our children’s progress, ready to intervene when appropriate, planning units of work with the children’s gaps in mind. Progress is measured by the application of writing skills in all parts of the school day and beyond. Writing skills are applied to different purposes so the children are able to consolidate skills and be aware of how they can be used in ‘real life’ situations.
As well as informal observations, we use a variety of more formal assessment tools to monitor the children’s progress in all year groups. We use the comparative judgement ‘No More Marking’ programme to assess the children’s writing by comparing it with writing from over 1,000 schools nationally. This allows us to see clearly and accurately how the children are performing against the national average. We also use a comparative judgement model to moderate writing assessments across year groups and the school. Assuring consistency in writing assessment across the school.
Moderation is also used to complete a gap analysis for each class every half term. This is then used to plan for any extra support needed and quality first teaching that will address these gaps and ensure progress.
Each year group has clear writing expectations that the children should be working at, so that parents, pupils and staff all have a clear understanding on what they should know by the end of the school year.
Our Text Led Curriculum
No Nonsense Spelling Pathway
Excellence in Handwriting