Writing curriculum at Branston C of E Infant Academy
At Branston Cof E Infant Academy, we provide the children with the skills to be able to write in a variety of different genres, develop a love of writing and expressing their own ideas creatively. Through their learning journey, children learn to write for a range of purposes and a range of audiences. We create learning opportunities so that the children’s writing has a ‘real’ focus: they know who their intended audience is and why they are writing. Children are encouraged to always take pride in their writing too.
We strive to help our children develop into articulate and imaginative communicators, who are well-equipped with the basic skills they need to be successful writers and view themselves as authors. Our English lessons are centred around a text-based approach which links closely to the way in which reading is taught across the school. Careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful: where possible linking our reading, writing and the topic that we are covering. We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning. In both EYFS and KS1, we help to develop the children’s oracy and spoken language so that they have the vocabulary and grammar skills orally before they begin to write.
In the initial stages of EYFS, children are encouraged to mark make and give meaning to those marks that they make. Children work with teachers and support staff to develop their gross and fine motor skills which are the crucial foundation blocks to writing. As the year progresses, children use the phonics which they have learnt to write words and sentences. The extended provision in the classroom provides the children to practice these new skills in their play.
Our whole school vision shapes our Key Stage 1 curriculum. It aims to support and enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, and to flourish to become the best that they can be. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning and progression for all children.
We aim to provide children with the necessary literacy tools to be able to write an array of text types with clarity and engagement for the reader. Our English lessons are based around high quality texts which the children explore and use to inspire them for their own writing. Grammar, punctuation and spelling strategies (including phonics) are both discreetly taught and interwoven into the children’s learning. Teachers both model and share write with the pupils to address specific focuses. Working walls are used to provide a scaffold to the children’s writing too.
Once children have successful completed the Read, Write, inc programme in Year 2, they move onto daily spelling lessons. The spelling sessions incorporate the teaching and revision of common exception words/statutory words and spelling rule/pattern words as well as new spelling rules. Spellings and the rules are revised throughout the year in order for the children to successfully learn them. Informal assessment and low-stakes testing takes place at regular intervals during the course of the year so that the class teacher knows which particular spellings need to be revised. Within the spelling sessions appropriate technical vocabulary is taught, used and applied such as prefix, suffix, root word, homophone. Children are consistently given opportunities to apply their learning about rules/patterns to unknown words.
What is the impact of learning these skills?
The impact on our children is that they become confident writers who enjoy the process of writing and creating a piece of work that can be enjoyed by others. Children are able to write to a high standard across all areas of the curriculum and are able to write for a variety of purposes. In 2019 65.5% of children met the expected standard in at the end of Key Stage 1. We hope that as children move on from us to their next school that their creativity, passion for English continues to flourish.