Here at Willow Tree we believe all our children have the right to leave school able to write coherently, listen actively and respond confidently. We believe writing is a creative process and we always aim to fuel their imagination. Our aim at Willow Tree is to encourage children to be independent writers for a range of audiences and purposes across different text types. We understand that writing begins in the reading process and we always aim to expose children to a range of high quality texts which are updated on a regular basis to ensure engagement. The foundation of a good writer begins with the art of handwriting. This begins in Early Years with the development of fine and gross motor skills. These important skills are then further developed by children learning to correctly form letters and space words effectively to communicate meaning. As children develop their fluency with writing, they are encouraged to join writing so that it becomes quicker and less onerous a task for them.
At Willow Tree we teach writing every day and we teach a curriculum which allows every child to progress with their writing.
The Emergent Writer and Read, Write, Inc
We recognise that play and use of imagination is a fundamental part of a child’s development. In the writing process we use play and real life situations to generate writing independently or with a teacher and encourage children to mark make as part of continuous provision and outdoor provision within the Early Years setting.
Once children have mastered these skills the Read, Write Inc programme allows children to develop further. Daily lessons which incorporate sentence structure, punctuation and spelling are delivered with a focus on holding a sentence, building a sentence and finally writing a sentence independently and using these to compose a short piece of writing.
There are further opportunities for children to develop their skills learnt in Read, Writ Inc in cross curricula writing when it is appropriate.
The Developing Writer
As children become more confident with the writing process we encourage them to plan and edit their writing. The planning stage involves looking at language rich texts to stimulate ideas and imagination together with building vocabulary through various activities such as drama. Develop skills to construct more sophisticated sentences including the associated punctuation. We encourage children to write purposefully by considering who the writing is for and what kind of language would that person use.
After the planning stage is completed children will independently, using their planning, produce a piece of writing. Children are then encouraged to edit any sections they feel need improvement.
The Accomplished Writer
Our accomplished writers are encouraged to use a much wider variety of sentence structures and punctuation independently. Children are expected to plan writing with a more conscious focus on who they are writing for and why they are writing. They are required to think beyond the texts they are reading by engaging their imaginations and thinking about ideas from a different points of view. They continue to develop their stamina for writing by engaging with longer writing experiences.
During editing, children are also given the opportunity to offer constructive feedback to their peers. Ultimately, we aim to support children through the writing process to produce a cohesive, well thought out and engaging piece of writing.
Spelling and Handwriting
We know the importance of these areas of writing and we teach these within lessons and we also follow the ‘No Nonsense Spelling programme’ from Years 2-6.
Every year group has a selection of texts they can immerse children into. These texts are vocabulary rich and expose children to language they may not be familiar with in their daily lives allowing them to become better writers. We actively encourage children to use vocabulary they meet in their reading in their writing.
Assessment and Marking
Writing assessment is ongoing throughout every lesson to help teachers with their planning, lesson activities, targeted pupil support and enable appropriate challenge to all children. Pupils are given detailed feedback and next steps to respond to in order to personalise learning and provide the children with opportunities to edit and improve their own writing. This is done in a variety of ways from verbal feedback, conferencing with the teacher, peer to peer editing and page to mark strategies.
Monitoring takes place throughout the year by the Subject Leaders through monitoring books, learning walks and consultation with pupils. Further to this, teachers take part in moderation with other teachers in their year group and across phases.
The main intended impact of our delivery of Writing is that all pupils enjoy writing across a range of genres, can write for a range of purposes and audiences, and become confident and effective communicators. They will amass a varied vocabulary that they can use across the curriculum and can apply spelling rules and grammatical concepts in their work. We also aim to ensure that our pupils are proud of their writing and have opportunity to see it on display. Looking forward, we intend that by the end of Year 6 most children are meeting ARE and are ready for the secondary curriculum.