At Sandown School, writing is a crucial part of our curriculum. All children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum.
Our intention is for pupils to be able to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. To be able to do this effectively, pupils will focus on developing effective transcription and effective composition. They will also develop an awareness of audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We also intend for pupils to leave school being able to use fluent, legible and speedy handwriting.
- At Sandown School early writing is taught through mark making, then as children begin to follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds they are taught the letter formations and rhymes. They begin with writing (whether using a tool or writing in the air) c-v-c words, moving on to write short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. They are encouraged to write freely and independently in continuous provision.
- From Years 1-6 children are taught using Alan Peat sentence resources and the Michael Tidd ‘Writing For A Purpose’ document for KS1 and KS2. This is to ensure a consistent and systematic approach to teaching the skills of writing across all cohorts.
- The Golden Envelope. Teachers use a cold task three times a year to assess the areas that their children need to be specifically taught. Teachers are aware of the objectives in grammar and text type for their year group, using the Sandown Grids to track progress.
- Teachers assess independent writing and provide verbal and written feedback to pupils. Pupil conferencing is carried out to ensure children are aware of their next steps in writing.
- Teachers moderate writing across the DEALT Academy with regular meetings held across the 7 schools. Year group teachers moderate together. It is expected that teachers will moderate across year groups and cross-phases for data analysis throughout the year internally.
- Spelling Shed is used for continuity to target specific words to specific groups. This is celebrated weekly, with certificates for high performers, rising stars, and for children using their spelling in their written work. There is an expectation that teachers will track back and use the data to address any gaps in knowledge. Year group spelling lists are sent home to parents, and children can log in to their spelling shed account at home. This is used from Foundation Stage to Year 6. The Kent spelling materials are used to assess the children in terms 2, 4 and 6.
- ‘Give it a go’ post-it notes are offered in class for children to try a spelling before looking to peer support, dictionaries or adult support. These can then be displayed on the Editing Rainbow for the benefit of all.
- Editing Rainbow- the Sandown ‘editing rainbow’ is used from years R-6 as a working wall to display and recap SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) for the current topic or term.
- Grammar is taught in KS2 using the Nelson grammar books for discrete lessons. This provides teachers with a useable resource that explains terminology; this also supports teachers’ subject knowledge in this area.
- There is an expectation that all teachers use of grammar is accurate. Any areas of weakness that are identified as a result of independent writing or the Golden Envelope tasks, are taught through modelled text or SPAG starters. Teachers are expected to track back to previous years’ objectives, if this is appropriate.
- Writing across the curriculum is taught by showing the children ‘What a good one looks like’ (WAGOLL) for which a good example is displayed on the pot of gold at the end of the Editing Rainbow. Children then identify the features in the specific text type that is needed e.g. an information text about their learning in history. The children then use this knowledge as a scaffold to write about their learning, as they are familiar with the text type and style of writing needed for that genre.
The writing curriculum is evaluated through:
- Regular checks on the correct writing process being taught, along with the quality of writing in English and curriculum books evaluated by learning walks, drop ins, pupil conferencing and work monitoring, both in school and across the DEALT Academy.
- Summative assessment occurs using the Sandown grids and Spelling Shed/ Kent spelling test data, three times a year, unless the teacher wishes to moderate with the English Lead more frequently. The analysis of this is used to identify areas of development and any children who are not making expected progress.
At Sandown pupils are able to:
- Discuss their learning and progression in writing and use key spelling, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary to improve.
- Show clear editing and communicate thought processes in their literacy skills lessons and big writes.
- Work in a neat and ordered way taking pride in their presentation of writing.
- Enjoy writing for a purpose
- Write using different genres.
- Deliver their own writing confidently to an audience.
When the children leave Sandown School, they will enjoy writing for pleasure, creativity and for a variety of purposes to support them in their further education and life.