Curriculum Leader: Miss Lacey Jenney
At Reynolds Academy, we believe that writing is an essential aspect of the curriculum which will support our children in developing into articulate and imaginative communicators, who are well-equipped with the basic skills that they need in order to become life-long learners. Through the exploration of high-quality texts, pupils from Foundation Stage through to Year 6 become increasingly more knowledgeable about the writing process and become more competent writers. The children develop their skills by exploring a range of genres; building upon their knowledge linked to a chosen text type. In order to achieve this, our children develop their knowledge of genre features, language and effective composition enabling them to apply their understanding across the English curriculum and into other curriculum areas. There are opportunities in other curriculum areas for the children to revisit previously taught units of writing.
Through the editing and revising process, we encourage our children to be reflective learners and to have high expectations of their own writing. As the children reach the end of their time at Reynolds Academy, our aim is that they are competent, enthusiastic writers who have the ability to turn their voices, thoughts, knowledge, opinions and artistry into powerful writing.
What approach do we take to teaching writing? Writing is taught through the use of an overarching text, in the form of a book or a short text, which assists in capturing the children’s love of writing. Where possible and relevant, there should be a purpose to the writing that children produce and children should know what the end goal is. The genres included in the long-term plan for each year group have been selected to ensure that there is progression throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. In addition to this, taught genres are revisited at later dates to ensure that knowledge and skills have been retained. As each genre is being taught, the children are given the opportunity to analyse, explore and respond to examples of those texts. As part of the teaching cycle, children develop specific grammar and composition skills which are age-appropriate and which meet their ongoing needs. Application is key within the teaching of writing; therefore, children have opportunities throughout a sequence of work to apply what they have been learning. Shared writing is used to bridge the jump between the teaching of individual skills and the amalgamation of skills within a piece of writing. Teacher questioning, prompting, paired talk and the use of whiteboards ensure that children are taking an active role in the crafting of a shared piece. It is an expectation that teachers use shared writing as a time to discuss the different components of writing and to model thinking as a writer and thinking as a reader. Vocabulary, examples of techniques and ideas are collected on working walls so that the children have a constant point of reference. They are also encouraged to make full use of additional resources in the classroom. As the children move towards the end product within a unit of work, they are encouraged to carefully plan and develop their ideas in an age-appropriate way. Editing is integral to writing and children are actively encouraged to both peer and self-edit at all stages of the writing process.
We use FFT for teachers and Curriculum Leaders to monitor coverage and track progress across reading. Leaders also carry out regular monitoring to ensure that appropriate sequencing is in place. Teachers use a mixture of the national curriculum, FFT statements and knowledge of the children, in conjunction with our planning to ensure that children develop their knowledge and skills as they move from Early Years through to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. In addition to this, each piece of writing is assessed against the key learning skills decided at the beginning of each unit of work.