At Oakwood Junior School, we understand the importance of a broad, balanced and rich English curriculum, which develops the skills needed for writing across the curriculum and for future life. Throughout the teaching of English, a range of genres and high-quality texts are promoted and studied to inspire writing and reading for pleasure. We are dedicated to encouraging all children to become passionate and confident writers and seize opportunities with confidence and aim high, whilst they take pride in their work. Children have the opportunity to learn from each other through cooperative learning, giving them opportunities to communicate ideas and emotions and delve into their imaginations together.
The aims of teaching writing in our school are to develop pupils who:
- are passionate about writing
- show achievement and progress in reading and writing
- use and understand language as speakers, readers and writers
- are confident and independent in making language choices in their writing
- are aware of the audience of their writing
- are aware of the purpose of their writing
- apply taught grammar in their writing
- apply phonics and spelling knowledge to their writing
- apply their English learning to all other areas of the curriculum.
All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have additional support or work that is different from their peers in order to access the curriculum, dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.
At Oakwood Junior School, our school provides daily writings lessons through the CUSP Unity Curriculum which allows the progression of skills across all year groups.
We follow a sequence of lessons which give children the chance to explore quality texts and pieces of writing, explore the structure of different genres and text types, and the writerly tools used to construct such texts. Grammar is taught during this sequence of lessons and children are provided with opportunities to recognise this in context and apply it for themselves in writing through shared and independent writing sessions. Throughout this process, teachers model these skills and work cooperatively with pupils to create shared pieces of writing. These pieces of shared writing are displayed and working walls are used to support independent application and show the value placed on writing.
CUSP Writing centres around vocabulary and developing vocabulary in writing. Using high-quality texts, teachers can model selecting good vocabulary which could be used later within their own writing. In addition to this, key vocabulary (including Tier 2 and Tier 3 words) is selected by teachers and displayed, to support the learning of new words. Children will be provided with opportunities to deepen understanding of vocabulary and activate their learning.
The pupils have daily spelling lessons using polysyllabic lessons provided by Sounds and Syllables. All children are provided with a set of spellings to practise for homework weekly and, at the end of that week, they have dictation to assess their spellings. All children are exposed to the same spelling words in class, with additional interventions provided for children who need it.
Handwriting sessions are taught regularly across the school and we follow Letterjoin. The children have separate handwriting books to practise during these sessions, however they are expected to continue this style of handwriting in all books.
At Oakwood Junior School, we want children to be passionate about writing and be proud of the writing they produce, knowing that it is valued.
Live verbal feedback is used on a daily basis in classrooms and informs future planning of lessons and focus groups. Short-burst writing and shared writing sessions allow teachers to identify children who require further scaffolding and this is planned and implemented before the final, independent application in a unit of work.
Formal assessments for writing are completed using the Staffordshire Teacher Assessment Grids where a range of writing will be assessed three times a year. These assessed pieces will include both Fiction and Non-Fiction, meaning children are writing for a range of purposes and for different audiences.
The analysis of these assessments allows teachers to plan to children’s needs and establish further teaching opportunities in following units of work. This data also informs the subject action plan for writing, providing the subject leader with clear areas of focus.
In-house moderation is completed termly to clarify teacher judgements for writing. SLT and the subject leader lead this moderation.
At the end of KS2, teachers use the Teacher Assessment Framework to report teacher assessment for writing. The quality of teaching and learning is monitored through pupil progress meetings, learning walks and pupil book studies. In addition, continuity and progression across the school is monitored by the subject leader, as is the implementation and impact of CUSP. The subject leader forms a subject action plan to identify actions intended to raise standards and evaluates this termly.