The Learning for Life Proud to be part of The Learning for Life

Writing

 

At Wheelock, the teaching of writing is of paramount importance within a broad, balanced curriculum. Our aim is to ensure that every child is immersed in a vocabulary rich curriculum and develops their skill, accuracy and love of writing through exposure to a range of exemplar texts. This exposure, to a variety of texts from different genres, allows the children at Wheelock to gain knowledge and experience of writing in different styles and for different purposes. Writing is embedded across the curriculum and in all year groups. It is intended that by the end of Year 6, children have developed a love of writing, become confident with the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling and have the ability to edit and improve.

At Wheelock, we set high expectations for our children to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style. It is intended that children leave Wheelock with the confidence to use their skills, knowledge and understanding of different text types and how to construct them, in their future beyond Wheelock. 

 

We use the Read to Write scheme of work to support our teaching of writing across the school from Year 2 to Year 6. 

In Reception and Year 1, the children are follwoing the Read-Write-Ink scheme for Phonics and writing. 

Implementation

In order to create confident writers at Wheelock, we teach writing through the Literacy Counts scheme of work. The scheme, which focuses heavily on the link between reading and writing, is evidence based and made up of units. These units are mapped out so the entire statutory curriculum for writing is covered in each year group. The units of work centre on engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a wealth of writing opportunities. It provides teachers with high-quality literature known as ‘Vehicle texts’. Several of these selected vehicle texts have strong thematic links to Science, History and Geography allowing for great cross-curricular knowledge.

Each unit of work provided includes:

  • Clear Sequential Episodes of Learning
  • Example Texts (greater depth WAGOLL)
  • Learning Objectives that link to the teaching sequence (Immerse, Analyse, Plan Write) 
  • Vocabulary Learning
  • Contextualised Spelling, Grammar & Punctuation
  • Writer’s Knowledge Linked to National Standards
  • Sentence Accuracy Work Linked to National Standards
  • Progressions Documents with Year Group Expectations
  • Reflecting on Unit Outcomes: Planning for Next Steps
  • Example Planning Format
  • Wider Reading for the Wider Curriculum
  • A Wealth of Resources Linked to the National Standards
  • Explicit Links to the National Curriculum

 

Teachers model the process of writing within every Literacy lesson. Working walls and washing lines are used to support children with their writing. During the lessons, teachers will think out loud, edit and demonstrate how and why they are structuring their writing in the way they have. Children participate in shared writes where everyone contributes to the writing outcome. Before the start of a unit, children undertake a ‘Cold Task’. This is to inform teachers’ planning and enable gaps in knowledge to be identified and effectively planned for. At the end of the unit, children then undertake a ‘Hot task’ this is used as an assessment piece to identify learning outcomes and progress acquired.

The teaching of grammar and punctuation is an integral part of writing at Wheelock. This is taught through Literacy Counts units of work and as discreet lessons. This allows children to gain more confidence and practice previously taught skills. Although spelling is part of many units of work in writing, it is also taught outside of Literacy lessons. The main strategy to enable children to become more confident with their spellings was the implementation of Spelling Shed. This has been implemented throughout the school from KS1-UKS2. Children are set weekly spellings to practise and these are also taught throughout the week as part of handwriting sessions. Children enjoy the engaging nature of the programme and its child friendly lay out. It is also easily accessed from home. This is beneficial for parents to see what their child is learning and their target spellings moving forward.

The children at Wheelock are set high expectations for their handwriting and presentation. We aim for children to be proud of their work and confident that it is eligible with a neat, cursive style. This is enforced daily by taught handwriting sessions. These take place across the school. Children are taught how to form the letters of the alphabet accurately, how to join letters and the importance of ascending and descending letters. Handwriting examples are placed in each classroom and extra support is given to children who have difficulty with their fine motor skills. Children in KS2 are also given the opportunity to write in pen when they are confident in the formation of their letters. This is something the children strive for.

 

Impact

  • Children have gained sustained learning and transferrable skills in writing.
  • Children are more confident when writing independently.
  • Children are more familiar with different genres and have a growing understanding of what is needed to structure them.
  • Greater understanding of grammar and punctuation and able to use these across the wider curriculum.
  • The use of Cold and Hot tasks allows assessment of children’s progress.
  • More children achieving Greater Depth in writing by the end of KS2.
  • Children have been exposed to a variety and vast amount of high quality literature, which they have then used as inspiration for their own writing.
  • An improvement in spelling across the school
  • Regular book scrutinies informs senior leaders of the impact of literacy Counts and how it is being implemented throughout the school.

 

We hope that as the children move on from Wheelock Primary Schools to further their learning, that their creativity, passion for Literacy and high aspirations travel with them.