Writing Curriculum Statement
Our aim is that all children:
- are excited and motivated to read, write and express themselves;
- are explicitly taught vocabulary so they have the knowledge and words to be highly effective communicators
- are provided with a rich, imaginative and aspirational curriculum;
- are exposed to a wide-variety of high-quality literature;
- build and internalise a bank of stories that support them in developing their imagination, vocabulary, writing techniques and confidence;
- are taught phonics, spelling and grammar that is contextualised within the art of writing;
- are exposed to high-quality shared and guided reading and writing, modelling the skills and techniques of being a confident reader and writer;
- receive informative and motivational feedback in order to move them on developmentally, as well as motivationally as readers and writers.
At St. Nicholas-at-Wade, our aim is that all children love English within our learning community and are excited to read, write and express themselves. In order to be successful within English, we follow Talk for Writing (TFW) as a whole-school cumulative and systematic process for the teaching of English.
At the heart of Talk for Writing is the principle that schools should increase the amount children read and are read to; a principle that we passionately believe in. Through their time at St. Nicholas-at-Wade , children gradually build their bank of well-known texts, supplemented by picture books, novels, poems and non-fiction books. We ensure that all children experience success and that the English curriculum equips our children for their future lives.
At St. Nicholas-at-Wade, children are immersed in Talk for Writing from EYFS to Year 6. Its three phases (Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application) mean that children are explicitly taught how to write specific story types (e.g. warning tales) and how to create certain effects (e.g. suspense) in their writing.
Teachers act as expert models of the writing process in daily shared writing sessions and there are regular opportunities for children’s writing and ideas to be shared, displayed, published and celebrated so that children develop a sense of being the best they can be. The end goal of the teaching of any writing should be to develop children into successful independent writers, and so at the end of each 'unit' - once all of the teaching, modelling and internalisation of knowledge has taken place - there is an opportunity for children to produce a final, independent piece of work.
Grammar is taught explicitly through Talk for Writing units, as research shows that knowledge is best internalised when taught within a familiar context. Writing is a primary means of expression, both for personal cognitive purposes and for communicating meaning with others. Pupils learn how to write with confidence, fluency, imagination and accuracy by orchestrating their knowledge of context and composition (text level), grammatical knowledge (sentence level) and knowledge of phonics, word recognition and graphic knowledge (word level).
We provide a wide variety of reasons and purposes for writing and in the early years provide many opportunities for child initiated and role-play writing. As soon as children are able to form most letters correctly and have a good pencil grip, we teach a cursive, fluent and legible handwriting style that empowers children to write with confidence and creativity in line with our ‘Handwriting Policy’. We encourage children to ‘have a go’ at writing as soon as possible and to use their phonic skills and knowledge to spell.
The impact of the approach we use to teach writing is that children at St. Nicholas-at-Wade see themselves as successful authors. They are confident and successful writers and aspire to being the best that they can be. Our children are confident in using the spoken and written word as a means of communication. They are able to speak articulately using the vocabulary they have learnt in their texts and this in turn impacts the vocabulary in their writing.
The Talk for Writing units always start with a hook that will enthuse the children and immerse them in the story or genre. These opportunities include drama, art work, trips, role play, ICT opportunities, animals in school and many more. Within the units there are also many opportunities given to enrich the children’s experiences further. Real life objects, video stimulus and art is all used to increase the children’s experience and grow their imagination. It is important that all possibilities are opened up to children so that their story writing becomes increasingly creative.
SEND and Disadvantaged pupils
The Talk for Writing approach is inclusive by design and allows all children to access the writing curriculum. The actions and focus on learning stories before writing means that all children are able to access the same texts. At the heart of this approach lies the philosophy that we ensure all children experience success through the quality first teaching of writing. Adaptations are made at all stages to scaffold the children to achieve and succeed.
How do we teach spelling?
Year 2 and KS2 Spelling is taught through Spelling Shed.
Spelling Shed’s approach to spelling involves the relationship between sounds and written symbols as well as using morphology to help spell through meaning.
The carefully selected word lists and engaging activities provide opportunities to incorporate phonics and meaning to strengthen spelling skills and build vocabulary acquisition.
Please see our parents page on the website for recordings of Reading Workshops.