Writing at George Carey Primary School
At George Carey, our intention for our EYFS and KS1 pupils is to learn to enjoy their writing. This is because we want our pupils to love writing and for this to remain with them throughout their time at George Carey. As the pupils move into KS2, our intent is for our children to maintain their love of writing but also be successful in their everyday writing across all subjects. We want our pupils to recognise that writing is an important life skill that they will take into adulthood.
Talk for Writing approach
George Carey uses the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach which was developed by Pie Corbett. It supports a spoken language curriculum aimed to develop confident speakers through the oral recital of stories, poems and non-fiction texts. Within the taught units, pupils are given opportunities to articulate their thought processes and ‘talk’ the text.
What is Talk for Writing?
The ‘Talk for Writing’ approach promotes the imitation and innovation of sentence work and uses the familiarity of taught language structures, so that pupils can use these ideas alongside their own to create independent pieces of writing (Hot tasks).
Exposure to high quality texts develops both reading and writing skills. Children experience shared texts and text maps which they can re-tell orally. Vocabulary is taught and links are made through other areas of the curriculum. Children are encouraged to ‘magpie’ vocabulary from texts as a tool to improving writing. As the pupils progress up the school, they are expected to use skills such as proof reading, editing, re-drafting and peer assessment as a means to improve their writing.
Writing in EYFS
Pupils will mark make, use taught sounds to write captions and sentences to develop as an early writer. This lays the foundation for enjoying their writing and being successful writers of the future. Pupils will engage with a range of genres to support their writing skills.
Writing in KS1 and 2
Throughout both key stages, the children complete poetry, fiction and non-fiction units. Throughout a unit of work, the children are taught the relevant writing skills for each genre, which culminates in an independent piece of writing.
I am a Clever Writer approach
Following a successful trial with Y2 in Autumn 2022; EYFS, Y5 and Y6 have engaged with the ‘I am a Clever Writer’ approach which advocates using Assessment for Learning to inform the next steps in teaching writing. Greater emphasis is placed on breaking down the National Curriculum objectives to be taught progressively in order for the children to make accelerated progress. Embedding previously taught skills is vital to ensure that the children write with confidence when completing their Hot write tasks (independent writing pieces) in KS1 and 2 classes.
Live marking is an integral part of the process so that the children receive instant feedback, understand what they have done well and what they need to develop.
The remainder of the year groups will begin this approach during the latter part of Spring 2023.
Spoken language is an essential area of the curriculum that dovetails into reading and writing, with all 3 strands of English closely intertwined. Spoken language begins in EYFS with the Prime Area of Communication and Language. Pupils are encouraged to make valuable contributions during teaching time, target time and through the outdoor provision. These experiences are built upon in KS1 and 2, with pupils using their expanding range of vocabulary to explain their ideas with greater clarity and speak for a range of purposes.
Spelling, grammar and punctuation
Pupils are taught these through discrete sessions (KS2 only) and also through the process of modelled writing where these skills are modelled to the children. The expectation is that pupils will apply these skills in their everyday writing.
The pupils at George Carey are taught patterns, letter formations and further up the school, the joins needed to develop a fluent handwriting style. Pupils are taught good handwriting ‘habits’ such as the 3P’s (good posture, pen hold and paper position).
The children in all phases are taught the skills and knowledge that they need to be writers who can work independently. Pupils are taught in a progressive manner, with regards to both skills and writing genres. Progression is planned for in all areas of the English curriculum – from spoken language, reading, writing skills (for example adjectives and rich vocabulary, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and clauses, tenses, speech, sentences and punctuation), spelling and handwriting (see separate documents).
SEND and Inclusion
All pupils are taught through quality first teaching. Pupils are supported through adaptive teaching which may take the form of word mats or banks, sentence stems, picture prompts or colourful semantics cards, as a few examples. These adaptions are necessary to help all children access their learning and work as independently as possible.
Pupils that require further support will be selected to attend intervention sessions to reinforce key skills which they are expected to apply in their everyday writing.
Writing at home
Writing is an essential lifelong skill that is required in school and into adulthood. It is the aim that children develop a love of writing that extends beyond the classroom.
Children can practise and use their skills at home through writing:
- football match reports
- shopping lists
- sports reports
- a recount of event that took place
- a diary entry
- instructions for a game
- instructions for making a craft project
Some ideas and activities for supporting your child with their writing and improving their spelling and grammar skills are attached (see PowerPoint).
The English Lead also sets regular topical writing activities on School Story on Dojo which should be sent into school, posted into the post box and will be displayed for others to enjoy reading.
Please encourage your child to get involved!