At Cardinham School, writing is a crucial part of our curriculum and is taught using the Talk for Writing model. We understand the strong and vital link between reading and writing and as such, a rich variety of texts are at the core of our writing curriculum. All children from Reception to Year 6 are taught to use the skills they learn in reading to help with their writing. They are given regular opportunities to write both in English lessons and across the curriculum. Our intention is for pupils to be able to both read as a reader where they focus on the vocabulary, grammar and comprehension but also to read as a writer focusing on the author’s crafting of language and use of literacy devices. We believe that this will enhance their skills when it comes to composition and effect and use of grammar and vocabulary. We want children to see the purpose of the role of the writer and as such, we try to give opportunities for meaningful outcomes for the children’s writing especially through the wider curriculum where the children write leaflets, instructions for others to follow, letters and information texts often for other classes or the community. We also take time to give the children the chance to explore their own interests and they are given time to work on personal projects alongside the units being taught in response to our class text.
Above is the rolling programme of Talk for Writing texts along with the non-fiction focus. A unit of work follows the imitate, innovate and invent process of Talk for Writing. Punctuation and Grammar is taught in the context of the story that the children are learning as an ‘explore’ focus that usually lasts between 3 and 4 lessons. Teachers keep track of the punctuation and grammar focus to ensure the national curriculum is being covered. Pupils are provided with opportunities to write in the wider curriculum on a half termly basis. Children from the Summer Term in Year 1 and taught to spelling using the Spelling Shed scheme. Spellings are sent home for pupils to learn but these are also recapped in school as part of ‘sentence of the day’.
The Writing curriculum is evaluated through:
• Monitoring of the quality of writing in English takes place through books scrutiny sessions, observations, pupil conferencing and moderation sessions.
• Summative assessment takes place each term formally with assessments also made half termly to inform planning and interventions. Teachers also attend moderation sessions in staff meetings and where possible with other schools and within TPAT. Teachers in Y2 and Y6 attend training sessions and moderation sessions through the year.
Children enjoy talking about their writing – about its construction, purpose and effect on the reader. They are confident to share their writing with staff, children and parents alike and parents are complimentary about the stamina and standard of writing throughout the school. As a result of the explicit teaching of writing skills, cross-curricular writing is of the same standard as writing completed in literacy units. All writing is planned with a clear intention and audience and editing ensures that writing is presented at its best. Children achieve well at the end of both Key stages and leave Cardinham with a secure understanding of writing and are well prepared to meet the needs of a challenging secondary curriculum and the expectations of writing across all subjects.