At St Gabriel’s the Teaching & Learning policy specifies that in writing lessons, pupils:
Get adequate opportunities for extended writing. The policy ensures that each pupil writes at length at least three times per week, as well as undertaking planning, editing and publishing of their writing.
Benefit from a writing curriculum that it is personalised to the pupils in each class. At the start of the year (and throughout) teachers undertake a pupil voice survey to ascertain pupils interests and knowledge. The Medium term plans for literacy reflect these as much as possible with teachers planning pieces of writing within each genre that is studied, based on these areas of interest.
Have daily access to high-pitched success criteria so that learning and progress are scaffolded and pupils are stretched in their writing. High pitched success criteria have been developed by teaching staff over the past two years and are consistent across the school.
Are taught sentence construction and the use of high level punctuation explicitly from an early age.
Benefit from inspiration and excitement as an aid to writing. There is an an inspiration lesson for all pupils at the start of each genre (every three weeks). These lessons inspire the pupils, and already this year pupils have discovered “alien eggs” within the school; interviewed teams of builders; visited Brick Lane and the East End to study street art; made a storytelling tent; visited the Tower of London and interviewed Fireman.
Have the opportunity to study different genres of writing for a period of three weeks and then revisit that genre each year. Pupils are also exposed to writing non-fiction texts from an early age and there is an equal balance in the school between writing of fiction and non-fiction texts.
Are explicitly taught English grammar. We also teach lessons which relate to the use of grammar and follow a clear spelling programme. This relates to the spelling sound, pattern, prefix or suffix which has been taught in the week.
How do we teach handwriting?
At St Gabriel’s we have high expectations for handwriting in all subjects.
In Reception the children are taught to form letters correctly. In year One the children are encouraged to write on the line, begin to make their handwriting smaller, using finger spaces so that their work can be clearly read. In Year One and Two the children who are ready are taught how to join up their writing and by the end of Year Two it is expected that most children will be joining up in all their work.
In Key Stage Two the aim is for all children to be writing in a neat joined-up style. Children who achieve this receive a pen, which we hope is achieved by the end of Year 3.