Writing is an integral part of our curriculum and all children from the Foundation Stage to Year 2 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. It is our intention that pupils foster the enjoyment of writing for a wide range of purposes, recognise the value of writing and develop a clear understanding of the writing process in order to establish themselves as an author in their own right. Our book-led approach to literacy fosters pupils’ interest in writing, stimulates creativity and offers a reason and a context that enables the children to write for purpose and audience.
We aim to provide our pupils with a wide range of opportunities for the development of a rich vocabulary, to support their understanding of the systems and structures of English grammar and the effective use of Standard English. We foster the application of accurate spelling strategies in our pupils and the development of capable cursive handwriting skills. We intend to develop our pupils’ knowledge of the structure and features of different genres, to develop their skills in planning, evaluating and editing their writing and encourage accurate and meaningful writing, be it narrative or non-fiction.
At Rowena we believe in the importance of providing a purpose and a context to our writing and that writing is enhanced when pupils possess a love for reading. In English lessons and Reading Detectives, pupils study a range of high-quality text including non-fiction, stories, poetry and play scripts in various formats. These texts are used to support the development of comprehension skills, grammar and punctuation knowledge, writing structure and the key features of different genre. Writing opportunities are derived from this and children are supported in transferring the features of a studied text into their own writing.
At Rowena Academy, we strive to enrich the curriculum wherever possible and first hand experiences are used to inspire our pupils and provide the necessary purpose for writing. In Reception pupils write a home school diary detailing Barnaby Bear’s weekend activity. Regular out of school visits are organised in each year group and published authors are invited into school, as we at Rowena believe that pupils who are provided with a reason for writing demonstrate flair and effective writing composition, leading to high quality outcomes.
We develop writing skills so that our pupils have the stamina and ability to write at the age expected standard. To support children in moving towards independent writing we use a variety of teaching and learning approaches including modelled, shared and guided writing, independent writing, peer editing and discussion. We use talk to encourage pupils to express their thoughts, exchange ideas and to develop more sophisticated vocabulary. Our children are taught in classes, small groups or individually, according to their needs, within the framework of the National Curriculum.
Children are supported with a variety of resources to aid their independence when writing, such as word banks, phonic resources, dictionaries and thesauruses. Children use ICT in English lessons where it enhances their learning, such as in drafting their work and in using the internet for research. Wherever possible, we encourage children to use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum, and will often use incidental opportunities to teach and reinforce writing skills in other subject areas.
The importance of good handwriting and correctly formed letters is instilled in our children throughout school, starting in Nursery with the development of fine motor skills through the ‘Squiggle While you Wiggle’ programme. Discrete handwriting sessions in Key stage 1 help children to progress towards the development of a cursive style.