Forrest View

English - Writing

Forest View’s vision is for children to be exposed to a wide variety of genres using authentic models rich in vocabulary and content.

What is our approach to Writing?

Pupils start mark making from an early age with our Early Years developing the gross and fine motor skills needed for pen control through fine motor workshops. In Reception and Key Stage 1, pupils learn letter formation alongside letter sounds through the Read, Write Inc. programme and start forming words and short sentences.

The teaching of writing in school focuses on individual genres which are linked to the whole school curricular topics that are being taught during the term such as history, geography and science and enriched by Whole Class Reading and class books.  Across the course of the year, children will be exposed to and write both non-fiction and fictional texts.  For example, non-chronological reports will tend to be linked to a history topic so that the children can also learn historical facts at the same time as learning how to write in a particular style or for a particular purpose. All units of work in English will finish with a high quality written outcome where children are assessed at how well they have learnt that style of writing, making sure that they have included all the relevant elements associated with that particular genre. Children at Forest View are expected to write every day and in depth (appropriate to their age) at least once a week.

We believe that developing a handwriting style we can be proud of, is an important life skill worth securing early on. Progression starts with securing correct letter formation, moving to a pre-cursive style before moving on to fluent joining.

The children take part in four, 20-minute high-quality spelling sessions each week. They are assessed regularly to check their progress and are grouped accordingly. We teach spelling using the Ruth Miskin Spelling Programme ‘Read Write Inc.’ 

Using a ‘backward planning’ model, teachers create a model text and text map that is shared with children. Lessons are sequenced enabling new skills to be taught and practiced or re-visited and consolidated. We use our writing ladders, which follow the national curriculum expectations for each year group, to ensure progression of skills. Opportunities are planned into lesson sequences for children to provide peer feedback, and for children to use that feedback to improve their writing. Opportunities are planned into lesson sequences for children to respond to the teacher’s marking and use it to re-draft and improve their writing pieces.

At Forest View, 'speaking and listening' is integrated into all subjects. Pupils are taught from the first day to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using standard English and full sentences. During key stage 1 pupils learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say, beginning to engage with each other’s answers. We ensure that children have the opportunity to work with partners, in small groups and as a class, joining in with, and developing the discussion. Children learn how to listen carefully to what other people are saying, so that they can remember the main points and respond to one another in a polite and respectful manner. 

Debating in Upper Key Stage two begins to develop children’s ability to reason and justify their own thoughts as well as to engage with the thoughts of others, evaluate and negotiate.

The school has a range of writing and speech and language interventions both formal and informal that staff can use with any child who may be working below age-related expectations (ARE), at risk of falling behind their peers or who show potential to achieve the higher greater depth standard.  Specific staff have been trained in delivering and running these programs with the children.

What does our approach to Writing look like in the classroom?

  • English lessons encompass grammar, editorial, composition and transcription.
  • Each unit focusses on a specific genre which builds up to an extended purposeful piece of writing.
  • Often the extended piece of writing is published, using ICT and written skills.
  • Previously taught skills are consolidated and new skills are taught.
  • Books show progress across the year in terms of content and presentation.
  • All writing work is recorded in one ‘Topic’ book each term with an explicit book for handwriting and spelling.
  • Each unit provides an opportunity for children to produce an extended piece of writing, drawing on skills learned in English and using knowledge gained in topic lessons.
  • In KS2 teachers use the Alan Peat sentence types to ensure a range of sentence types are being used.
  • Children have their own learning packs which include examples and prompts of the skills they need to use.

 How do we measure success in Writing?

  • Outcomes at the end of each assessment window and end point.
  • Children will be enthused about their writing and write for a purpose.
  • External and cluster moderation ensure judgements are accurate.

Useful Documents: