Writing at St Giles
At St Giles writing is an essential part of our curriculum. We provide opportunities to inspire children, which makes sure they enjoy writing. We teach writing using ‘The St Giles Approach’, employing four main stages in our teaching sequence; immersion, analysis, planning and writing and a high quality fiction, poetry or non-fiction text is used as the vehicle for teaching. We link our writing context to our curriculum topics, finding real life reasons for children’s writing to enthuse them with purpose and audience.
- To develop a positive attitude towards communication and to be able to independently express their emotions and ideas.
- Through our English curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their writing skills will be in the real world.
- By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in writing, we are implementing a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school.
- Staff follow the writing progression documents to create a writing curriculum overview for the year.
- Staff create unit plans that are designed to meet the needs of all the children that they teach. These unit plans are a working document and can be edited based on formative assessment or the outcomes of each taught lesson.
- Learning is adapted to make it as accessible as possible for SEND children.
- DDAT writing grids are used to assess.
Our Teaching Sequence
The ‘St Giles way’ is carefully planned and designed to ensure a consistent and systematic approach to teaching the skills of writing across all cohorts. This ensures that the children have key elements of the process embedded as they transfer to the next year group.
Teachers will plan for immersion activities which are weaved through the study of a text in order to hook and engage the children.
The analysis section of the teaching sequence strengthens the children’s understanding of SPAG, the structure of the text, sentence structure and vocabulary. In this part, lessons will ‘zoom in’ on important elements of the text which the children will need a good understanding of in order to complete their own writing. As the sequence progresses the children are given the opportunity practise the skills needed for their big write which is at the end of the sequence. Certain skills may be taught explicitly in a lesson but will be linked to the text and the final outcome. Children are also exposed to different examples of the focus text and are given the chance to discuss the features, purpose and audience.
Planning is an important part of the process as it gives our children a chance to visualise how their writing will take shape. The style of planning will vary depending on
By this stage the children now have a clear idea of the audience and purpose and have also practised the skills they may use in their genre of writing. They will think carefully about language choice, structure and appropriateness for audience.
Early writing begins as soon as children start at St Giles. In our school, early writing is taught through phonics, where they learn the letter formations and names. This begins with writing letters, CVC words then moving on to short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. As part of ‘The St Giles’ way, the children learn stories and have the chance to tell their own. Children are also encouraged to write independently in continuous provision.
Our Writing Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Pupil discussions about their learning.
- By analysing work in children’s books and matching this to their stage of their learning, based on planning overviews.
- An understanding in pupils of how to compose different genres.
- Assessed reflection of standards achieved against the planned outcomes.
- DDAT writing grids are used when marking each ‘Big Write’ and teachers assess against the standards for each age related expectation.
By the time the children reach the end of our writing curriculum, in Year 6, the children will have experienced a range of quality writing models, quality supporting literature to deepen their schemata for each text type, been exposed to and increased their vocabulary, internalised writerly tools (specific to styles of writing) and composed pieces of writing independently. Evidence of the children’s learning will be recorded in their books. At St Giles, we strive to ensure that children are equipped with the writing skills that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.