Intent: What we aim
At Marsh Green Primary School, we know and understand our pupils and as a result we have created a diverse curriculum that encourages them to write in a range of genres and for different purposes. We provide our pupils with rich and varied learning opportunities that help them to become confident and enthusiastic learners and communicators. The importance of clear speech, the ability to convey ideas fluently, confidence to ask questions and the development of vocabulary is consistently practised across our curriculum. Encouragement is given to enable our pupils to become enthusiastic and engaged with writing leading to independently expressed thoughts and opinions in class discussions.
Our English Curriculum teaches our pupils the importance of and connections between, their speaking and listening, reading, and writing. We provide exciting writing opportunities related to both quality texts and creative ‘Big Writing Missions’ (all of which led to engaging, exciting, purposeful practice). By articulating ideas before writing, our pupils can focus more on their planning, drafting, proof reading, editing and ultimately their writing composition.
Implementation: How do we achieve our aims?
We use quality texts (traditional, modern, and culturally diverse) and related creative ‘Big Writing Missions’ to provide varied and exciting opportunities for writing and in turn develop writing skills. The importance of written work is promoted by providing a purpose for writing and opportunities for pupil’s writing to be read aloud and listened to by an audience. This is evident in EYFS, KS1 and in KS2 through a range of writing outcomes that solidify understanding of text types and enhance skills in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence construction.
Our teachers set high expectations for writing, and they model as well as utilise written models to demonstrate how to plan, draft, edit and construct each genre, prior to expecting pupils to do so. Pupils also engage in effective success and improvement writing lessons which provoke discussion and allows them to voice their opinion on what has made a piece of writing successful and what could be improved. As a result of this, our pupils confidently write to inform, persuade, entertain, discuss, describe, instruct, and explain.
We share examples of ‘Star of the Week Writing’ in our key stage assemblies, where pupil’s writing is celebrated. We also display excellent pieces of writing in our school environment which give pupils added incentive to produce quality writing for an audience. It is our goal to encourage pupils to see themselves as authors and poets.
Our English Curriculum is focused around both planned teaching sequences using quality texts, and pupil engagement in related 'Big Writing Missions' over the school year.
Our Curriculum promotes a high standard of language and literacy by equipping our pupils with a strong command of both the spoken and written word. It helps to develop their love of literature through reading for enjoyment, the building of their own vocabulary through the study of language and structure of various texts, their ability to convey meaning through a range of genres as well as their ability to recognise successes and edit, review, and make improvements.
Our intent and implementation in turn, allows for the intended impact of the development of our pupils as writers and overall improved outcomes for all.
English Curriculum Quality Text Overview
Teach Through a Text Planning / Writing Sequence
Big Writing Adventures
Big Writing and Big Talk is a highly effective method aimed at helping children to improve their writing. It was developed by Ros Wilson and is the development of the ‘writing voice’ through fast, fun, lively and predominantly oral activities.
It is based upon the premise: ‘IF A CHILD CAN SAY IT, A CHILD CAN WRITE IT.’
'Big Writing Adventures' is an exciting writing programme, based on the Ros Wilson Big Writing initiative which allows children to practice skills and apply them in a range of different contexts. 'Big Writing Adventures' is based in an engaging on-line world, in which characters present a series of ‘Writing Missions’. This puts purpose and audience at the heart of learning to be a great writer.
At Marsh Green Primary, this programme provides between four and five writing missions for each year group from Y1 to Y6 (with elements of Big Talk used in Nursery and Reception). Each mission offers a new writing challenge and a clear learning sequence to ensure progression, with grammar, punctuation and vocabulary teaching embedded throughout. Every two weeks the pupils are given a longer period of time in order to do an extended piece of writing. Prior to the session, the children will have taken part in a range of speaking, listening, and writing activities which will feed directly into the Big Write session. The night before their Big Write, they take home Big Talk homework to discuss with their parents. This helps them to mentally prepare for their session, providing them with ideas to stimulate their writing. Partnered talk and drama techniques like roleplay, hot-seating conscience alleys and role on the wall are also explored to enhance pupil’s spoken language. Teachers are provided with thorough planning that recaps previous learning, assumes what children can already do and outlines what children will learn. There are weekly overviews and outcomes so that teachers and leaders can closely monitor the expectations.
Each classroom environment consists of a wide range of magpied vocabulary which engages pupils with new words. They are encouraged to decipher these words and use them when speaking and writing, both informally and formally.
Children explore a range of poetry types in KS1 and KS2 as part of their Big Writing missions. There is a focus on solidifying understanding of poetic techniques, enhancing skills, crafting poetry, performing and appreciating poems.
Handwriting sessions are regularly incorporated into our English lessons and there is also discrete, regular, targeted handwriting practice using the Nelson Handwriting scheme in EYFS as well as throughout both key stages. This handwriting is reinforced through teacher modelling.
We encourage all children to participate in Writing competitions throughout the academic year as this gives pupils a sense of achievement and fulfilment, something that we are a huge advocate of. We have developed and participated in a range of extra activities which are used to promote English within the school including: World Book Day, The Story of Me Project (Y2).
Impact: How will we know we have achieved our aims?
There will be consistency in teaching and learning across the school with access for all pupils. Writing books, learning walks and lesson observations will show evidence of clear teaching sequences with scaffolded activities utilising images and writing frames for SEND pupils. By the time pupils leave Marsh Green Primary and transition to secondary school, we will see a confidence and pride in their work. Pupils will be adventurous with their vocabulary and able to apply it to both reading and writing. They will skilfully and effectively articulate their opinions, show understanding of the writing process, and comprehend the purpose behind it. All the above will enable our pupils to continue to make good progress in KS3.