“At Burradon, we strive to ensure that all children will have a positive attitude towards the writing process in order to establish themselves as an author in their own right.”
At Burradon Community Primary School we endeavour to create a love for literacy. We want every child to leave us with the skills of an excellent writer who:
In EYFS, writing is addressed through the prime areas of Communication and Language and Physical Development. Opportunities are provided for children to develop their Fine and Gross Motor skills through Dough Disco, Squiggle while you Wiggle as well as malleable and creative activates. Communication and Language opportunities allow the children to verbalise their ideas prior to writing them down in a structured way.
In EYFS, children have the opportunity to explore writing activities through all areas of learning. Children’s early mark making is valued and children are encouraged to bring writing into their play and to give meaning to their marks. They are taught, once ready, to form letters correctly, initially the letters in their names, then moving on to other letters which are taught in specific groups according to their orientation. In FS2, children are taught to use and apply their phonic knowledge independently when writing, giving plausible spellings for new words. Opportunities for writing in EYFS are available in every area of provision (indoors and out).
Shared writing and modelled writing
Shared writing is a whole class activity where the teacher models the writing of a text using a
pre-prepared model text. In shared writing, the children will contribute to the text by suggesting words or sentences to be used when asked to; they can be critical partners for the teacher. The teacher demonstrates how to write and explains the decisions made. S/he will model thinking, rehearsing sentences, writing and re-reading, constantly generating words and ideas. Across the key stages, teachers will focus on the purpose, audience, level of formality, structure and organisation of the text. A particular aspect of spelling or grammar and punctuation work provides an additional focus depending on the objectives and targets being worked on at that time.
In independent writing, the children may have received input from the teacher in shared or modelled writing but the child is left to his/her own devices when the writing takes place. At the end of a unit of work, all children will have completed their own piece of independent writing. Independent writing is supported through the use of dictionaries, word banks, thesauruses, writing frames or plans. Writing has considerable potential to contribute to much wider areas of learning. It is considered important that writing is integrated into different subject areas for the development of skills.
GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling)
At Burradon, we follow Essential Letters and Sounds Phonics programme. In Foundation Stage 1, the children are taught Phase 1. In Foundation Stage 2 children are taught Phases 2 – 5 with the expectation that most children will be secure in phases 2- 4 and have some knowledge of Phase 5 so that they are Year 1 ready.
Our teaching of phonics through ELS continues into Key Stage 1. Teaching is whole class based with teachers regularly assessing their children’s phonics ability. The ideology for ELS is ‘Keep up not Catch up’. This means that all children should be able to access the lessons at the time. For those children who struggle with phonics, we have a dedicated teaching assistant, in Key Stage 1, who takes small groups in order to reinforce missing sounds. Children are given a weekly spelling test which includes words based on the focused sound or sounds of that week.
Children are also given the Year 1 and 2 Common Exception Words to take home and are formally assessed on the spelling of these words at the end of each term.
In Key Stage 2, we have a 25 minute GPS lesson every day. We follow the Rising Stars Spelling programme which breaks down the spelling objectives from the National Curriculum into specific year groups. This means that all spelling rules that need to be taught are covered as well as the Statutory Core Spellings. We incorporate grammar and punctuation into these sessions by either introducing or reinforcing the skills taught during English lessons. Children are also given spellings to take home and learn for a weekly spelling test.
Children are then given the Statutory Core Spellings to take home and are formally assessed on the spelling of these words at the end of each term. Each child then gets their own personal spelling sheet to take home so that parents are informed of how children are progressing with these words.
All teachers have high expectations in the presentation of work in all areas of the curriculum. Handwriting plays an important part and is taught formally using the Nelson Handwriting Program. However other activities take place throughout the week linked to the spelling patterns/phonics children have been learning. When children have reached a good standard of handwriting in all areas of their work, they receive their ‘Pen Licence ‘which allows them to use pen in all areas of their work. It is expected that this will be achieved by the majority of children by the end of Year 4.