English Writing at Heathmere
In September 2016, new statutory guidance for the teaching of English was introduced in all state-funded schools in England which included focusing on learning grammar. As set forth in the National Curriculum, we expect our children to ‘write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences’ (The National Curriculum, 2013). This is reflected in our writing vision: children are able to write for a range of purposes and audiences in a variety of contexts. As a result of these statutory guidelines, we developed our current English curriculum in consultation with staff, governors, pupils and parents.
At Heathmere, we expose our children to a diverse range of texts which are used to drive our writing units. Our children are expected to be able to write clearly and concisely no matter the genre they are studying. In conjunction with our reading curriculum, the children at Heathmere are able to understand different purposes of writing and emulate those purposes in their own writing. To enable the children to succeed in these aims, we focus on teaching both transcription and composition. As part of the composition dimension of teaching writing, we intend to ensure the children are capable at both planning and editing their writing.
All pupils from Nursery to year 6 take part in discrete Writing lessons that provide our children with opportunities to experience the different dimensions of writing including both transcription and composition. To ensure our children receive instruction in writing transcription, we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised Phonics Program in Reception and Year 1 where GPCs and tricky words are introduced and practiced daily. In Years 2-6, we follow the 'No Nonsense Spelling' program. To ensure our children's handwriting skills progress, we follow the Nelson Handwriting scheme.
English Writing is taught using high quality core texts to engage the children and promote a love of reading. The children at Heathmere are introduced to a variety of text types and audiences, enabling them to write for many different purposes. Each unit is sequenced to inspire the children’s interest in the core text, understand the genre they are writing and learn and apply grammatical skills in context. Each unit ends with an emphasis on editing. We also ensured subject content was planned and taught using a progressive model across the school based on the national curriculum including Appendix 2 of the English curriculum as well as the reading framework. Each writing lesson will link to the class text, a particular skill focus which is linked to the grammar progression set out in the National Curriculum and the audience and purpose of that particular piece of writing. Additionally, each writing lesson features an example of modelled or shared writing.
The English Lead at Heathmere monitors the impact of the Writing curriculum, ensuring that all pupils successfully learn the curriculum through a range of monitoring arrangements including: English skills progression and planning reviews, learning walks, books looks, pupil voice and staff voice. Pupils’ progress in Writing is monitored by class teachers after each writing outcome against each year group’s writing standards.
Core Texts and Writing Outcomes
Click on the links below to view the termly core texts and writing outcomes for each year group.