Writing is an integral part of our curriculum. We intend our children to develop a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word. We intend our children to be reflective learners by re-reading, editing and improving their writing and to be able to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. At Shavington, we set high expectations for all our children to take pride in their work and we have a fluent, joined handwriting style, allowing their imaginations to flourish.
The ‘Pathways to Write’ programme from the Literacy Company is a proven methodology built around units of work which develop spoken language, vocabulary, reading and writing skills through the mastery approach.
Our writing, from Reception to Year 6, is taught using the Pathways scheme – which is based on some beautiful and thought-provoking picture books and texts to engage children in writing. The units have been designed to aid and guide progression, as well as the tracking of skills throughout each year group. The mastery approach teaches children to master the skills of writing by focusing on particular techniques throughout a unit of work. As a result, the children are given many opportunities to practise and apply these skills until they have mastered them. As they become more confident, children are taught to write in different contexts, for different purposes and to apply language rules and traditions for effect.
Each Pathways unit journeys to a final extended writing outcome where the children’s success relies on their application of the mastery keys. However, contained in the journey are many ‘short burst’ writing opportunities, where the children can explore a wide variety of genres and practise specific mastery skills through shared, guided and independent writing.
Children are expected to apply their writing skills and knowledge in cross curricular lessons; teachers provide extended writing opportunities to ensure children can write for sustained periods of time and at length. During all writing activities, high expectations and standards of writing in terms of composition, word selection, spelling and punctuation are expected.
We provide time for the children to reflect on their writing – evaluating and editing their work to make improvements. We encourage collaborative work where the children share their work with each other, providing feedback against the mastery keys. Writing toolkits including dictionaries, thesauruses, vocabulary mats, genre features and model texts are easily accessible.
Our young authors’ accomplishments are celebrated through classroom writing displays.
We want all of our children to develop a love for writing and enjoy showcasing their developing skills and sharing their ideas across a variety of genres.
Children’s progress in writing is tracked through regular summative and formative assessment including a “Friday Write”. Writing is teacher assessed against year group expectations; this is supported using the Teacher Assessment Frameworks for Year 2 and Year 6. Writing is moderated internally, and externally within a cluster of schools.
The impact of teaching and learning of writing is carried out through learning walks, chats with children, discussions of work within school books, data analysis and progress meetings. Work is planned to address misconceptions and gaps in learning identified through assessments to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils.