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Chambersbury Primary School “Learning, Growing, Achieving... TOGETHER”

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Writing

Writing at Chambersbury

 

Intent

At Chambersbury School we want to enable our children to be confident, creative writers. We aim to give our children meaningful opportunities to develop both the grammatical and creative parts of writing, whilst writing for different genres, purposes and across the curriculum. We want our children to understand not only how important the skill of writing is, but we also hope to inspire a love of writing and help children to develop a sense of pride in their writing.

At Chambersbury School we recognise and understand the importance of both core grammar and the more creative side of writing, and how these elements work together to enable children to write confidently. We also recognise the importance of neat writing, helping children to develop a consistent, neat and individual style by the time they leave school.

 

Writing Sequence

The writing units taught at Chambersbury follow one of two sequences. We are using a combination of plans that either follow the ‘Back on Track’ resources produced by Herts for Learning, to support the teaching and consolidation of objectives from the previous year groups, or units follow a writing sequence based on the ‘Talk for Writing’ model (see implementation).

 

Handwriting

We follow the handwriting scheme ‘Pen Pals’, supplemented with spelling practise and specific words/joins as identified through AfL. We aim for all children to have developed a neat, cursive style by the time they leave school, including knowing when not to join certain letters. Children write in pencil until the end of Year 3, starting with pen in the September of Year 4.

 

Language Rich Environment

At Chambersbury we work hard to promote high standards of English across the curriculum. We work to do this through a number of means:

 

Learning Environment

Within each classroom, high levels of English should be promoted across all displays and modelled correctly. We want our classrooms to be bright and engaging, to help children be exciting about their learning. Classrooms should be language rich, to help teach children new words, as well as apply them in context. There should also be age appropriate displays modelling key learning, relevant to the phonics stage they are studying, along with other reading strategies they have been taught.

Around the school we also aim to showcase and draw attention to reading and writing across the curriculum. This may take the form of class displays of current work and learning, cross-year group work on a particular theme to show progression through the school, or other displays sharing exciting information to engage children in reading and writing.

 

Enrichment Opportunities

Within school we capitalise on exciting events and trips to inspire children’s writing. Where possible links are also made to other topics being studied currently to help bring the children’s learning together and give more meaning to their work.

 

Implementation

Writing Sequence

Across the school, English is taught daily for an hour, with lessons forming part of a unit of work. At the start of each half term units will follow the ‘Back on Track’ resources produced by Herts for Learning, to help secure and embed previously taught skills. Following this other units, as detailed in the schools long term plan are taught. These units of work look at specific genres and last between 3-4 weeks, with poetry units lasting 1 – 2 weeks.

Each year, genres are tracked and updated on the school’s long term plan. Each year units are adapted to take into consideration objectives that may need recovering from last year.


*Writing opportunities are also be built in across the curriculum to give children to apply their new genre knowledge in a different context.  This is detailed in science/topic planning as appropriate.

 

Grammar

Grammar is taught within the main sequence as part of the practise stage, with key objectives being taught and practised in the context of the text being studied eg. We are learning about adjectives (children might mind map adjectives linked to a character or setting they will be using in their adapted version of the model text).

At times, extra SPAG lessons may also be appropriate to address a particular gap or misconception. This may come as a short sequence of stand-alone lessons between units, or as additional lessons. Grammar Hammer activities may also be used to help recap key skills, as well as assess children’s understanding and application.

 

Handwriting

Handwriting follows the Pen Pals programme, with children learning a progression of joins as they move through the school. This is taught at least once a week, supplemented with extra morning activities and interventions as appropriate, including the practise of year group specific spellings and weekly spellings. Emphasis is placed on high quality presentation of all written work across the curriculum, not just in English books or as part of display work.

 

Spelling (inc. home learning)

Once a week children will have a 15-20 minute discreet lesson on a new spelling rule/pattern, which becomes the focus for their home learning the following week. The number of set spellings for each year group is as follows:

 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

5 words

10 words

10/15 words

15 words

20 words

20 words

 

These words should be practised at home, with Year 2 and 3 use handwriting books (provided by school) to reinforce joins being used. Some children in Year 1 may begin to use books towards the end of the year if appropriate, and teachers may identify other children in KS2 that it may help.

These words will also be practised as part of some morning activities in school, before being tested the Friday after they have been set. Spellings will mainly be tested in the form of dictated sentences, with other words being tested in a list form. Dictated sentences will also use year group specific words from the National Curriculum.

In KS1, spellings are also taught and practised as part of daily phonics lessons, including high frequency words and common exception words.

For some children, the weekly spelling expectations may be too much. In these cases the intervention ‘cued-spelling’ may be more appropriate. The children will work on 5 spellings a week, generating ‘cues’ to help learn the spellings and then practising throughout the week with an adult.

 

Impact

The primary desired impact for our children is that they enjoy and are engaged with their learning across the curriculum, translating their English skills as appropriate for reading and writing. We aim to encourage writing for enjoyment as well as promoting the value and importance of writing in everyday life.

With regard to impact on attainment and progress, formative assessment is a key feature of every lesson and evidence on yellow A3 plans for main English lessons. Work will be marked according the marking policy (see the writing sequence above too), with misconceptions being addressed and responded to by the children.

Summative assessments will take place half termly, where the children will be assessed against the criteria of emerging, developing or securing for their year group, or lower year groups where appropriate. This will translate into Herts Assessment levels at the end of each term.

Where areas of weakness are identified, teachers should raise concerns regarding learning needs with the SEN Co, who can suggest possible strategies and interventions that can be put in place to support children in achieving their full potential. These will be detailed on individual learning plans as appropriate or whole class provision maps.

Please remember the Bank Holiday on Monday 2nd May (so the school is closed) and this half term ends on Thursday 26th May at 3:15pm.
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