Our intent at Stokenham Area Primary School is to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that allows pupils feel confident and excited about writing. We teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively through our carefully planned English curriculum.
At Stokenham Area Primary School Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum. All children from Reception to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum.
With regards to Writing, we intend for pupils to be able to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. To be able to do this effectively, pupils will focus on developing effective transcription and effective composition. They will also develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process. We also intend for pupils to leave school being able to use fluent, legible and joined up handwriting.
Teachers will show pupils how to understand the relationships between words and how to develop their understanding of and ability to use figurative language. They will also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. Pupils will be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English.
Ethos and Growth Mindset
Instilling all our pupils with a 'growth mindset' during English lessons is a key priority for our school and we have actively promoted this with the children. In English lessons children are expected to relish challenges; embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process; value the importance of effort; respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. We believe in challenge and have a high expectation of pupil’s response to challenge. We are also helping our children to develop their metacognition, ensuring key concepts are embedded in their long term memory by connecting new knowledge (working memory) with their existing knowledge (long term memory).
Depth of learning
We have ensured that teachers are aware of and cater for the need for depth of learning as an essential part of Writing. Lessons build on prior knowledge and skills using range of texts to stretch and challenge all of our pupils.
“Good quality teaching takes into account all children in the class and plans small enough steps for the vast majority of children to achieve success with scaffolding and support, and for others to be challenged in the same concept to a greater depth of reasoning.” (EEF)
At Stokenham Area Primary School we have designed a Writing curriculum using BookWrites. This ensures that Children are exposed to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts that are age appropriate and develop children’s knowledge and skills within writing. We use sticky questions at the beginning of our lessons to build upon children’s prior knowledge. Key vocabulary is displayed to ensure all children have the opportunity to apply this within their writing. We use assessment for learning to support the teaching and learning within writing.
In Reception we follow the EYFS framework, linking the key objectives to high quality books.
KS1 and KS2
We use BookWrites to support our planning to ensure all children have access to high quality texts that grip their imagination, fluency and stamina for writing.
A coherent sequence: Reflection, re-cap and worked examples
As a school, we have developed our understanding and use of a variety of pedagogical approaches that focus on how children learn. We believe that these approaches enhance and develop our mastery approach. We are using the 10 principles of Instruction (Rosenshine) to underpin our planning; specifically carefully planning opportunities for retrieval through the use of carefully scaffolded questioning. We understand that with retrieval practice, regularly visiting areas already learnt before, helps to connect new ideas to ones that are already known.
- Begin the lesson with a short review
- Present new material in small steps
- Ask a large number of questions
- Provide models
- Guide student practice
- Check for understanding
- Obtain a high success rate
- Provide scaffolds
- Require and monitor independent practice
- Engage students in weekly and month review
Small step learning and mastery pedagogy
Pedagogy at Stokenham Area Primary school focuses on breaking down learning into small steps and utilising teaching for mastery techniques discussion in the form of mix ability pairs, talk partners and whole class discussion, mini plenaries – small steps providing sufficient scaffold for all pupils to access, precision in the use of high quality vocabulary (tier 2 and 3) which pupils can apply across a range of subjects. Current research on retrieval practice and cognitive load theory are at the forefront of our planning process in these areas.
Questioning and AFL
Teachers use questioning throughout lessons to elicit children’s understanding and promote and challenge children to deepen vocabulary.
Teachers build opportunity for AFL into lessons and use regular opportunities for discussion and use strategies to check and deepen their understanding.
Modelling, Discussion and Dialogue
As teachers we encourage children to articulate their thinking, take responsibility for asking questions of others to clarify understanding, agree and disagree and justify their thinking.
Pupils behaving as Independent Writers
Pupils are encouraged to be independent writers. Each learning sequence provides opportunities for pupils to develop their own writing journey and skills within each text. At the end of each unit, Pupils choose what they want to write about and use proofreading and editing to improve their writing.
Challenges for Depth of Learning
Challenge focuses on breadth and depth of understanding and expects the children to apply their knowledge in challenging scenarios. Greater depth tasks are carefully planned for every lesson to stretch and challenge pupils knowledge and skills within writing. Evidence of high attaining pupils being challenged will be evidenced in books through their responses.
Responsive Teaching and Feedback
In Writing pupils teachers provide feedback orally during the session and mark giving children next steps to ensue their learning is moved on.
Where children are working significantly below the expected age related requirements of the curriculum scaffolding and targeted work takes place on a daily basis. These activities are planned by the teacher in discussion and collaboration with the SENDCo, parents and the TA working within the class. At Stokenham Area Primary School, we believe that it is important that all learners are taught within the classroom with their peers, where interventions are needed teachers and teaching assistants follow a bespoke evidence informed intervention. We also pre-teach children who are at risk of falling behind in certain areas, this develops curiosity and interest as well as gives these children confidence and practice in retrieval before they learn new materials.
Each child with specific SEND difficulties will have targets that are agreed and monitored every half term to ensure progression.
Collaborative and Reflective CPD
We are fortunate at Stokenham Area Primary school to be part of The South Hams Federation of schools. This gives us an opportunity to reflect and collaborate on all curriculum drivers as well as keeping up to date with current CPD, writing moderation and The Oracy Project.
The most effective way to find out what pupils understand about Writing will be to talk them.
Through conversations with pupils we are also able to understand how they learn, if they are able to connect prior learning to the learning they are undertaking as well as investigating whether they understand why they are learning the key concepts and whether they know how they can be used in their future learning.
Effective monitoring and evaluation as well as informed and adaptable planning ensure progress is evident in all books for all learners. Progress can be seen week on week as a teaching sequence is delivered as well as over a whole unit, termly and over the course of the academic year. Timely ‘book looks’, across the school, moderation and learning walks review progress in relation to the progression of skills for each year group and guarantee consistency and high expectations are maintained.
The learning environment seeks to challenge, inspire and aid all learners at Stokenham Area Primary School. The working walls in each class showcase the curriculum being taught and the planned sequence of learning for the unit. The work on display celebrates the achievements of the learners and the progress they are making.
Recording in Books
The purpose of children recording in books is to allow teachers to measure whether pupils have understood the concept being taught and the level of depth to which they have understood it as well as allowing our children to deepen their understanding of the content by working individually, independently and at greater depth. Our books show a child’s journey through their learning.
We use BookWrite sequences to support teachers to make effective use of the National Curriculum to develop pupils’ writing. Coverage as well as depth of learning are key drivers for planning. All planning is adaptable and reviewed in line with the daily Assessment for Learning (AfL). Annotations and AfL monitor the progress for all learners in relation to the learning objectives.