Intent, Implementation and Impact
Subject Lead: Suzanna Welikala
Growing and Achieving Excellence, Inspired by Faith
At St Joseph’s School we want pupils to be able to communicate their ideas, feelings and knowledge in their writing. We understand that reading is a fundamental part of the writing process and we use language-rich texts, visual stimuli and activities that inspire writing. As writers we support children to write for a range of purposes and audiences. They understand that writing takes place through planning and drafting, and understand editing is an important part of the process before publishing. Children understand that good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we support them 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. Careful teaching of spelling, grammar and vocabulary helps them to continue to build on their strategies for creating engaging texts, while practice of joined, cursive style handwriting enables them to maintain fluency and neat presentation and take pride in their work.
Writing is taught based upon the skills and knowledge objectives outlined for each year group in the National Curriculum 2014. Teachers are supported in their planning by the Power of Reading scheme. Each unit of writing begins with a narrative text, which children explore through a range of immersive activities that can be linked to other subjects, such as drama and art. Purpose and audience are key to tasks and pupils are introduced to good models of writing to support them with the genre that is intended as the outcome. Model texts are analysed and structures, success criteria and vocabulary are ‘magpied’ to support the next stage, where a process of planning, drafting, editing and publishing of children’s own ideas take place. This is supported through the teaching of specific grammar and punctuation and shared writing led by the teacher. Pupils will publish a piece of writing once each half term.
At each stage of the writing process, pupils are supported in their progress through verbal conferencing and written feedback. They are given time to reflect on this feedback and understand it as part of the learning process.
Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for slower graspers to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and access to additional support materials such as word banks or a greater level of modelling depending on the needs of the child. Rapid graspers are challenged by being given opportunities to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact that their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar features.
Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers may sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand alone lessons, if they feel that the class needs additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. In EYFS and Year 1, The Little Wandle Scheme is used to support teaching of spelling. In KS2, teachers use the Spelling Bees Spelling Scheme to support their teaching and to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings. Spellings linked to this are set to learn each week and children are tested the following week. When marking work, teachers identify up to three words that have been misspelt for a child to practise.
Classrooms provide language-rich environments for children to be inspired by in their writing. Throughout each unit, key vocabulary, planning and shared writing is displayed in the classroom to support pupils. In addition, teachers also plan writing opportunities across the rest of the curriculum in order to enable children to consolidate and practise acquired skills.
Displays of writing are visible in each classroom and throughout the school building to encourage pride in work, give a purpose and audience and to show that work is valued. Writing is celebrated in many other ways such as in assemblies and visiting the headteacher to share their work. Children have opportunities to take part in writing events and write with real purpose where possible.
Assessment in writing is ongoing as teachers carry out in-depth assessment of children’s writing at the end of each unit, and highlight the age-related outcomes that have been achieved. Children are tested termly on spelling, grammar and punctuation knowledge (testbase) and this data is used to inform next steps for writing. Target Tracker is used to analyse gaps in children’s knowledge and gain an overview of specific groups of children across school.
Progress across classes is closely monitored by the subject leader and senior leadership team. Monitoring will include: regular book looks, lesson observations, gathering evidence of good practice, pupil voice interviews, looking at data on Target Tracker and regular learning walks. The findings of this monitoring will be used to inform next steps for the children and the implementation of writing across the school as a whole.
Writing Skills Progression
Intent, Implementation and Impact
Subject Lead: Suzanna Welikala
Growing and Achieving Excellence, Inspired by Faith
At St Joseph’s School we know that reading is a key skill for life, so we aim to instill an appreciation and enjoyment of reading throughout the curriculum from the moment children join us. We make sure children have access to a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry across the school and we help them to become confident and fluent readers, using a variety of strategies to support their progress and develop their comprehension skills. We know that language acquisition and understanding of vocabulary is important for our children to read with purpose, understanding and enjoyment. Teachers carefully plan teaching activities for learning key vocabulary. Teachers plan suitable and appropriate activities which are designed to stretch and challenge every pupil. Children have opportunities to listen to stories throughout the school, as well as to develop their speaking and listening skills through discussions of texts where they are encouraged to listen to each other and to respect, value and learn from opinions which are different from their own. Through becoming confident readers, pupils will be able to acquire knowledge of the curriculum, themselves and the wider world and build on what they know.
The aims of teaching reading in our school are to develop pupils who:
develop a love of reading and read for pleasure both at home and school on a regular basis;
rapidly acquire a secure knowledge of letters and sounds and make sustained progress in learning to read fluently;
read easily and fluently with good understanding across both fiction and non-fiction;
develop good comprehension and a wider vocabulary;
develop their reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge;
develop culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually through their reading.
By the time children leave St Joseph’s, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.
At St Joseph’s, we use a variety of strategies to support the teaching of reading, as all learners are individual and therefore can require different approaches to secure their skills. In order to ensure that children master early reading skills and are able to decode fluently, they are taught through the Little Wandle systematic synthetic phonics programme.
The scheme aims to equip children with the phonic knowledge and skills they need to become fluent readers by the age of seven. There are five phases which are taught from Reception to the end of Year 1. Once children have completed the phonics screening check at the end of Year 1 they can begin learning using the Year 2 programme of study for phonics and spelling outlined in the National Curriculum.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children are exposed to a variety of books, which have a focus on patterned language and are linked to their developing phonic knowledge. Children from Reception read with an adult up to 3 times a week and they are provided with fully decodable books which match their previously taught sounds. Parents are given information leaflets and are invited to workshops to support early reading development.
As children progress through the school, parents are also kept informed about how to support their child’s developing phonic knowledge and necessary information such as the phonics screening check.
Independent reading books are taken home daily to support children at an individual level and are carefully chosen by teachers to aid and challenge our pupils. In EYFS and Key Stage One the reading scheme used is Little Wandle; in Key Stage Two it is Oxford Reading Tree and children then go on to become ‘free readers’. Children are encouraged to read at home at least five times per week and this is monitored by teaching staff. Parents are encouraged to write comments to create a log of their progress.
In addition to independent reading, all children have the opportunity to practice their comprehension skills in our Active Reading lessons. Depending on the needs of the children, this will be in small groups or whole class sessions with the teacher or TA. This provides pupils with further opportunities to explore and discuss challenging texts and vocabulary, pinpoint differences between different genres, develop inferencing and deductive skills and discuss their themes and genres to deepen their understanding.
Each class promotes and fosters a love of reading by having reading areas, visiting our school and local library and sharing a range of texts within class. Children are read to regularly throughout the week and opportunities for reading are built in across the curriculum. Throughout the school year our English curriculum is enhanced through World Book Day, visiting authors, trips and certificates for using our online reading platform, Reading Eggs, which enrich and complement children’s learning.
We have reading volunteers who come in and listen to our children read. Staff identify vulnerable groups and individuals who need additional support in reading by recognising them as priority readers, and we ensure that they receive extra reading support.
Staff are supported with regular training and resources to support their planning, teaching and assessment.
Summative assessments are entered into Target Tracker each term and pupils are assessed in line with the objectives as set out in the National Curriculum 2014. Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine whether a child is working within age-related expectations, above or below. They will base their judgements for the most part on the quality of the verbal and written outcomes pupils give after structured teaching within the agreed reading skills. Teachers also complete reading assessments in Years 2-6 to provide another piece of evidence to support their assessment judgement. If tests are used, care is taken to ensure that pupils are prepared appropriately for the test, and any barriers to accessing these are removed.
Detailed information on the objectives we teach can be found in the National Curriculum.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum.
At St. Joseph's we use a variety of different reading schemes. This helps us to provide the children with a wide range of genres, helping us to engage the children in learning to read. Many of the schemes we use are phonics based.
At the moment we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds, The Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat, Project X, Ginn 360 and the Cambridge Reading scheme.
For further guidance and information on how to help your child read and develop a love of reading please visit the Oxford Owl website. It is full of very useful information.
Click on the Owl below to visit the website!
Please see your class page for further details.