At St. James’s we understand the role that reading plays in developing writers and the value of being immersed in high quality literature. Therefore, we believe that a well-chosen text provides rich language models and structures from which children can learn how writing works and the effect it can have on a reader. By choosing texts that are rich in vocabulary, this enables children to comprehend beyond their own reading fluency level. With a rich diet of quality texts and enriching experiences children will be able to find their own reasons to write.
At St James’s, children are taught to write through a carefully planned sequence of word, sentence and text level lessons. Writing is made purposeful through engaging literature, which enables them to write for a range of genres and audiences.
In this phase of the writing sequence, children are given opportunities to explore the meaning of new words in context and discuss the effect language choices have on the reader. This phase enriches and extends children’s vocabulary, which enables them to become confident in their writing.
The next phase is sentence level. At this stage, children will identify the features of the genre in which they are reading and writing. They will begin to look at the grammar structures used by writers and discuss the purpose of certain grammar choices. This enables children to write a range of sentence types and make impactful choices in their writing.
At the text level of the writing sequence, children will apply their skills from their word and sentence level lessons. The high quality teaching in previous lessons enables them to feel more confident in composing a whole piece of writing. Children are taught how to write in the correct form and register for an audience, and for what purpose. They are given opportunities to plan, draft and edit their writing before publishing and sharing.
Examples of each phase:
At St James’s we follow the Mastery approach to reading and writing. Our Core Texts drive our learning in English and relate to the Topic being studied. We select Core Texts which will engage our children, enhance our foundation subjects and expose our children to rich language and form. The planned reading curriculum is supported by access to, and carefully designed exposure to, high quality literature (core texts) these books have been chosen to reflect a rich array of cultures, backgrounds and experiences. See a selection of our core texts below.
How is writing planned?
Progression of Skills
Our progression of skills documents inform our planning. Each document lists the National Curriculum objectives that need to be taught each term. The objectives are mapped out for progression across the year. In writing lessons, these objectives are broken down into microscopic steps, reflecting our mastery approach. We ensure that all of our children are secure on a step before moving onto another step.
How is writing assessed?
Each child has a ‘Concept Card’ in the front of their writing book. The concepts covered relate exactly to the National Curriculum writing objectives for each Year Group. If a concept is taught and not achieved, the teacher will highlight the concept, thus ensuring the learning is revisited.