Writing at Swimbridge
At Swimbridge CE Primary School, we strive to help our children develop into articulate and imaginative communicators, who are well-equipped with the basic skills they need to become life-long learners; English learning is key in this. We aim to ensure all of our children develop a genuine love of language and the written word, through a text-based approach; this links closely to the way we teach reading, as the text that we use in writing lessons, where possible, is the same text as the one that we use in guided reading lessons. Careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful: where possible linking our reading, writing and the topic that we are covering in other areas of the curriculum. We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning. Our intentions in writing are for children to:
Write for a purpose
Be ambitious and see themselves as real writers
Take ownership of their writing
See writing as an interesting and enjoyable process
Acquire the ability to organise and plan their written work
Writing across the School
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, and to flourish to become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the audience / reader. Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English: grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling.
Teachers clearly model writing skills and document the learning journey through consistent working walls; guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. Children have opportunities to write at length, in extended, independent writing sessions at the end of a unit of learning – applying their taught skills to an unsupported piece of writing.
Throughout the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we teach writing through a text-based approach, which allows us to meet the needs of the children that we are teaching – through choosing a text that will engage, inspire and motivate.
As well as reading a wide variety of genres, children are given frequent opportunities to develop their skills in writing in different genres. Through covering one text per term in depth, children are given the opportunity to put their writing skills into practice through two pieces of extended writing per term: one fiction and one non-fiction. Pupils are taught discrete punctuation and grammar skills, appropriate to their year group, within our textbased approach to planning, allowing opportunities to identify, practice and consolidate grammatical understanding, whilst also being immersed in a text. Children then apply the grammar and punctuation skills that they have learnt in their extended pieces of writing
At Swimbridge, the children are taught phonics in Foundation Stage, KS1 and in some cases lower KS2. Children throughout school are also taught spelling patterns that they practise through daily spelling activities and games within class. Children are also given the spelling pattern so that they can find and practise identifying, reading and writing words with each spelling pattern at home. Alongside this, children learn the common exception words and statutory spellings set out in the National Curriculum. The children start to learn the common exception words in Year 1, the statutory spelling words in year 3 and continue to learn, revisit and revise these until they leave primary school at the end of Year 6.