Intent, Implementation and Impact of Writing
At St Luke’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently express their thoughts, emotions and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word. Our aims are for all children to have fluent and legible handwriting, write for a variety of purposes and audiences and develop a secure understanding of grammar and punctuation. At St Luke’s, we want all of our children to take pride in their work and through the regular handwriting lessons, we encourage the use of a cursive handwriting style from Year 2 onwards.
As our approach to writing, we use Pathways to Write: a ‘proven methodology which develops vocabulary, reading and writing skills through the mastery approach’ (The Literacy Company). Using a ‘mastery approach’ to writing within our teaching, allows for a greater development of vocabulary and spelling. We also intend for our children to be able to independently re-read, revise and edit their writing both during and after the writing process.
English writing lessons are taught daily across the school and to the whole class, therefore allowing all children to have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Where necessary, all teachers make adaptations to enable all children to be able to access the content at a level appropriate to them.
Each class studies a different high-quality text every half term which offers children engaging, yet challenging English lessons. Within each unit of work, children are given opportunities to participate in drama, spoken language activities and writing for a variety of purposes. Opportunities are planned for children to use knowledge from other subjects within their English writing and vice versa.
Grammar and Punctuation is taught, where possible within English lessons; allowing the children to learn skills in a meaningful manner. However, in Upper Key Stage 2, new concepts of Grammar and Punctuation are often taught outside of the English lessons. Every morning, children in Years 2 - 6 start their day with a SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) style starter and often teachers will try to make starters relevant the skills that are being taught at that time in their English lessons.
As a school, we follow The Literacy Company's Pathways to Spell spelling scheme and spelling lessons are taught to Years 3 - 6, three times a week. Children are taught many different ways to learn and practise spelling rules. The emphasis of these sessions is on the application of the spellings rules, rather than just learning them for a test. All children have access to spelling mats and word banks during writing tasks. The class’s working wall is a point of reference to support the enrichment of vocabulary and to display words often misspelt. Children in KS1 receive daily phonics sessions with the aim that by Christmas in Year 2 they are ready to move onto Little Wandle Letters and Sounds’ Year 2 Spelling and Fluency Programme.
At St Luke’s, the implementation of the writing journey is well established and taught thoroughly throughout both key stages. This allows our pupils to become confident and creative writers with a secure knowledge of grammar and punctuation skills.
Moderation using the Pathways guidance; identifies the progress that is being made across all year groups. Assessment for learning is ongoing and our staff assess attainment regularly, through both formative and summative methods. Children complete a ‘Cold’ and ‘Hot’ task every half term, which is assessed by teachers in order to monitor progress.
The teaching of writing is monitored by leaders through learning walks, book scrutinies and Pupil and Teacher Voice. Interventions in place to support children to progress in English are tracked by subject leaders, SENCo and SLT. Intervention groups will change based upon the needs of the learners in the classroom.
Teaching and Learning
All classes follow the Pathways to Write scheme of work produced by The Literacy Company. Pathways to Write is designed to equip pupils with key skills to move them through the writing process towards their final outcome. It is built around units of work that follow a mastery approach to the teaching of writing. Although our mixed-age year groups use the same text as their stimulus every half term, their outcomes, mastery keys and tasks are different and appropriate to the national curriculum expectations for their year group.
To support this approach, clear detailed lesson plans and resources are linked to a high-quality text. Pathways to Write ensures engaging and purposeful English lessons.
Each unit covers a range of areas in the national curriculum:
- Mastery of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation skills
- Writing a range of genres across a year
- Vocabulary development
- Using a wider range of reading comprehension strategies as a whole class
- Spoken language activities including drama and presentations
- Opportunities for practising previously taught genres
- An extended, independent piece of writing
The writing process follows three stages:
The Gateway (1-2 lessons)
- Begin at the Gateway with a ‘hook’ session to intrigue and enthuse young writers
- Use objects, people, images or role-play to stimulate questions about the chosen text
- Give pupils the opportunity to predict the text
- Establish the purpose and audience of the writing
- Revisit previous mastery skills and ongoing skills
The Pathway (10 lessons)
- Introduce pupils to three new writing skills from their year group curriculum
- Provide opportunities to practise and apply the skill they have learnt through short and extended writing tasks including character descriptions, poetry, dialogue between characters, fact files or diary entries in role
- Provide opportunities to re-cap and apply previously taught skills
- Challenge greater depth writers through a wider range of tasks e.g. changes to form, viewpoint and audience
Writeaway (4 lessons)
- Section and sequence texts independently or collaboratively
- Create extended pieces of writing over time
- Opportunity to apply mastery skills
- Time for planning, writing, checking, editing, redrafting and publishing
- A fiction or non-fiction outcome will be written (covering a wide range of genres and themes over the year