Writing is a fundamental part of our curriculum. At St Giles Academy, our writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum programmes of study and lessons take place every day across the school. Teachers use the National Curriculum to derive long term plans in the subject; careful consideration is given to the sequence of the curriculum and ways in which the lessons build towards a piece of writing which showcases pupils’ acquired knowledge, skills and understanding. Teachers and the English Coordinator pay attention to the cohorts in school and tailor our curriculum to meet the needs and interests of our pupils, choosing texts to derive the writing curriculum upon which inspire and motivate pupils to learn; in turn, this establishes pupil enjoyment and engagement in the subject.
We intend that pupils learn how to understand the relationships between words, word meaning, implied meaning and figurative language within writing lessons, whilst ensuring that children are supported in their spelling strategies. We teach grammar through our daily lessons and ensure that pupils are provided with the opportunity to apply the knowledge of grammatical structures and terms into their own writing. We also complete BIG SPAG fortnightly, which provides a chance for assessment in structured and organised groups. Medium term planning allows class teaches to effectively link grammar and punctuation with genres across the academic year. We intend that pupils will be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use correct Standard English, knowing when and how to experiment with authorial tone and structure.
Writing Curriculum Implementation
Our English curriculum is derived using a variety of high quality age-appropriate texts. We use each book to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply across the wider curriculum; explore the writing structure and features of different genres, identify the purpose and audience; plan and write an initial piece of writing with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of writing by editing and redrafting.
We measure the effectiveness and impact of our English Writing, Grammar and Spelling curriculum in a variety of different ways. We use National and summative testing to assess pupils’ outcomes for Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling as part of the Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs for Year 6 pupils) and through termly summative assessments across school which enables pupils’ progress and attainment in the subject matter to be evaluated. Our assessments inform teachers of pupils’ next steps and successes. The impact of the curriculum can be seen through pupils’ national assessment results. Half-termly, teachers moderate pupils work in school and in cluster meetings with other schools to ensure accurate assessments are made. The quality of writing in English and curriculum books is evaluated by learning walks, drop ins, pupil conferencing and work scrutinies. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives. The English coordinator provides an action plan for the subject and addresses areas for development and improvement which is then shared with all staff.
The impact of our writing, grammar, spelling and punctuation curriculum can also be measured through the acquisition of pupil voice and talking to the children about their own learning. Pupil voice indicates that the children are enjoying their learning and can talk about the subject and curriculum opportunities.
How can I support my child in their writing?
You can talk to your child about their current class text and ask them questions to develop their level of understanding, comprehension and to build vocabulary. You can also ensure you give time daily to support them with their spellings. Your teacher should provide you with a list of words that your child is expected to be able to spell for their year group. This builds on spellings learnt in previous year groups. Regular practise both at home and in school will support your child greatly.
How can I support my child with their handwriting?
You can have high expectations of the written work they produce at home. You can also complete any extra support provided by the teacher together with your child. Model first how to form the letters and support and encourage your child to have a go, talking through it with them as you go along. Take note of where the letter should start, how it sits on the line and where the letter finishes. In Key Stage 2 your child will be learning the cursive formation.