At Cavendish, we want children to have a purpose for writing and be confident, competent writers through:
- building motivation and stamina
- writing for pleasure and self-expression
- providing an inspiring, engaging and relevant curriculum, celebrating the diversity of our community and our belief in equality
- having an awareness of audience and understanding the power of language
- encouraging creativity, imagination and a love of writing
- providing learning environments that celebrate children’s writing
- making links with the wider curriculum and the world around us
Cavendish Primary School believe that writing is a key skill for life both inside and out of education and that is why it features across all the subjects taught across our school. Our aim is to provide children with key transferrable writing skills to build on year on year, that can be used throughout each phase of their education and prepare them for secondary school.
Teaching children to write for a range of purposes and audiences can be very exciting, especially here at Cavendish where we provide children with a range of engaging hooks to capture their imagination! We aim to provide the children with varied reasons for writing and believe that this not only produces higher quality writing, but allows our learners to apply their skills to a range of different contexts. Writing across all subject areas will prepare our children for high school and the more in-depth approach to analysing, planning and innovating their writing.
Discussion, questioning and learning texts with actions (age appropriate) all increase understanding and prepare our children with the tools they need in order to be successful in their writing. Our aim is for ALL learners to achieve their full potential in writing and we are committed to providing the scaffolds and challenge needed in order for our children to achieve this.
Implementation – how we teach Writing at Cavendish
At Cavendish, we feel that age appropriate, challenging and motivational learning varies as children move through the curriculum.
We ensure that at each age:
- Writing is accessible to allow ALL pupils, including those with SEND, to access the full curriculum offer
- Leaders ensure that ALL staff receive focused and highly effective professional development. They provide effective, regular training programmes for all teaching staff. Teacher’s pedagogical knowledge develops over time because of this.
- There is a rigorous sequential approach to the writing curriculum to ensure development of fluency, confidence and enjoyment
- The teaching of vocabulary, grammar and cohesion (including archaic language) are important.
- Leaders focus on improving teacher’s understanding and appropriate use of assessment and moderation.
- Writing is planned and builds on prior learning and introduces new knowledge ensuring the curriculum is covered in each year group.
We use a whole school Talk for Writing approach. It emphasizes oral language development as a foundation for writing. Children engage in discussions, storytelling, and drama activities to internalize the structure and language of different text types. This approach helps children understand how stories and texts are constructed before they start writing. Each writing unit uses a book as a stimulus for discussion and immersion and starts with a hook. In Year 6, we build on this to include short film units or units based on foundation units and prior learning.
Then, each year group uses the following structure (please see below for a more thorough breakdown for each of these areas):
- Reading and engagement
- Planning and structuring/toolkit
- Writing and editing
Our EYFS curriculum is based around the Statutory Framework for the Early Years.
- Write Dance Program: We utilize the Write Dance program to foster early mark-making and pre-writing skills. This multisensory approach encourages children to explore writing through movement and creativity. Activities include dancing with writing tools to music, finger painting, and other hands-on experiences that help children develop fine motor skills and an appreciation for mark-making.
- Dough Disco: The Dough Disco program combines playdough and fine motor skill development to enhance hand strength and dexterity. Children engage in fun and rhythmic movements with playdough to improve their fine motor skills, which are crucial for later writing abilities.
- Talk Boost Program: Effective communication is a foundational skill for writing. The Talk Boost program focuses on language development and oral communication skills. Through activities, games, and group discussions, children enhance their vocabulary, sentence structure, and overall ability to express themselves verbally, which lays the groundwork for writing.
- Multisensory Learning: We embrace a multisensory approach to writing, incorporating various sensory experiences to engage children. This includes tactile activities like sand and water play, which not only develop fine motor skills but also introduce them to different textures and sensations that can be related to writing.
- Letter Recognition and Formation: While we emphasize pre-writing skills, we also introduce children to letter recognition and formation in a playful and age-appropriate manner. This might include tracing letters in sand, forming letters with playdough, or using magnetic letters.
- Storytelling and Creative Writing: Storytelling is a natural precursor to writing. We encourage children to express their creativity through storytelling and creative writing. This might involve dictating stories for an adult to transcribe, drawing pictures, or attempting to write their own simple words and sentences.
- Supportive and engaging environment: This is where children can explore and develop early writing skills. We aim to nurture their creativity, fine motor skills, and confidence in expressing themselves through writing as they prepare for the transition to more formal writing instruction in later years.Top of Form Mark making resources are easily accessible and transferable to all areas, writing motivations and opportunities are part of the children’s play.
- Reading and Engagement: Each unit in our curriculum is centred round a high-quality picture book. A WAGOLL, is read aloud and discussed with the children. This provides a model for good writing. A text map provides a visual representation of the WAGOLL. Children are encouraged to actively engage with the text. They are invited to identify repeated rhymes or phrases within the story, fostering participation and a sense of connection with the text. Similarities and contrasts are made to other books, characters and their own experience. Vocabulary is discussed and celebrated. Children orally retell the texts and internalise the main events. Opportunities are provided for drama and poetry.
- Planning and structuring/toolkit: Children learn to analyse and deconstruct the WAGOLL, understanding its key components, style, and structure. The WAGOLL serves as a model and guide for children when creating their own texts. We utilise a boxing up plan as a structured framework to help children organize and structure their stories and texts. Children create their own text maps based on their new plans. We encourage students to start with simple substitutions in existing texts and gradually build up to more extensive changes. Toolkits are created to provide students with a set of writing tools and strategies. These toolkits may include resources on grammar, punctuation, literary devices, and vocabulary enhancement.
- Writing and editing: Children are guided through the process of planning and writing their own texts. They use the story maps and boxing up plans to organize their ideas, plot, and structure before they start writing. They then craft their own pieces. Children learn to review their written work for errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar by proofreading, revising and editing. They are taught to identify mistakes and make corrections independently.
In KS2, we expect all children to write every day – this may be a small short burst of writing, a grammar/vocabulary exercise or something similar (these activities can be differentiated so that they are achievable for all children).
Reading and Engagement
- Each unit will be based around a good quality book (or a short film unit/extract Y6 to broaden stimulus and interest).
- Each unit will include a WAGOLL text for children to identify key features of the text and deconstruct (each model text will have specific focused objectives from their curriculum which the children will learn, practise and apply)
- Comparisons and similarities will be made to other books/texts/real life
- Grammar will be identified and applied to new contexts
- Vocabulary will be discussed and applied to new contexts
- Opportunities for short burst writing
- Opportunities for drama and poetry
Planning and structuring/toolkit
- WAGOLLs are broken down into paragraphs to see how texts are structured
- New texts are planned using the WAGOLL as a scaffold
- Modelled and shared writing
- Toolkits are created
Writing and editing
- Children independently plan a text using the model text/plan for support
- Children write (or type) their text independently
- Children learn to review their written work for errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar by proofreading, revising and editing. They are taught to identify mistakes and make corrections independently.
Presentation (in books)
Each piece of work contains the short date and the learning objective.
Children are to write in neat handwriting in pencil. For any daily editing and/or changes, children need to cross out the incorrect word(s) with a neat line and write the new word(s) nearby in purple.
All children write the long date and the learning objective at the start of each piece of work. This will be underlined with a ruler (for some children/classes, this may be printed).
Children are to write in neat handwriting in black pen or pencil starting at the margin.
For any daily editing and/or changes, children need to cross out the incorrect word(s) with a neat line and write the new word(s) nearby in purple. If this is not possible, they need to use an asterix and write below (similar to a footnote).
In Y5/6, when children are typing, this can just be deleted and rewritten and any visible changes to be done in purple.
During guided writing, when in books, children should use a double page spread. The children should write on the left hand side. Any editing (in purple) and/or teacher marking/feedback should be on the right page.
As the learning progresses, the English working wall exemplifies the learning. The wall should be a journey of the learning that has taken place.
Feedback and Marking
Verbal feedback is given to the children throughout the process to help them understand their next steps.
Within units, we also have shared writing opportunities which are marked in depth by the teacher using ‘Tickled pink’ and ‘Green for Growth.’ From year 1, children are then taught to use their ‘Purple Polishing Pen’ to read/listen to feedback and make edits to their writing as appropriate.
In EYFS and Year 1, we use the SFA phonics programme which builds to the Jungle Club Spelling program in Y2. These sessions are delivered daily.
In KS2, from the academic year 2023, we have started to use the ‘Spelling Shed’ programme for the teaching of Spellings. This programme recaps on previous year’s spelling patterns and then introduces new patterns and sight words.
These programmes are in line with the National Curriculum for phonics and spelling. Identified children receive extra phonics support through our Lightning Squad intervention.
Grammar and Language Skills
As children progress through Cavendish, they receive focused instruction on grammar and language skills. This includes learning about sentence structure, verb tense, word choice, and stylistic elements to enhance the quality of their writing.
Letter Formation and Handwriting
Our whole school approach to handwriting is PenPals for Handwriting scheme.
It is a structured and sequential program that guides children through the process of learning to write in a clear and systematic manner.
Blue Writing Folders
Individual writing folders showcase the children’s growth and progression as writers. The folders allow the children to revisit and reflect on their earlier work, showing them how far they have come in their writing journey.
Integration with Other Subjects
Writing is integrated into other subjects, allowing students to apply their writing skills across the curriculum. They may write reports in science, narratives in English, or persuasive essays in social studies, providing real-world applications for their writing skills.
- EYFS, KS1 and KS2 writing results are in-line with or above national average and progress is evident for each child.
- Year 1 phonics is at or above national average.
- Writing monitoring shows children are writing with fluency and appropriate to age
- Pupils enjoy writing regularly and discuss links across texts and in writing. Love for literature
- Staff are strong teachers of writing and sharing best practise beyond our school. Excellent pedagogy
- Accurate summative assessment of writing using Kent Statements shows children are making progress over time. Robust assessment
- Children’s language acquisition continues to improve and can be seen in writing.