Curriculum subject leader: Mrs Emma Fawcett
The Writing Curriculum at Maple Cross
Writers at Maple Cross explore, analyse and use a variety of enriching and diverse experiences which allow them to experiment with their developing vocabulary. Talk is central to our writers allowing them to think differently, to be creative, to rehearse ideas and to make sense of new concepts. Writers at Maple Cross are aware of the need for accuracy and creativity in their writing.
High quality texts and reading gives us access to a wealth of language, experiences and opportunities. Each writing unit is linked to a core text, which can be viewed in the long term plan. Exploring a wide range of texts supports learners on their journey as writers as they develop their language, understand new concepts and learn to master the ability to manipulate language and structures for effect on the reader.
Talk is central to Writing lessons. Learners are expected to explain their thinking, value other people’s experiences and opinions and use this to develop their own understanding. The acquisition of new language is introduced using different techniques to develop vocabulary .
The spelling long term plan supports the acquisition of different spelling patterns from Year 1 to Year 6. These are taught as discrete sessions, where opportunities for revision and over-learning are built into each lesson.
In addition to the spelling patterns, Year 1 and 2 children are expected to learn to read and spell their Common Exception Words. There are Compulsory Word Lists for children in Years 3 to 6.
We believe that having high quality, legible handwriting raises the self-esteem of our learners as they begin to feel good about the way they perceive their writing. In order for children to be able to focus on the composition of their writing, it is vital that they have handwriting automaticity. This is the ability to write at speed without having to concentrate on accuracy and it enables children to have cognitive freedom to focus on the content of their writing. High quality handwriting sets our learners up to present themselves well and to give a good first impression to people in their future lives. Handwriting is taught in every year group and progression in handwriting has been carefully planned for to support the development of our learners.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Phonics Session (RWInc)
In these year groups and sessions, print letter formation is taught using the EYFS and RWInc handwriting guidance to support learning in school. A visual toolkit may also be used to guide learners in improving their handwriting. A parent guide has been created to enable learners to be supported in developing their handwriting at home.
Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2): Years 1 to 6
In these year groups, outside of phonics sessions, cursive letter formation is taught using the KS1 and KS2 handwriting guidance to support learning in school. A visual toolkit may also be used to guide learners in improving their handwriting. The children learn their letter formation within handwriting families. A parent guide has been created to enable learners to be supported in developing their handwriting at home.
Being able to write in accurately punctuated sentences is a core writing skill. At Maple Cross, each class from Year 1 to Year 6 delivers short, bespoke key skills sessions in addition to the Writing lesson. This allows children to rehearse the core skills in discrete sessions before applying them to their writing throughout the curriculum.
Grammar is taught in each year group. The prioritised grammar emphasis for each year group supports teachers to ensure that core grammar is covered in all Writing topics. The curriculum grammar terms details and explains all the grammatical terminology that children are expected to acquire by the end of Year 6.
Writing sessions combine all the skills of handwriting, punctuation, grammar and spelling alongside the more creative aspects of writing. Writing topics are organised around a high quality text to enhance experience and develop enthusiasm and discussion. The symbols for writing and author techniques are used to support creativity and diversity in writing. Writers are encouraged to use different grammatical structures to vary their writing and to apply learning from key skills and spelling sessions to maintain accuracy. Teachers use the curriculum to support their planning alongside a set of core writing expectations for their year group.
Writing is assessed using the teacher assessment frameworks. Each year group has its own end of year expectations linked to the National Curriculum. The assessment of writing documents detail the national expectations for children in Writing at the end of Year 2 and Year 6.