At Amesbury, our writing vision is to develop our children into ambitious, creative and enthusiastic authors who have the skills and knowledge to be able to write for a range of purposes and audiences. By the time our children leave Amesbury CE Primary School, we want every child to feel confident with his or her writing capability and have the skills and knowledge to understand and write for different genres. Our children will have been taught how to edit and evaluate their writing and to appreciate this as a skill, ensuring that they are prepared for the next stage of their education. Our children are always encouraged to work hard and demonstrate our school values of kindness, dignity and endurance, thereby promoting our whole school ethos, ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.’ (Colossians 3:23)
At Amesbury, our writing curriculum is in line with the expectations of the National Curriculum. Children in EYFS are provided with structured learning opportunities to teach them how to form letters, write captions and write sentences before they begin key stage one. In Amesbury, we aspire for all children, who are capable, to achieve their early learning goal in writing, with a good level of development. Children in key stage one follow the RWI (read write inc) programme for writing, matched closely with their reading ability. Children complete their writing booklets during their RWI sessions daily and are also provided with a range of cross-curricular writing opportunities.
In key stage two, our children write for a purpose which is mapped out for the whole key stage, allowing the children to build upon writing progression, ensuring that they are ready for the next stage of their learning. We use a range of stimuli within our writing sessions from videos and images, to non-fiction texts to poetry; allowing them to develop enthusiasm and creativity. During our writing sessions, we ensure that children in key stage two are exposed to a variety of modelled texts both fictional and ‘real world’.
From Year 3 upwards, spelling is taught as a discrete lesson five times per week using the Shakespeare Spelling scheme. The lesson first lesson focuses on teaching spelling rules, patterns and strategies and subsequent lessons allows children to learn how to spell words in a safe, secure environment through a range of engaging activities. The scheme also allows time for the children to learn and practise their year group spelling words.
The impact of our writing curriculum is evidenced largely through teacher assessment. Formative assessment happens regularly during the day as children are given opportunities to write in subjects from all across the curriculum; from this assessment, teachers adapt their planning accordingly to meet the needs of their class and ensure progress in skills is being made. We moderate writing several times a year, currently internally through book looks, with the aim to moderate with other local schools, to ensure that our assessments are accurate. Through successful coverage of the curriculum, our writing results at the end of KS2 will meet the national average, with many children exceeding and our progress scores will be positive.
Spelling and grammar assessments are done three times a year, using the Rising Stars assessment materials. Children are also tested weekly on the year group spelling words and progress over the year is recorded.
A further important way of measuring success is through discussions between teachers and senior leaders. Formal meetings are held at regular intervals in the year, during which the writing attainment and progress of all children is discussed; these meetings involve the class teacher, writing lead and SENCO.
The teaching of writing is also monitored through lesson observations and book scrutinies. This ensures that our curriculum is being delivered correctly; meaning children are being taught a wide range of genres and will leave our school being able to write ambitiously and creatively; thus fulfilling our schools vision.