Writing at Tredworth Junior School

Writing at Tredworth Junior School

 

At TJS, much time and thought is given to the process of writing. Children explore and engage with a particular genre before being expected to write in that style, they are therefore clear of the expectation of the written outcome and are given the opportunity to produce their very best. Children are praised and motivated and writing sessions are not only productive but enjoyable.

 

Skills Groups

 

Within their year group, children are placed into ability set skills groups for three sessions per week. Within these groups they learn to develop important skills suited to their level of ability, such as: word and sentence types, grammar and punctuation and handwriting. Teachers carefully choose the skills focus based on the writing that will take place during whole class sessions. Both genres and skills are mapped out at the beginning of each year to ensure progress and coverage. Class writing Children return back to their class for two writing sessions per week, we believe it is important to ensure that higher ability children can act as positive role models for other learners, they will expose them to new vocabulary and support them with their ideas. Individual pupil targets are used to ensure that all pupils are challenged to make progress and achieve their personal best. Where appropriate, written work is linked to our CLP; this helps to engage the children and provides opportunities for cross-curricular learning to take place. It also ensures that writing activities have context and purpose. Pupils bring a wealth of recent learning across the CLP to the writing experience. The use of discussion is a vital part of any lesson, whether it is used to generate ideas, rehearse orally what will be written or to reflect on the effectiveness of the writing process. Children receive support and guidance where needed but the use of success criteria, resources and prior learning helps us to make them independent learners where possible. Writing does not only take place during Literacy sessions. Opportunities for writing arise throughout the TJS curriculum with skills and expectations continuously being reinforced and enjoyment being shared. Where appropriate children are involved in deciding on which form of writing would best suit the purpose.

 

Spelling

 

The process of spelling is taught alongside reading. Three phonic sessions per week are used to consolidate and develop the children’s knowledge of letter sounds and the sounds that graphemes make. Lessons are rapid and structured. Children remain focussed, active and as a result of this, they make good progress. Children are assessed on entering the school and at various points throughout the academic year; this ensures that children are grouped correctly in terms of their stage not age. Once children have grasped their understanding of phonic strategies, they work in spelling groups where their understanding of phonics is reinforced and spelling patterns and rules are learnt. These sessions also provide regular opportunities for new vocabulary to be introduced and discussed. The lessons are simple in structure and well-paced, thus ensuring children remain focussed and engaged.

 

Intervention

 

Interventions are used to support those children identified as being behind their age related expectations. Children work in a small group using resources that stimulate and focus on them making quick progress over a twelve week period. Following the intervention, children return to the whole class literacy sessions. Successful intervention develops not only the child’s use of important literacy skills, but also their self-belief.

 

Monitoring

 

Individual writing portfolios are used to collect evidence for each pupil in the school. They include a range of genres and allow us to view the child’s journey since entering the school. Writing portfolios are used to support formative assessment at three points during the academic year. Regular levelling workshops take place to ensure teacher judgements, in relation to the national standards, are consistent and accurate and that any differences are identified and resolved. Book samples are used to monitor the coverage of skills, differentiation across the different groups and feedback in relation to the school’s feedback policy. This is carried out by the Literacy Coordinator and a member of the leadership team. Following this process feedback is given to teaching staff and any issues are addressed.