Umberleigh Academy Vision for Writing
“Writing permits me to be more than I am. Writing permits me to experience life as any number of strange creations.”
At Umberleigh Academy we want to inspire all pupils with a love of all things related to language. We aim for pupils to leave our school having experienced a range of writing in different genres, and able to be effective communicators through both the written and spoken word.
We aim to produce confident writers who are literate and articulate. We want our children to see themselves as writers and to be able to write for a range of different purposes.
We aim to increase pupil’s ability to accurately and fluently record their ideas, developing their understanding of audience and purpose and their ability to choose vocabulary and grammar appropriate to these. We place high importance on children’s ability to evaluate the effectiveness of their own writing, and to act on this to self-edit and improve their own work.
We aim for our pupils to become increasingly accurate in their ability to spell unfamiliar words and to be able to proofread their own work to check and change errors.
We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
We follow the National Curriculum and have devised a cross-curricular approach that directly links our teaching of writing with the topic being taught in each term of our four-year rolling programme. Each term, high-quality texts are used which are thematically linked to our topic and which will challenge and inspire our pupils, enriching our teaching and learning by providing writing opportunities that are meaningful and memorable and allow for creativity.
We teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for pupils who are struggling to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and access to additional support materials such as Writers Tool kits, Word Banks or a greater level of modelling. Children who need challenge are given opportunities to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact that their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar features.
We have a programme of learning which focuses on the four purposes of writing: to entertain, to inform, to persuade and to discuss. Each year group have a yearly overview of the writing genres, both narrative and non-fiction, that they will teach. These have been planned to ensure correct coverage of the key genres as well as build on skills from year to year. Units will take between two and four weeks to complete, and the basic approach of Cold Write, direct teaching and Hot Write are followed. The Hot Write is used to assess the pupil’s skills against the agreed success criteria.
We provide opportunities for extended and independent writing allowing children to build stamina for writing at length. Our pupils are given opportunities for editing and reviewing their own work, and time is also built into teaching sequences for peer marking.
Our grammar teaching is linked directly to each writing outcome, ensuring our pupils understand the relevance of the skills being taught. We use the Decision Spelling programme to teach spelling in 4-5 sessions for 20 minutes each week.
We measure the impact of the children’s learning through ensuring the following things:
- Children of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because of work that will be appropriately scaffolded.
- Pupils are increasing able to write at length and are familiar with the features of different genres. They enjoy writing and are aware of the ways they can use words to create different responses in their readers.
- Children will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience
- Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition at home.
- Pupils will leave primary school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.
- The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with national averages.
- The % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with national averages
- There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils