In ensuring that ‘Better Never Stops’, our English curriculum aims to ensure that:
At Spa, our curriculum aims to equip pupils with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
It is the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
As a school, it is important our curriculum evolves to take account of how the pandemic may have led to gaps in pupils’ knowledge, learning delays and a wider range of starting points. In writing this includes:
|Pupils' handwriting has been variably impacted by prolonged periods of remote education.||The profile of handwriting has been raised considerably since pupils' return. Pupils in Year 3 & 4 are supported through enhanced handwriting provision in all writing sessions.|
|There are some gaps in pupils' knowledge of punctuation and grammar.||Increased revisiting of the knowledge and skills that have been identified as most important as pupils return to school.|
In designing our curriculum, it is Spa's aim that our curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning. We regularly review our curriculum to enhance the way in which, over the course of study, teaching is designed to help pupils to remember long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas.
We have designed our teaching sequence to help pupils to remember long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas.
Below is the sequence that is followed when teaching writing:
Pupils are given a real purpose for their writing. The purpose and audience are made clear and are the cornerstones of each writing sequence. The EXPLORE stage of Spa's writing sequence gathers the key subject-specific knowledge that pupils require to be able to write with confidence. This stage of the sequence focuses on immersing pupils in a wide-range of vocabulary and language that can be applied to the text.
With the purpose and audience constantly being revisited, the teacher models planning the text. This will focus on both structural features as well as the logical organisation of ideas, manipulating these based around the desired purpose and audience. Pupils will then construct their own plan.
For our younger pupils, those with SEND or those that struggle with sentence construction, this stage is focused on creating accurate single-clause sentences (for later manipulation in the 'write' stage. Older pupils, or those that are confident in their sentence construction, will use this stage to focus more on the content and sequencing of ideas.
In this stage of the sequence, staff model-write as 'expert writers'. Focused on using and manipulating grammar and punctuation to achieve the purpose and with the audience constantly in mind. Punctuation and grammar is taught through the context of the genre being studied. Pupils apply this to their own independent writing in this stage.
Modelled by staff, this stage of every writing sequence focuses on revising and editing based on teachers' assessments of pupils' writing. Revision and editing sessions are designed around the needs of the whole-class, groups and individual pupils.
Throughout Spa, we strive to achieve an "ethic of excellence". Pupils publish their writing, focused on any final revisions/edits to be made and to 'publish' their work to achieve their purpose. This aims to build confidence, reflectiveness and pride in our pupils.
We have clearly defined the progressive and cumulative end points for the end of each year group in writing:
A range of formative and summative assessment strategies are used to assess writing and inform teaching and curriculum planning.
Checking for understanding through a lesson and writing sequence takes the form of:
Writing is assessed at the end of a unit to determine the degree to which key skills should be revisited with the class/groups.
Writing is assessed summatively by identifying pupils' gaps against the progression framework (above). This allows for the content of teaching to be designed based around the needs of pupils.
Spa's aim is that the teaching of writing contributes to supporting pupils' reading by:
We are excited to soon share with you examples of pupils' portfolio pieces.
|Strategic English Lead||Jack Wardle (Assistant Headteacher)|
|Writing Leader||Kathryn Parkin (Class Teacher)|
If you would like to find out more about Writing at Spa, please contact us via the main office.