Writing Leader: Kathryn Davis
At CCJ, we ensure that our English curriculum is really varied and exciting to inspire children in their reading and writing sessions.
We use high quality texts from Shakespeare to Roald Dahl, Adeline Yen Mah to Louis Sachar and work on a two year rolling curriculum so that children are introduced to authors from a variety of different cultures, countries and historical periods.
Quality first teaching
Each term, a high quality text that has been selected by teachers is used to form the basis of each writing unit. We believe that exposure to rich vocabulary and engaging plots is key to developing great writers. Sometimes, a real-life stimulus or video can also be used to stimulate engagement for writing but children always have access to at least one high-quality text per term. Each term there are at least two independent writing outcomes (’hot tasks’) as well as a cross-curricular piece of writing linked to the term’s topic.
Writing skills are carefully plotted by the subject leader so that there is clear progression in provision in each year group. This includes grammatical terminology, spellings, handwriting, composition, punctuation and grammar. At CCJ, we ensure that punctuation and grammatical skills are taught in the context of how they can be used for effect in a piece of writing. During each unit, there are pairs of ‘try it’ and ‘use it’ lessons that are taught before the children ‘prove’ their ability to use the features that have been taught in a final extended independent piece of writing:
Grammar and punctuation work in ‘try it’ lessons are either marked by the teacher or by the children so that they can quickly see where they have done well and what they need to do to improve. When completing a 'short burst' write, children self-assess by colouring their toolkit key and underlining an example of that feature in the same colour. The teacher then leaves a piece of written feedback for the child to respond to. During their hot task, children tick the features they have used in the back of their book. After the child has had the chance to edit and improve their own work, the teacher then highlights the features that have been correctly used by the child. A next step is always given during hot tasks.
Teachers assess against objectives three times a year using evidence from SPAG exercises and written work. Teachers can also use cross-curricular topic and RE writing for the term as evidence. There are also three formal assessment weeks, during which children complete a SPAG test paper to provide additional evidence. Teachers in each year group work together to moderate their judgements. There are also regular moderation sessions between year groups as part of out work with other local schools (the 'Ignite' hub).