‘Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe’
At High Halden Primary School, we believe that writing is a means to communicate to an audience the full spectrum of human emotions and intent. All pupils should leave High Halden Primary School able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing.
We want our pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar, and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they have learnt throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that the written word should be celebrated, nurtured and shaped into an economic and emotive tool for communication. In doing this, all pupils are encouraged to express themselves in their writing and to take pride in the presentation, in part by developing a clear cursive handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
As with all aspects of learning, we believe that good writers refine and edit their writing over time. Therefore, teachers support children to develop independence in identifying their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, and editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
Pathways to Write
Pathways is a brand-new methodology designed to equip pupils with key skills to move them through the writing process towards their final outcome. It is built around units of work that follow a mastery approach to the teaching of writing.
To support this approach, clear detailed lesson plans and resources are linked to a high-quality text. Pathways to Write ensures engaging and purposeful English lessons. The units can be used thematically to encourage a whole school approach to writing with the opportunity for topics to link across all year groups.
Each unit covers a range of areas in the national curriculum:
- Mastery of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation skills
- Writing a range of genres across a year
- Vocabulary development
- Using a wider range of reading comprehension strategies as a whole class
- Spoken language activities including drama and presentations
- Opportunities for practising previously taught genres
- An extended, independent piece of writing
This process follows three stages:
The Gateway (1-2 lessons)
- Begin at the Gateway with a ‘hook’ session to intrigue and enthuse young writers
- Use objects, people, images or role-play to stimulate questions about the chosen text
- Give pupils the opportunity to predict the text
- Establish the purpose and audience of the writing
- Revisit previous mastery skills and ongoing skills
The Pathway (10 lessons)
- Introduce pupils to three new writing skills from their year group curriculum
- Provide opportunities to practise and apply the skill they have learnt through short and extended writing tasks including character descriptions, poetry, dialogue between characters, fact files or diary entries in role
- Provide opportunities to re-cap and apply previously taught skills
- Challenge greater depth writers through a wider range of tasks e.g. changes to form, viewpoint and audience
Writeaway (4 lessons)
- Section and sequence texts independently or collaboratively
- Create extended pieces of writing over time
- Opportunity to apply mastery skills
- Time for planning, writing, checking, editing, redrafting and publishing
- A fiction or non-fiction outcome will be written (covering a wide range of genres and themes over the year)
We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we support a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school. This includes open afternoons, ‘book launch’ events to celebrate children’s writing, parent workshops, sharing key skills and next steps at parents meetings or via class dojo.
Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Teachers use the Spelling Shed to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test to review these. When marking work, teachers identify up to three words that children have spelt incorrectly from within that child’s known ability and they write these on a post-it note for the child. Children are then encouraged to identify these incorrect spellings in their own writing and correct them, using this as a reminder for further pieces of writing across the curriculum.
Grammar and Punctuation:
Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre provides children with real life contexts and gives greater meaning and purpose to the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand alone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.