Writing inc Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar (SPAG)
East Hanningfield CE Primary School
How do we teach Writing?
The school knows that English skills are vital to the development of children so they are prepared for their future life. A broad and balanced English programme using objectives from the National Curriculum 2014 and planning supported by Cornerstones, determines the skills that each year group and Key Stage must cover. A range of genres are studied and promoted and we use Jonathan Bond to map progression and coverage of these across the school . A variety of resources are used to promote a reading and writing culture.
Children are given a range of writing opportunities including the use of paired, group and independent writing tasks. A culture of learning from each other is promoted through use of co-operative learning structures. This is developed across all key stages, so that the children learn to respond appropriately and supportivley to each other regardless of gender, age, cultural or ethnic background.
The aims of teaching writing in our school are to develop pupils who:
- show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards writing;
- use and understand language as speakers, readers and writers.
- are competent, confident and independent in the use of language in their writing.
- have an awareness of different audiences and purposes for writing.
- apply their grammatical knowledge in their writing as stated in the POS 2
- apply their phonetic and spelling knowledge in their writing as stated in the POS 1
- apply the English language in all areas of the curriculum.
Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers
All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.
Our school provides daily English lessons that are progressive and support skill development. The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is followed to ensure continuity & progression from entering Reception Class through to the National Curriculum in KS1 & KS2.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into prime & specific areas of learning and development. Communication & Language is one of 3 prime areas that are fundamental to supporting their language development. Communication & Language is made up of the following aspects: listening and attention and understanding and speaking. ‘English' is one of 4 specific areas which include the development of essential skills and knowledge and is made up of the 2 aspects: reading & writing. Pupil provision is related to attainment, not age. Children learn through play, speaking and listening activities, teacher modelling, group work and self-direction.
At East Hanningfield CE Primary we teach specific Grammar sessions which are then applied in children’s writing. As part of our enriched curriculum, English opportunities are planned through a variety of ways including through our author and via other subjects.
In English lessons across all Key Stages, teachers plan a sequence of lessons that explore quality texts and give pupils the opportunity to practice writing and reading skills through the use of co-operative learning structures. Teachers model these skills on regular basis and planning, editing, publishing and ICT based tasks can be planned in as part of the teaching sequence. Handwriting sessions are taught regularly to the children and follow a cursive programme. The children have separate handwriting books and are expected to apply this cursive script into their daily writing.
Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling (SPAG OR GPS)
The grammar of our first language is learnt naturally and implicitly through interactions with other speakers and from reading. Explicit knowledge of grammar is, however, very important, as it gives us more conscious control and choice in our language. Building this knowledge is best achieved through a focus on grammar within the teaching of reading, writing and speaking. At East Hanningfield CE Primary we make the teaching of SPAG an intrinsic part of our lessons.
Once pupils are familiar with a grammatical concept we encourage them to apply and explore this concept in the grammar of their own speech and writing and to note where it is used by others. To achieve this, we do the following:
- Introduce, teach and model an objective for the week. This is often linked to the text being explored.
- For the rest of the week SPAG objectives are explicitly embedded in shared writing in all areas across the curriculum.
- SPAG objectives are explored in texts and an intrinsic part of learning
- We will use mini tests to get children used to the analytical questions that they would get in a SATs assessment
Why is Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar so important?
Punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence greatly! We need to use Standard English to communicate effectively. Using incorrect punctuation, grammar and spelling can change the meaning of sentences whether spoken or written.Children need to use accurate SPAG to progress in life and build careers.
Assessment for learning strategies are used on a daily basis. These will allow a picture to be built up of the pupils’ progress, any areas of strength or weakness which can then be addressed in teachers’ planning.
Assessment of learning is completed termly. Children complete independent writing pieces within a unit of work, which are assessed against our writing criteria. Teachers will have at least 6 pieces of work through the academic year. Analysis of the data impacts upon teachers planning so pupils’ needs can be addressed. Moderation of teacher assessment is also completed termly in order to ensure that judgements are accurate. Children are formally checked using Scholar Green’s data document to ensure that they are making at least expected progress if not more than expected progress, this document is then monitored by subject leaders and SLT. Children who are not on track are identified for intervention/target teaching.
At the end of KS1 and KS2 teachers use the Teacher Assessment Framework to report Teacher assessment.
Leadership and Management
The subject leader's role is to empower colleagues to teach Writing to a high standard and support staff in the following ways:
• By keeping up to date on current issues; disseminating relevant information and providing training for staff members (either directly or through other professionals)
• Leading by example by modelling lessons or styles of teaching
• Having a knowledge of the quality of writing provision across the school and using this to provide a coaching and mentoring role
• Identifying and acting on development needs of staff members
• Monitoring expectations, provision and attainment across the school and providing feedback to develop practice further in order to raise standards
Monitoring and Evaluation
The quality of teaching and learning is monitored as part of the appraisal process through lesson observations and through the progress and attainment documents. In addition, continuity and progression across the school is monitored by the subject leader as is the implementation and impact of Assessment for Learning. The subject action plan and external advisors identify actions intended to raise standards.
The English Subject Leader will also provide an annual summary report to the Headteacher in which s/he evaluates the strengths and weaknesses in writing and indicates areas for further improvement.
A named member of the governing body is briefed to oversee the teaching and learning of English. The link governor meets, at least termly, with the subject leader to review progress.
Partnerships with parents
Parents are informed on how they can help child at home by attending Phonics and Mathematics workshops. Parents are kept informed of topics that are being covered through a half termly class newsletter. During Parents' Evenings curricular targets are shared and a written report is completed annually in the Summer Term. If a child has fallen behind, become stuck with their learning or is causing concern parents would be informed to help discuss any issues that may be relevant and to support the school.
Homework in Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2 is a reading VIPERS task and a choice of focused activity where children are encouraged to complete an English/mathematics choice on alternate weeks. In Upper Key Stage 2 spelling, reading and mathematics homework reinforces class work or curricular target work.