English - Writing

Meppershall Writing Three I Statement
“My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.”
Psalm 45:1
At Meppershall Church of England Academy, we believe that writing is critically important in a child’s life. Having a sound understanding and an articulate use of the English language enables children in many ways, including:
• Improved well being and self-esteem
• Greater access to the wider curriculum
• Better social skills
The role of Writing is to enable the children to communicate meaning clearly in a variety of genres and contexts, and for different audiences. English also has its own intrinsic worth, as well as being a facilitator for work in other areas of the curriculum. It is our aim to instil the joy of language as well as develop the tools to use it confidently and competently. We teach children to: 
• Build on the variety of written language which they experience.
• Support children to experience and realise the different purposes and genres of writing.
• Encourage children to build a wide and imaginative vocabulary to draw from.
• Develop the technical skills of writing such as structuring a piece of work, sentence structure and manipulating reader response.
• Enable children to achieve a comfortable and legible style of handwriting through purposeful guided practice.
• Provide children with the skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
At Meppershall, our teaching of Writing has 4 strands: handwriting, spelling, composition and editing.
• Handwriting is taught throughout the school using a combination of 'Essential Letters and Sounds' and the Nelson Handwriting Scheme. Appropriate pencil grip, good fine motor skills and letter formation are developed from the first few weeks in school.
• Spelling skills start with good Phonics. ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ is taught daily in Early Years and Year 1. Year 2 also benefit from using the 'Essential Letters and Sounds' spelling lessons. Key Stage 2 follow an equally structured programme which allows them to practise what they have learnt previously and then build on this using the National Curriculum for their year group. Statutory Common Exception Words for all year groups are also embedded. Our focus is on the teaching and embedding of spelling rather than simply weekly tests. Groups of words are often sent home for additional practise, but assessment is informal.
• Composition is where the main focus of our curriculum lies. We teach writing through a ‘Writing Journey’ which starts with a WAGOLL (What a Good One Looks Like) as a stimulus and model. This is explored by the children, and specific skills are then taught and practised which will be used in a final extended written piece of work. Structured talk and drama are used as vehicles to extend language. Vocabulary is a key focus and is constantly being developed through work linked to the Writing Journey.
• Children are taught to evaluate their own work and find ways of editing and improving their first drafts. This is done by referring to the 'writing tool kit' devised as a class. 
• Children get the opportunity to write in all subjects and learn to use their skills across the curriculum.
Children’s writing is assessed throughout the shorter pieces of writing they produce and the longer piece of writing they complete at the end of the ‘Writing Journey’. Children evaluate their work throughout the writing process. They are then provided with a whole class feedback sheet which celebrates successes and explains the skills that we will continue to work on. Writing is also assessed every term by informal Teacher Assessment, set against expectations for each year group as outlined in the National Curriculum. This is supported by Statutory Tests in Phonics and formal assessment at the end of Key Stage 1. In Early Years and Key Stage One, Phonics is formally assessed every Half Term to ensure rapid and sustained progress. Children’s writing is also monitored by the Subject Leader and Head Teacher to ensure each child is reaching their full potential.
Curriculum Overview
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