Statement of Intent for Writing
“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” - E. L. Doctorow (American Novelist, essay writer and editor)
At St John the Baptist School, we want all children to be able to confidently and imaginatively communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and reach their full potential. We aim to ensure all our children develop a genuine love of language and the written word, through a text-based approach, linking closely to the way we teach reading.
- To plan a progressive curriculum to build upon previous teaching, with regular assessment to ensure each child’s needs are met to reach their full potential.
Provide exciting writing opportunities and experiences that engage and enhance all pupils.
All children have a good knowledge of phonics to springboard them into becoming fluent writers.
All children acquire a wide vocabulary and can spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.
All children have a solid understanding of grammar and apply it effectively to their writing.
All children can write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a legible, cursive, individual handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
To develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.
Guide and nurture each individual on their own personal journeys to becoming successful writers.
"I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn." - Anne Frank
Learning to write is intrinsically linked to learning to read and is a tool that enables us to record and share our thoughts, ideas, beliefs, emotions as well as our knowledge and understanding of the world. Using a variety of genres such as stories, poetry, recounts, information texts and many more, we can communicate, inform and entertain. At St John the Baptist, we are dedicated in ensuring that every child learns to write legibly and grammatically, but more importantly with enthusiasm and pride in the product of their labours.
Children in EYFS and KS1 are following the Song of Sounds scheme. This is an engaging, fun and interactive programme.
Song of Sounds is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme, which runs from EYFS to Year 2. The programme teaches children to read and write by introducing children to the sounds that they can hear in words (phonemes) and their written equivalent (graphemes). Children learn to blend sounds together to read words and segment words in order to spell them.
Song of Sounds is also a multi-sensory phonics programme. It is hands-on and interactive with music, movement and practical activities at its core, to ensure children enjoy the phonics learning process. The programme ensures that children become fluent readers and knowledgeable spellers by the end of Key Stage 1.
Our children receive daily Phonics sessions, which are taught discreetly in Early Years, Year 1 and Year 2. The first four lessons are approximately 20 minutes with an hour’s consolidation lesson at the end of the week. Within the Early Years indoor and outdoor environment, children can explore Phonics related activities independently throughout day. Children are assessed at the end of each unit. Using this information, teachers will determine whether children need further support in the development of their phonics.
We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. Alongside this, the children are taught the ‘tricky words’ – high frequency words which do not follow the regular phonetic pattern.
The children access decodable books to complement their learning, and are regularly listened to by adults in the class. An enthusiastic and competent reader leads to an enthusiastic and competent writer.
(See Reading Intent Statement for full information)
Towards the end of year 2, children start to move on to our Accelerated Reader program, which we hope leads to a culture of ‘reading for pleasure’ which as indicated above, in turn influences their writing.
It is our aim that every child should develop a fluent and legible style of handwriting. Capital and lower-case letters should be used appropriately and the letter size should be consistent. We will provide opportunities for children to develop, practise and perfect skills and provided targeted support to any child experiencing difficulty.
Children will be encouraged to appreciate that clear presentation is important in order to communicate meaning. They will be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work and to understand that fluent and legible writing plays a key part in this.
In this school we recognise that consistent fluent handwriting also plays a key role in the skill of spelling and therefore these competencies will be often worked on in partnership.
See handwriting policy.
The model below outlines the process that the teachers of St John the Baptist follow to ensure that our children produce meaningful and high-quality written texts, linking and combining literacy knowledge and text types.
READING AS A READER
At the beginning of a unit of writing, teachers select quality texts, which are shared with the whole class. These texts are then discussed and analysed, totally immersing the children in the genre: specific features of the style of writing are identified; grammatical structures and punctuation are determined; quality vocabulary is highlighted. As a class, the impact that the author’s choices have on us as readers is considered, and how this can be applied in the children’s own writing.
READING AS A WRITER
This the stage where the children are supported in thinking about how they can apply what they have learnt from the quality text. To continue the immersion in the text and content, this phase may incorporate drama activities, discussing their ideas in pairs, small groups or as whole class. Children will also complete grammatical exercises and activities to ensure constant accuracy and impact in all their writing.
WRITING AS A READER
The writing process is challenging and consists of several changes, each of which is modelled, supported and guided by the teacher before the children ‘have a go’ independently. These steps are planning, drafting, proof-reading, editing and presenting. At this stage as well as considering genre features, the children will learn about the purpose and who the audience is for their writing. This will inform the register (forma/informal) of the text, which in turn should influence their choices in vocabulary, sentence structure and punctuation.
Throughout the process the children’s work will be evaluated with adults and peers, ensuring this is a supportive and collaborative activity.