At Callington, we are dedicated to deliver an exciting, innovative English curriculum which enables and empowers children to become articulate speakers, inspired writers and avid readers for life.
We intend to create confident writers who develop stamina for writing throughout their time at school. We aim for all of our children to be independent writers, building on a range of skills as they work through each journey of writing and for them to be able to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Throughout this journey, we ensure our children are immersed in a range of genres and have a clear understanding of purpose and audience. Our learners will have a secure understanding of the purpose of a text type, the intended impact of writing skills/tools and the ability to carefully select vocabulary with careful attention to the desired effect on the readers’ thoughts and feelings. Our learners are challenged and encouraged to take risks and view mistakes as part of the learning process. We believe and encourage children to always set high expectations for themselves, ensuring they take pride in all aspects of learning and in everything they produce.
Literacy lesson are taught in units of writing which take place over roughly a 2-3 week learning journey and are taught through 45-60 minute lessons from Monday to Friday. We have created a pedagogical process for each lesson within the learning journey, which can be viewed below; this structured approach to sequences of lessons ensures that the build-up of knowledge and skills is progressive and clear.
Teachers clearly establish the purposes and audiences for writing at the start of the process of each ‘learning journey’ or unit of work and will plan for the whole unit of writing at a time to ensure the learning journey can be made clear and purposeful.
Please see the link below for an in depth breakdown of each lesson and our approach to writing in our ‘Writing Policy’
Although the pedagogical process is detailed for each lesson, teachers have the professional scope to make adjustments where they think they are needed. For example, if more than one lesson is needed to embed a skill then this can be done or if an extra lesson is needed for drama/speaking and listening then teachers have the freedom to do so. There is an expectation that each stage of the learning process takes place and is evident through books, learning environment and planning.
The learning journey is made clear to the children from the first lesson and this ensures they are fully involved in the process and clear about the outcome they are working towards. In Key Stage Two, pupils experience writing in different forms for a variety of audiences. They write for different purposes (to entertain, to inform, to discuss and to persuade) and are taught to plan, draft, proof read, improve and present their writing on paper and on screen, and to discuss and evaluate their own writing and that of others. The links between reading and writing in fiction and non-fiction continue to be made explicit. Pupils use their knowledge of texts they have studied to construct their own writing and have greater control over organisation, language features, vocabulary and spelling.
Shared writing is integral to our approach to teaching writing at Callington as we believe children need to see us as writers (and as readers) modelling ‘writing behaviours’ explicitly to them. Therefore, teachers use shared writing on a regular basis to help children to understand how to write a particular kind of text and to provide them with a modelled piece of writing to emulate. It involves the teacher producing a piece of writing with input from the children; teachers should elicits ideas from the children and together they all compose a collaborative passage using the key vocabulary, grammar, spelling and punctuation skills being focussed upon.
New Vocabulary for our Journey
The teaching of vocabulary at Callington Primary is extremely important and we fully recognise a broad range of vocabulary has for later life. Therefore, for each journey, children will be introduced to new words which are relevant to the work being produced within the English learning journey. Children will spend time exploring these words within the first week of the learning journey and the expectation is that they should be able to verbally use them in sentences and within their written work.
Edit and improve
We want children to recognise the importance of making and learning from mistakes and view this very much as part of the learning process. One of the final stages of each writing journey in KS2, is given to editing and improving writing. Children independently and/or collaboratively read back through their own writing. Whilst doing this, they look for errors in punctuation, spelling and grammar and text mark this in black pen. Once they have done this, they then use a footnote system in order to improve/add sentences or sections to their work for their final draft. Pupils are encouraged to think about all aspects of their writing they can improve, not just skills within a single learning journey. This is so that children focus on what can be improved holistically. The editing process is regularly modelled to children by teachers.
Equal spread of coverage of genres
Genres of writing should be covered with an equal spread which we set out on individual year groups genre overviews. This is done so that children have the opportunity to apply skills equally to a range of writing as well being able develop technical, structural and vocabulary understanding. The genre overviews ensure there is a clear progression through the school and that children write for a range of purposes which include: to discuss (Year 4 +), to explain (Year 3+), to instruct, to persuade, to report, to recount and to entertain. All of these non-fiction types are to be covered at least every two years and there should be an emphasis on writing to entertain. The genre overviews suggest two key tools/ skills to be taught within each unit of writing. The third skill identified to be taught should reflect next steps identified for the class and is chosen by the class teacher.
Grammar is taught throughout our daily literacy lessons and this is made clear through grammar specific learning objectives where appropriate. As well as this, children are explicitly taught grammar for a 15 minute literacy starter 2 times a week.
Teachers plan sessions based on the whole school grammar progression which is taken from National Curriculum expectations for each year group. Children are then expected to apply their grammar knowledge throughout each piece of writing.
At Callington Primary School, spelling is a strong focus across the school with daily phonics sessions in Foundation Stage and KS1 along with high frequency word and common exception word spellings addressed during morning registration.
In KS2, there are three spelling sessions a week in every class and children are organised into differentiated groups lead by teachers and teaching assistants. Adults rotate week to week around the different groups so all children will have teacher lead sessions. A new spelling rule is taught each which and the systematic sessions follow the following structure:
The spellings being learnt by the children are taken from the National curriculum and cover all the spelling conventions, statutory spellings and common exception words that are required to be learnt throughout key stage 1 and 2. We have split the statutory requirements into half termly overviews with weekly lists of ten spelling words each linked to one spelling rule.
These spelling lists are also sent home for homework and then tested the following week. Any spelling that a KS2 child spells incorrectly during the test is noted on a post – it note and then the child has the opportunity to work on these during afternoon registration. Children are encouraged to apply their previously learnt and current spelling rules throughout their writing and teachers’ address any areas bring made in their marking comments.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
As a result of high quality teaching and immersion in high quality vocabulary, children achieve well; this is reflected in results from national tests that not only meet government expectations but exceed them.
Children leave Callington with an extensively improved vocabulary, a passion for writing and high aspirations to continue to grow and develop throughout their education.