At Tylers Green, we aim to give our children a writing curriculum that enables them to become confident, creative and independent writers, who can communicate their ideas and write for a range of purposes. We support our children to develop transferable skills, which they can use across the broader curriculum and throughout their lives. We use educational visits, high-quality literature, film and the arts as stimuli for writing, which links learning to real-life experience and provides a contextualised and meaningful curriculum. Tylers Green writers leave with the technical skills necessary to communicate clearly in the modern world.
Children receive a one-hour English lesson daily and are exposed to aspirational, greater-depth expectations for writing within a range of texts.
In Key Stage 2, our children follow the National Curriculum through purpose-based lessons devised by our skilled teachers and English writing lead, covering all traditional genres. It is text, image, video and experience-based and all units are linked, where appropriate, to the current creative curriculum. This gives children a broad base of knowledge, facts, vocabulary, real-life experience and a context to influence their writing.
Grammar is mapped by year group, based on the National Curriculum expectations. It is taught within the context of the style of writing used in the unit of learning. Children revisit these purposes for writing across the year and in their school life to deepen their mastery. We appreciate that children who join our school in Year 3 will have focused on a narrow range of purposes heavily based on familiar stories and experiences. Therefore, during Key Stage 2 at TGMS, our children broaden their understanding of different genres and have the opportunity to develop their writing skills across a range of subjects.
Within each style of writing, children follow a similar path:
- Exploring and analysing the model text, teaching grammar in context
- The opportunity for immersion through discussion, investigation, drama and art, linking to the core text where possible
- Organising and planning their writing
- Writing the first draft
- Editing and improving with support from their teacher and peers
- Reflecting on their improvement feedback and finally redrafting their work
- Publishing their piece
The children also write independent writing tasks throughout the year: this allows pupils to demonstrate their strengths and areas for development, and for the teachers to plan their following lessons accordingly.
Assessing writing is an ongoing process that takes place periodically across the year. After the children have published their final piece of writing for the unit, teachers assess the writing against the Year group framework. At the end of each term, the teacher makes a judgement based on national age-related expectations, which we have used to develop the Tylers Green writing framework.
Children are assessed as one of the following:
Working below the national standard (Emerging)
Working towards the national standard (Developing)
Working at the national standard (Secure)
Working above the national standard (Above)
Children’s spellings are tested at the beginning and end of the year. Additionally, Year group spellings are included in the weekly homework spelling lists.
Progress is closely monitored by the class teacher, subject leader and senior leadership team. Monitoring includes lesson observations, learning walks, termly moderation of teacher assessment, book and planning scrutiny. Other methods that we use are pupil voice interviews, staff meetings for teacher CPD and disseminating best practices. The findings of this monitoring will be used to inform the next steps for the children and the implementation of writing across the school as a whole.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
Spelling, punctuation and grammar are embedded within the writing curriculum so that children learn skills and use them in context. We supplement this with additional opportunities to develop the children’s knowledge and skills, such as the teaching of SPaG within Guided Reading lessons, in which children learn different SPaG elements embedded within texts. Spelling is taught explicitly in each year group. In our school, children who need further support continue to follow the Bug Club phonics scheme, also used in Tylers Green First School.
The children continue to build on their handwriting skills after joining in Year 3, following a continuous cursive programme. Additionally, the Twinkl handwriting programme incorporates Year-specific elements of spelling and grammar. All children are expected to produce neat, joined, legible handwriting.