Our Writing, Grammar and Spelling coordinator is: Mrs L Poole
At Towngate Primary Academy, our writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum programmes of study and Early Years Framework. Across the academy, we use Read, Write Inc. to teach our spellings and Collins Connect Grammar books to ensure we have a comprehensive coverage in grammar taught across school.
At Towngate, teachers plan following a book-led approach using the writing, grammar and punctuation progression grid. This document is then used to derive long term plans in the subject, ensuring that careful consideration is given to the sequence of the curriculum through medium term planning. The writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling curriculum in place is planned to ensure pupils accumulate the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding that builds towards an independent piece of writing, showcasing pupils’ imagination, enjoyment and ability to write for varied audience and purpose.
Class teachers use high quality texts as a stimulus for writing, ensuring that lessons are sequenced in small steps and pupils have a range of opportunities to read high quality written examples as a guide for their own practice.
Within the classroom, teachers use a consistent approach in the delivery of their lessons using a small steps approach to content delivery. Teachers use a consistent teaching model across all classes to consolidate previous learning and build on this with new learning, modelled carefully by adults within the classrooms.
The teaching sequence within writing, grammar and spelling lessons are built upon a book-led approach where pupils are exposed to a high quality text, complete grammar fluency and application tasks and lead towards unpicking a modelled text which leads to modelled, shared and independent writing. Examples of the texts use to stimulate writing include Classic Fiction such as The Hobbit, The Wind in the Willows, Peter Pan and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, alongside an array non-fiction texts, picture books, poetry books and novels. Spelling lessons take place daily to support pupils’ recall of spelling rules, leading to successful application into independent writing.
In Early Years, our writing curriculum is centered around developing pupils’ first hand experiences through carefully selected provision: this allows pupils to understand our texts of study through the use of role play and provides varied opportunities to develop their fine and gross motor skills through writing for different purposes including captions, menus, short narratives, instructions and lists. It is our pupils’ enjoyment for writing in the Early Years that supports pupils’ abilities as they progress through school.
Pupils are taught age-appropriate grammatical vocabulary as part of a daily review within the classroom. Flashcards are used to help pupils recall key terminology and definitions to use in independent practice. Within lessons, adults in the classroom model and question effectively in order to ensure pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and vocabulary to achieve as they work towards independent writing. Adults use modelled examples to demonstrate the expectation of writing for varied audience and purpose which leads to shared writing and independent writing in the classroom. Class teachers also build in opportunities for children to edit, improve and redraft elements of their writing to build their skill repertoire as authors in their own right.
The environment is central to the English curriculum: working walls are used in the classroom to capture the learning journey and provide a consistent scaffold for learning. These are added to throughout each session and allow pupils to build their own independence for learning. Through regular opportunities to reflect, edit and improve their writing through our ‘tick and fix’ guidance and feedback model, pupils work towards a final draft of independent writing where they can showcase the skills and knowledge learnt.
To measure the impact of our curriculum, we regularly use pupils’ books to capture an insight into the effectiveness of our curriculum. Pupils’ work demonstrate the effectiveness of the curriculum where age-appropriate grammar knowledge and writing skills are developed over a sequence of lessons which lead towards pupils writing independent pieces.
In addition, we regularly collate pupil voice to ensure our curriculum meets the needs of the children at Towngate Primary. As a result, children are exposed to a varied menu of genres and write for a range of audiences and purposes, with high quality models derived from a range of texts used to inspire their own writing. Through pupil interview, children can articulate the resources they have access to in order to improve and establish themselves as authors in their own right.
Pupils’ gain cultural capital through the carefully crafted choice of texts used as a basis to the book-led curriculum – the exposure to a range of genres, authors and novels allows for pupils to read often and widely and provide a stimulus and high quality model to inspire pupils to have future aspirations as authors, journalists, editors and beyond. Through the work of the writing curriculum, pupils are keen to join the Newspaper club and join in varied opportunities and competitions to share their own writing widely.
Examples of high quality work derived as a result of the writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling are used on our corridors as a learning showcase. This ensures pupils are proud of their work and strive to work towards achieving the same high standards. Impact in the curriculum can also be seen through the Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs for Year 6 pupils) and through termly summative assessments across school which enables pupils’ progress and attainment in the subject matter to be evaluated.