Writing - our intent
It is our aim that children at Iveson Primary leave our school as writers who are able to communicate their thoughts and ideas creatively and with confidence.
Our curriculum engages children in a language-rich approach with high-quality texts at its centre. Children are exposed to a range of diverse genres and authors, reflecting the diversity and cultures within our school and beyond. These texts further immerse the children in our cross-curricular topics and provide a spring board for children to write for a wide range of purposes and audiences. Children explore the rich vocabulary, grammar and punctuation within our class texts and discuss the impact of the choices made by different authors. These discussions then inform our own writing, with children aiming to explore these techniques independently, making precise choices in order to affect the reader.
It is important that our children see themselves as writers and so we make it our mission to cultivate a community of writers in our classrooms, our school and within the wider school community itself. Both children and teachers alike will write and share their writing, seeking verbal feedback from their peers, and working collaboratively to solve problems and improve their skills as a writer. Children are explicitly taught about the writing process and the editing and revision of our writing. In addition, visits from authors and journalists continually reinforce these messages and give ‘real-world’ context to our students’ learning.
At the beginning stages of the writing process, children will be exposed to a range of stimuli which they explore as a class through shared reading and discussion. Children may engage in drama activities and independent research to inspire and inform the content of their writing. Children will look at a range of ‘Mentor Texts’ throughout a unit of writing; drawing comparisons and making links in order to create success criteria for their own pieces.
During the writing process, our children engage in peer assessment as a way to improve their writing and foster independence and confidence. Using success criteria, our children are able to talk about the choices they have made as a writer; the effect they wish to have on the reader; and can work collaboratively to edit and revise their piece. Throughout this process, children build their oracy skills and learn to disagree politely and defend their points, giving reasoned justifications for their decisions. These lifelong skills feed into all areas of their learning, ensuring children can write confidently across the curriculum.
Our online Iveson Portfolio of Writing provides children and teachers with a wide range of writing across many genres written by children and teachers in our school. It also provides a place for children to publish their writing projects and receive feedback from other members of our school community, whilst modelling standards to aspire towards.
Literacy in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The following statements are taken from the Statutory Framework for EYFS
Communication and Language
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives7. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
Literacy – Reading
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
Early Learning Goals
Communication and Language
ELG: Listening, Attention and Understanding
Children at the expected level of development will: – Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions; – Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding; – Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.
ELG: Speaking Children at the expected level of development will: – Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary; – Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate; – Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.
ELG: Fine Motor Skills
Children at the expected level of development will: – Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases; – Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery; – Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.
Children at the expected level of development will: – Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary; – Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories; – Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.
ELG: Word Reading
Children at the expected level of development will: – Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs; – Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending; – Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.
Children at the expected level of development will: – Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed; – Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters; – Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
NOTE: Insert text (not images) if possible as this is better for SEO and more accessible. It’s difficult to read text in images at small sizes on mobile devices and for screen readers it’s impossible.
EYFS- “I can use my phonics when I write sentences.”
“Sometimes my friends clap when they listen to my writing.” Isaac
“I know my writing is good because I included everything that I know about bees.” C
“I like reading out my writing. I know it’s good because my friends and my teacher tell me what I did well.” JM
“I’m really proud of my writing because I tried to use some very exciting words from the book we read.” EB
“In Writing, we listen to each other’s ideas. If someone says a good idea, I’ll use it!”- DS
“We edit our writing with partners. We use green and blue pencils. If it’s underlined in green, then it can be improved.”-AK
Year 4- “When we don’t know what to write, our partner can suggest a word.” AV
“When I read my writing out loud, I realised that I’d used the word ‘volcano’ twice but my partner suggested that I describe it as a ‘fountain’. It helped me make my writing more interesting for the reader.”
Year 5- “It helps when I read my writing aloud. It helps me see if my writing flows. Sometimes when I read it aloud, I realise that it doesn’t make sense. Then I know what I need to work on to change it.” KI
“When I look back at my old writing, I can see that it is getting better!”
“I like it when my teacher puts my writing on the board and we all discuss it together. Everyone worked together to make it better. It helped 100%!” AS
“The newspaper report that I wrote looked like something you could buy at the shop. It was really that good!” HH