Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum at Cherry Orchard. It is our aim to ensure that our pupils develop a love of writing, where they are able to use effective and appropriate vocabulary, which has an impact on the reader. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We strive for our pupils to develop independence, where they are able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process. We also intend to develop writers who are able to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. At Cherry Orchard, we set high expectations for all pupils; to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style, alongside allowing their imaginations to flourish.
In order to help us to develop confident, enthusiastic writers, teachers plan sequences of learning which last between 3 and 4 weeks. These units target the gaps identified through assessment. These sequences are pitched at the expected level for the year group, ensuring that all pupils are exposed to the writerly skills of the curriculum appropriate for their age. We carefully differentiate activities throughout the sequence, to ensure that all pupils can achieve the intended outcome.
We start by immersing our children into a high-quality focused text, which is used as a model for writing. These texts introduce pupils to new, rich vocabulary which we expect them to apply to their own writing. The children become familiar with the text through a variety of memorable experiences, which are known as the ‘hook’. They also apply their reading skills to help them retrieve, infer and predict.
Once the pupils are more familiar with the text, we teach them specific writerly skills which will make their writing effective. The teacher models the writing process and examples are displayed on our working wall, so that pupils can refer to them when writing independently. During this stage of the unit, pupils practise their sentence writing and we encourage them to explain how they know they have been successful and to find areas for improvement, which they then edit using a purple polishing pen.
In the final stage of the sequence, pupils are taught to use everything they have learned to plan, write and edit a final outcome. This is then sometimes presented in best, particularly if presentation has been a focus for the unit.
High standards of writing in other subjects are expected. Teachers provide varied opportunities across the curriculum to apply the writerly skills taught and to develop stamina. The children write end of unit ‘essays’ for Geography and History, where they answer the over-arching key question for the topic covered. We expect the children to transfer and apply their writing skills, so that these final outcomes are high quality.
Letter formation is taught alongside the acquisition of letter sounds in the first instance (through our Read, Write, Inc scheme). Children begin to learn cursive handwriting, when ready, in Reception. This then continues through Year 1 and 2. It is expected that children will begin to join their writing in Year 2. All children strive to achieve perfect presentation and from Year 3, pupils can use a pen. It is expected that all children will use a pen from Year 4. All teachers model the ‘Cherry script’ when modelling writing for the children and when marking. We use a cursive font for printed sheets and displays (pre-cursive for EYFS/Year 1).
Regular moderation both in school and through the Rivers Multi-Academy Trust, ensures that our writing assessment is accurate.
- Pupils will enjoy being authors and will write effectively across a range of genres, with a knowledge of how to engage the audience
- Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded
- Pupils will have a good knowledge of how to self-assess the effectiveness of their writing and will proof-read and edit to improve
- Pupils will apply their knowledge of punctuation, spelling and grammar
- Pupils will have a wide vocabulary that they will be able to apply within their own writing
- Pupils will be able to apply their writing skills across the curriculum
- The percentage of pupils working at age-related expectations and above age-related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages and will match the ambitious targets of individual children
- The will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)
- Pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points
- By the end of Year 6, pupils will be independent writers and will be well equipped for the rest of their education