At St Mary’s Charminster we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want all pupils, regardless of ability, to have the opportunity to; acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they have learnt throughout their time at St Mary’s.
We want them to write clearly, accurately, and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. The belief of all staff at St Mary’s is that every child is encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to middle school.
All good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school.
At St Mary’s we have developed our own three year rolling programme where high quality texts are used to match each termly topic. The books have been carefully chosen by staff to create a rich cohesive writing curriculum for the children as they move through the school. Progression in writing skills have been mapped out for each term and each year group to ensure that children develop their skills as they progress through the school.
Writing lessons focus on the development of handwriting, punctuation, grammar and the creative
process which brings this together to make a piece of writing. There is a strong emphasis on developing writing skills and teachers model how to structure and organise writing so that it engages the reader.
Teachers use a variety of approaches such as drama, Talk for Writing, Literacy Shed, CLPE Power of Reading, Grammarsaurus and KS2History as part of planning for writing activities to help children develop their creativity.
Punctuation and grammar are taught as an integral part of this process and spelling strategies are taught throughout the school. The teaching of phonics and spelling aims to show pupils how to become natural and accurate spellers.
Children in Foundation and Key Stage 1 are taught developmentally appropriate spelling strategies as part of their daily phonics sessions. Key Stage 2 builds on the approaches introduced in Key Stage 1, with an emphasis on developing confidence and independence. It is expected that pupils assume increased responsibility by identifying their own spelling errors, making reasoned choices about likely alternatives and using a range of resources for making corrections. Children in years 2-4 receive 3 spelling sessions a week following the progression in the No Nonsense Spelling scheme.
The intended impact is that all pupils at St Mary’s Charminster will enjoy writing across a range of genres. That pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because learning will be appropriately scaffolded.
All pupils will have exposure to a vocabulary rich environment in order for them to independently utilise in their writing in order to support their ability to adapt their writing based on the context and audience for the piece.
Statutory & Non-Statutory Assessments
Children in Year 2 sit the optional Statutory Assessment Tests (SATS) for SPAG (Spelling, Punctuations and Grammar)
Children in years 1-4 sit the Helen Arkell spelling tests to obtain spelling ages.