At Branfil we are passionate about children’s writing and through our curriculum we work towards teaching children to be able to confidently express their ideas, thoughts and feelings in the written form.
We use the National Curriculum to plan our progressive writing scheme and ensure that children meet key performance indicators. The Progress in English documents, attached below, show the medium term planning.
Our writing curriculum is a book based approach. Our book choices are age specific and cover a range of topics and themes. Currently we use novels, non-fiction books, picture books, poetry and short animation clips to inspire children’s writing. We look for and plan opportunities for children to write across the curriculum, for example a non-chronological report about the water cycle, diary entries as a historical figure, and retellings of significant stories from a range of religions.
Children at Branfil are given the opportunity to write for a variety of purposes and audiences and they are encouraged to choose the appropriate text type and consider the effect they would like their writing to have on the audience.
Leaders and teachers recognise that writing is a challenging skill for children to master and that fluent reading and oracy are prerequisites for successful writing. Teachers provide modelled writing and shared writing to support children and time is planned for children to talk about their ideas. The provision is adapted and resources like sentence stems, scaffolds and vocabulary mats are provided to enable children to be successful in their writing.
We are also aware of the effect that Covid has had on children’s writing attainment and the gaps that have developed. For this reason we are in the process of trailing two schemes ‘Talk for Writing’ and The Literary Tree Curriculum to enable us to select the most suitable scheme to support teachers and children at Branfil. This year is a research, planning and training year for writing, so as a result we have adopted a hybrid model which encompasses our exciting PIE documents and elements of the schemes we are trialing.
At all times, we encourage the children to take pride in their writing and presentation. We celebrate writing through the half termly star writer award and display.
Children are taught to proof-read, edit and improve their writing and lesson time is dedicated to this process. Children have access to dictionaries and thesauruses. We also empower children to use technology to support their spelling, punctuation and grammar needs during editing.
Children’s love for writing is nurtured through extra-curricular activities like the Branfil Newspaper. Children have the opportunity to work to a brief, collaborating with their peers to research, write and polish articles to a high standard. With our editors consisting of year 6 children, our writers are supported by their peers, as well as teachers, to achieve.