Writing Intent at Bridge
Bridge Junior School Statement of Intent for Writing
This statement sets out the principles underpinning the curriculum at Bridge Junior School and reflects the school’s commitment to developing all aspects of our pupils’ lives.
At Bridge, we want all children to SHINE which is at the heart of all that we do. We believe that every child can succeed and we want all members of our school community to have high aspirations and to feel confident about the future, looking forward to the opportunities it will bring.
Our curriculum is designed with these values in mind:
Strive for excellence
Happy and engaged
Nurtured and safe
Equality and fairness for everyone
At Bridge Junior, we believe that learning to write well for a range of purposes and audiences is fundamental to the wider success of children as they move through the school and beyond. At Bridge, we endeavour to develop children’s writing skills so that they have a toolkit which they can confidently draw upon to apply to a range of different types of writing across the curriculum. We want children to enjoy the process of writing, and believe this will happen if children are taught the right skills and are given the right support to develop these skills independently.
At Bridge, we aim to build upon the writing journey began by children at our feeder infant school. We endeavour to develop children’s handwriting, spelling, understanding and use of standard English, sentence construction, vocabulary and writing ‘flair’. By the time they leave us at the end of Year 6, we hope that children are fully equipped to tackle the writing requirements of the next stage of their learning journey.
We hope that through a progressive and interesting curriculum, our children will be motivated to write and become confident and independent writers. We want children’s experience of writing at Bridge to be memorable, inclusive, meaningful and to open up future opportunities for all.
Our curriculum intent is implemented through the means outlined below.
Writing at Bridge is taught within the framework of the National Curriculum. Children have the opportunity to write for a variety of purposes and audiences, covering a range of genres. Writing units are fully aligned with each of our Cornerstones curriculum units. This enables strong connections to be made, further embeds children’s understanding of a topic and ensures that writing is purposeful. Each text type is taught using the following teaching sequence:
- Children are exposed to good-quality examples of the text type which they first read ‘as a reader’ to ensure their understanding. With support, children then read ‘as a writer’. This involves identifying the features that makes the piece of writing successful. This will include an analysis of the vocabulary choice of the author, the sentence types, the use of punctuation, the layout and how cohesion is achieved.
- Children are taught grammar and punctuation within the context of the text type (as well as discrete lessons at other times).
- The teacher then models the planning and writing of a further example of the text type, ‘thinking aloud’ so that the thought process is made explicit.
- Children independently apply what they have been taught, orally rehearsing sentences as they go along.
- Children edit their work to ensure that it ‘reads’ well.
- Children proof-read their work to ensure that it is accurate.
Editing and proof-reading is modelled to the children, and children are taught to peer-review each other’s writing. There is an emphasis on children securing the key elements of writing from Year 3 onwards (basic punctuation, grammatically correct sentences, spelling, paragraphs and legibility) to ensure a strong foundation on which to build.
More scaffolded support is offered to those working below age-related expectations. For children who are new to English, or have a specific learning need, Colourful Semantics is used as an intervention.
Grammar and punctuation
Grammar and punctuation is taught weekly through a combination of discrete lessons and within the context of a writing unit. This ensures that children are prepared for the requirements of the Key Stage 2 tests as well as having the opportunity to reinforce their understanding by seeing how grammatical features are used successfully in writing. The teaching of grammar is progressive and there are opportunities to recap on previous learning.
Children at Bridge are taught a cursive handwriting style where each letter has a lead in and a lead out. The style taught is shown below:
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
Children who develop a fluent, legible style will be awarded with a pen licence.
The letter joins are taught following the online scheme: Home - Teach Handwriting
This handwriting style is reinforced on displays around the school.
At Bridge, we follow a spelling programme called No Nonsense Spelling which covers the statutory requirements for each year group.
The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings.
Children are taught to ‘have a go’ at spellings for themselves and to consider which spellings ‘look right’. There is an expectation that words which are on display for the children to copy (such as the date) are spelt correctly.
On arrival at Bridge, Year 3 children are tested on Year 1 and 2 common exception words and, for those that are ready, the Year 3 statutory word list. These become the basis for their weekly spellings. Five unknown spellings are chosen to be learnt each week which children write into a sentence to reinforce the meaning. Children peer test each other and, depending on the outcome, new words are selected. This is repeated in Years 4-6 with the relevant statutory spellings.
We want our writing curriculum to have a long-lasting impact on the lives of our children. We want them to leave as capable writers who are able to tackle the demands of the KS3 curriculum. We want children to have experienced a wide range of texts as a stimulus for their own writing. We hope that children will have developed a love of writing and that they are able to express themselves confidently through the written word.
The impact of our curriculum on children’s writing ability is measured through a triangulation of published tests, on-going assessment for learning, spelling tests and longer pieces of writing. Children sit the Rising Stars GaPS tests three times each year and a standardised score is obtained. Gaps are identified and addressed to ensure that children don’t fall behind. Writing judgements are secured using the Leicester City writing exemplification materials. Moderation of children’s writing occurs termly in each year group and teachers meet with colleagues from other schools once a year to ensure consistency of judgements. Year 6 staff are invited to Local Authority writing moderation meetings in preparation for final teacher assessments.
Children at Bridge make above average progress in their writing (2019 which was the last published data). Children become confident writers, enjoy sharing what they have written with staff and other pupils, and are increasingly able to write for sustained periods of time. Children’s writing is celebrated through classroom and corridor displays and the production of class anthologies.