Based on the Literacy Company’s ‘Pathways to Write’ programme, our teachers promote a love of writing and seek ways to inspire and encourage pupils to see themselves as authors.
Our teaching and learning aims are to:
- appreciate the importance of audience and purpose and write in a variety of forms
- develop strategies to communicate effectively through the written word
- acknowledge that writing can be a collaborative effort
- recognise that drafting, evaluating and editing are vital parts of the writing process
- understand a range of spelling strategies to progress towards the conventions of the written word.
The ‘Pathways to Write’ programme from the Literacy Company is a proven methodology built around units of work which develop spoken language, vocabulary, reading and writing skills through the mastery approach. Our writing, from Reception to Year 6, is taught using the Pathways scheme – which is based on some beautiful and thought-provoking picture books and texts to engage children in writing. The units have been designed to aid and guide progression, as well as the tracking of skills throughout each year group. The mastery approach teaches children to master the skills of writing by focusing on particular techniques throughout a unit of work. As a result, the children are given many opportunities to practise and apply these skills until they have mastered them. As they become more confident, children are taught to write in different contexts, for different purposes and to apply language rules and traditions for effect.
Each Pathways unit journeys to a final extended writing outcome where the children’s success relies on their application of the mastery keys. However, contained in the journey are many ‘short burst’ writing opportunities, where the children can explore a wide variety of genres and practise specific mastery skills through shared, guided and independent writing.
Children are expected to apply their writing skills and knowledge in cross curricular lessons; teachers provide extended writing opportunities to ensure children can write for sustained periods of time and at length. During all writing activities, high expectations and standards of writing in terms of composition, word selection, spelling and punctuation are expected.
We provide time for the children to reflect on their writing – evaluating and editing their work to make improvements. We encourage peer assessment where the children share their work with each other, providing feedback against the mastery keys. Writing toolkits including dictionaries, thesauruses, vocabulary mats, genre features and model texts are easily accessible.
Our young authors’ accomplishments are celebrated through classroom and whole-school writing displays and learning walls. Each class also selects a ‘writer of the week’ based on their written achievements.
At LSJ, children have a love for writing and enjoy showcasing their developing skills and sharing their ideas across a variety of genres.
Children’s progress in phonics and spelling, punctuation and grammar is tracked through regular summative and formative assessment (including Phonics Assessment, NTS and Spag.com). Writing is teacher assessed against year group expectations; this is supported in Year 2 and Year 6 by the Teacher Assessment Frameworks. Writing is moderated internally, and externally within a group of schools.
Writing teaching and learning is monitored on a termly basis through learning walks, pupil observations, discussions of work within school books, data analysis and progress meetings.