At Albion, children learn a love of writing and develop confidence to share and communicate their ideas effectively through the written word. It is our intent to develop proficient and confident writers, which will allow them to succeed in all areas of the curriculum. Using the Talk for Writing process developed by Pie Corbett, children are taught to internalise a range of language structures needed to write through 'talking the text' as well as close reading. The approach enables children to move from dependence towards independence by experiencing shared and guided writing teaching, resulting in children being able to write more creatively and powerfully. Using high-quality model texts and carefully planned learning sequences within the Talk for Writing framework, we develop confident writers who enjoy writing for a range of audiences and purposes across a range of genres, including narrative writing, non-fiction texts, poetry.
To prepare children for writing, oracy is prioritised within Talk for Writing lessons to support language acquisition, build vocabulary and develop sentence structure in line with the selected model texts. We focus upon developing children’s speaking and listening skills through drama and debating, as well as supporting the development of children's handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation proficiency. We support children to develop a wide and rich vocabulary which will ensure that they are able to communicate their ideas, both written and verbal, effectively.
Within our planned learning sequences, we lay the foundations and building blocks for effective writing: role-play and oral rehearsal of the model text, generating ambitious vocabulary in short burst writing sessions, developing grammar and sentence structure in line with the model text, planning innovations, drafting, editing and inventing their own narratives using the tools from the targeted toolkits. We follow a clear progression of skills and knowledge in our grammar, spelling and punctuation from Nursery to Year 6, ensuring that learning is built upon each year and that we are developing confident, resilient and increasingly independent writers. Each Talk for Writing Fiction unit builds upon the previous year's toolkits: Setting, Characterisation, Suspense, Dialogue, Action and Endings.
Within our Non-fiction Talk for Writing framework, children are introduced to the six purposes of non-fiction writing: Information, Instructions, Recount, Discussion, Persuasion and Explanation. Each unit is revisited as children progress through the school to build on prior-learning and develop key skills.
Children receive a one-hour English writing lesson daily and are exposed to age-related expectations for writing for different purposes, genres and audiences. Writing and reading are closely linked, with class readers being shared daily to ensure that children are exposed to high-quality texts, in order to build on their knowledge of different genres of writing and develop their vocabulary beyond our discrete writing sessions.
In every lesson, the learning intention is shared with the children in the WALT. At the end of each lesson, children reflect upon their learning and our marking policy supports children to self-assess their progress towards their learning targets. Clear verbal and live feedback from the teacher ensure that children are aware of how to improve their writing, allowing them to identify and correct mistakes and make progress towards their targets. Children use green pen to live-edit work after feedback from an adult and children are proud of their published work, which is celebrated and displayed around the school.
At Albion, we have high expectations for children’s writing and presentation across the curriculum. From Year 1, we use the Letter Join handwriting scheme to develop neat, legible cursive handwriting and a high standard of joined, cursive handwriting is modelled across school. Letter Join handwriting is taught and practiced regularly in separate handwriting lined books, but is expected to be evidenced throughout all work produced.
Our writing curriculum is designed to ensure that all children within our school community feel engaged, motivated and able to express their creativity and communicate their ideas. We regularly review and adapt our long-term Talk for Writing plans and, as wonderful new texts are published, we update our class reader texts to share with children alongside our model texts. Our annual pupil survey is used to find out the texts enjoyed by children and which they felt inspired by.
The impact of our writing curriculum is assessed throughout the year, we use pupil voice, book looks, lesson observations and children’s independent writing samples are assessed against National Curriculum objectives. Grammar and spelling is tracked termly and assessed using NFER tests from year 1. All data is recorded on the INSIGHT tracking system, to track children’s progress and attainment throughout their time at Albion.
Children’s writing is celebrated, with work displayed around the school and in classrooms and as part of our weekly celebration assemblies as Star Writers. Published work is of a high quality and instils pride in all children.
Children leave Albion as confident and expressive writers who have a love for writing and write for enjoyment. They are able to communicate their ideas, write for a range of purposes and audiences and channel their creativity in the written form, readying them for life after Albion.