At Shiphay Learning Academy, we have developed an engaging and purposeful writing curriculum aligned to new National Curriculum statutory requirements, which aims to ensure that all of our children are successful writers, who enjoy writing, finding the process creative, enriching and fulfilling, and can write confidently and effectively for a range of purposes and audiences. Our aim is for our children to develop a secure understanding of the writing process and of grammar and punctuation whilst developing fluency in spelling and handwriting. We are committed to ensuring all pupils see themselves as writers and demonstrate enthusiasm for the creative process of communicating ideas – the heart of the writing process. Drawing on an inspirational, rich and diverse 'literature spine of texts that teach', we ensure pupils are immersed in the reciprocal nature of reading and writing to develop children's love of language, and awareness of language choices and their effects, and to help them to apply this to their writing. Talk is a crucial element underpinning the writing process. In creating an environment of 'writerly talk', time is explicitly given for talk strategies throughout the writing process.
English lessons are taught daily. During these sessions, teaching focuses on developing the children's skills in comprehension, composition, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, transcription and handwriting as outlined in the National Curriculum, with an emphasis on developing pupils' enjoyment and understanding of language, especially vocabulary, to support their writing.
Following the BookWrites Teaching Sequence, teachers plan and deliver teaching and learning activities that address all stages of the writing process. Each teaching sequence is based on carefully selected and inspirational 'texts that teach' and follows a three-part structure. Each sequence has a medium-term plan and a range of learning activities, including contextualised grammar teaching and learning. Learning outcomes are explicitly shared with the pupils so they understand each stage is important. During each stage of the writing process, teachers explicitly talk about the writing process and model it in their writing with pupils through talking as a writer and sharing thoughts, ideas and choices in composition. Each lesson starts with a rewind. By incorporating language games and writing activities, especially those that are playful and tap into children's natural pleasure in playing with words and ideas, pupils are constantly engaged in reading and writing. Furthermore, previously taught literary techniques are revisited continuously and embedded.
In their Early Years, the pupils learn to spell through their daily Bug Club Phonics lessons. Once they have completed the Phonics programme, pupils have dedicated spelling lessons each week, following the No Nonsense Spelling programme, where they are taught the statutory spellings for each year group and the spelling rules and patterns set out in the National Curriculum. In addition, in Years 3-6, pupils are taught Classics for All. Taught weekly, Classics of All is a structured approach to grammar through the study of Latin, Ancient History, Classical Civilizations and Ancient Greek.
Pupils have a login for Spelling and Grammar Bug. On Spelling and Grammar Bug, pupils can access spelling, punctuation and grammar games at home to consolidate the learning that they have been doing in school. Supporting your child to access these games at home will be incredibly beneficial, and this forms part of our expectations of home learning. Please contact your class teacher if you do not know your child's login.
Pupils have dedicated taught and practice sessions each week using a structured handwriting programme called Nelson Handwriting. Through regular practice sessions, we aim to practise handwriting to fluency to free up children to focus on the compositional aspects of writing.
For further information regarding the schemes we follow to support writing, please click on the links below.