Writing at Belmont
How we teach Writing at Belmont School
Our Writing curriculum is designed to teach writing through a range of stimuli including texts, visual prompts and meaningful real-life and first-hand experiences which will excite and engage the pupils. Our curriculum will:
- Immerse pupils in discussions which will generate rich vocabulary that will be applied in their writing pieces.
- Offer exciting opportunities to develop and apply writing skills across the curriculum, creating inspiring writing pieces in all areas of the curriculum
- Teach spellings in a progressive way allowing children to learn spelling rules, exceptions and irregular spellings.
- Teach handwriting to develop legibility and fluidity and to encourage all children to take pride in the presentation of their work, regardless of discipline.
- Support pupils to reflect upon their writing, edit and improve
At Belmont School we teach our English by following the Literary Curriculum (Literacy Tree). The Literary Curriculum from the Literacy Tree is a complete, thematic approach to the teaching of primary English that places children’s literature at its core. As a whole-school approach, children explore 115 literary texts and experience at least 90 unique significant authors as they move through the school. By placing books at the core, we are allowing teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Our writing opportunities will be meaningful; whether short or long and the audience is clear. Books offer this opportunity: children have real reasons to write, whether to explain, persuade, inform or instruct and that where possible, this can be embedded within text or linked to a curriculum area. Writing in role using a range of genres is key to our approach as is writing a critique of the text and making comparisons – all writing skills that will support children in preparation for their time in secondary school. Over their time at the school, children will read and write a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts, including recounts, news reports, explanation texts, poems, plays and stories of all kinds. We use drama, role-play, storytelling and discussion to engage the imagination, before moving on to vocabulary exploration, sentence craft and creative writing.
We teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for identified pupils to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and access to additional support materials such as Word Banks or a greater level of modelling. Pupils who are demonstrating mastery are given opportunities to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact that their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar features. Children will experience aspects of the National Curriculum within each phase on multiple occasions, to allow for a range of audience and purpose, and the embedding knowledge and skills.
The assessment of writing is ongoing throughout every lesson and cross curricular themes to help teachers with their planning, lesson activities, targeted pupil support and enable appropriate challenge to all children. Pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points. Pupils are provided with feedback during the lesson personalised to their learning journey, this should provide pupils with a clear understanding of their next steps and always them to edit and improve their learning. Teachers and leaders are to use the writing progression document to inform assessments through a moderation process. In addition, pupil voice is used to enable leaders to assess the impact of writing across all areas of the curriculum.
By the time pupils leave Belmont, they will:
- Have a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules
- Write clearly and coherently across a range of genres applying skills that they have been taught, keeping in consideration the audience and purpose of the writing piece
- Take pride in their presentation and develop a legible, cursive handwriting style.
The Literacy Tree for Parents/Carers
Throughout the school, from Reception to Year 6, we use Literacy Tree for our teaching of English. Literacy Tree is used across the UK and globally and is an award-winning educational platform. All the Literacy Tree resources use high-quality children’s books and for Writing, we follow their Teach Through a Text approach to ensure there is consistency throughout the school.
It also supports to create high levels of engagement as it immerses children in the text whilst covering the objectives fully in the curriculum. The text choices are an important part of this as well - many link to aspects of History and/or encourage deep discussions. We pride ourselves on our diverse choices.