At Dovecot we aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. To support our teaching of writing we use our own assessment criterion to track children’s progress.
In Early Years and Key Stage 1 we use Read, Write Inc and teach reading and writing in the same daily lesson. Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals, whilst children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions at the end of each unit. The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts using quality texts as a model and for a variety of purposes and audiences.
There are many opportunities for children to improve their writing inspired by drama techniques and film clips. They may be asked to produce their writing on their own or as part of group. Children will also be given the opportunity to use ICT for their writing.
Early Years and Key Stage 1 children are taught how to form letters during Read, Write Inc lessons. Children work hard to achieve a pen licence which encourages them to take care in their presentation and pride in their work.
CURRENT PRACTICE AT DOVECOT
- We teach grammar as a separate lesson where necessary
- We correct grammatical error orally and in written work (where appropriate)
- We have a systematic approach, we revisit key learning and build upon it in all areas from phonics, through to grammar and spelling
- We use high quality texts, modelling and shared/ collaborative writing to demonstrate good practice
- We encourage and promote ‘talk for writing’
- We provide writing frames to support the least confident
- We provide time for planning, editing and revising
- We mark extended pieces of work in-depth and set targets with the pupil
- We use checklists for pupils to self-assess or peer assess, when appropriate so they can evaluate effectively
- We encourage joined handwriting to support spelling and speed
- We use drama and hot-seating to help pupils to think about another point of view
- We provide support for pupils with learning and motor difficulties
- We offer meetings with parents to help them support their child
CROSS CURRICULAR LITERACY OPPORTUNITIES
Teachers seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links. They plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum, with a particular focus in our school of writing through all subject areas where the same standard of writing is expected as seen in English books.
The National Curriculum makes clear that learning vocabulary is key to ‘learning and progress across the whole curriculum’ since it allows pupils to access a wider range of words when writing and for them to understand and comprehend texts efficiently.
Vocabulary teaching needs to be:
- Progressive/ systematic
- Making links from known words
- Develop understanding of shades of meaning
- Include ‘instruction verbs’ used in examinations
- Subject specific- accurate mathematical and scientific words
Current practice at Dovecot:
We encourage our pupils to have a wide and growing vocabulary in a number of ways, these include:
- Spelling lists/ key words to take home and learn
- Display of key words linked to topics and subjects
- Using the correct vocabulary orally
- In-depth word based lessons looking at patterns
- Using dictionaries, thesaurus and similar programmes
- Using quality texts to explore vocabulary choices and the effect they have
- Carrying out systematic testing and providing feedback to pupils
- Targeted one to one/ small group support, where appropriate