At St. Bernadette’s, we are determined that every pupil will learn to write, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. All pupils are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. From Early Years through to Year 6, the academy has incorporated Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. Children are taught progressive writing skills through studying a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts, including the use of teacher-produced models for writing. In Early Years and Key Stage 1, children are immersed into an environment with rich writing resources. Initially, guided cutting and drawing activities help to develop fine motor and pencil control skills. The pupils learn to write letters using cursive formation, supporting the academy handwriting policy. Through shared and guided writing sessions, the pupils are encouraged to learn texts by heart, before innovating and then applying more independent changes to the model until they can write freely with confidence. This helps them to understand the key language and layout features of a range of different text types. This provides a solid starting point, as pupils become confident in their creative and independent writing skills.
As the pupils progress through the academy, they continue to employ the three stages of the ‘Talk for Writing’ process – imitation, innovation and invention to a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry genres. Pupils are taught through high quality modelling to plan – using more complex frameworks – revise and evaluate their writing by developing effective transcription and composition skills. They also develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. We aim to link a selection of our writing context to our curriculum topics, finding real life reasons for children’s writing to enthuse them with purpose; recent examples include letters to outside providers, reports for our newsletter and performance poetry. Through regular spelling sessions, pupils embrace the knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; giving opportunity to promote the learning of spelling, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings. We are intent that our pupils move onto the next stage of their education with a certainty that they are able to communicate effectively in writing – and to enjoy being able to express themselves in this way.