September whole school attendance:
September attendance by class: Rec AG 96.1% Rec KH 95.6% Y1AB 97.6% Y1R/L 96.4% Y2MN 96.4% Y2CS 95% Y3MM 99.3% Y3HM 96.3% Y4DD 98.5% Y4ML 97.4% Y5BS 98.4% Y5LW 96.6% Y6LT 97.3% Y6LJ 94.9%
Writing at Amberley Primary School
Writing Curriculum Intention
At Amberley Primary, it is our intention to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will develop pupils' ability to speak, read and write with great fluency, master the mechanics of both reading and writing and develop a love and an interest in English so that they can communicate their thoughts, ideas and emotions effectively.
Writing is an integral part of our curriculum. All children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. It is our intention that pupils develop a clear understanding of the writing process in order to establish themselves as an author in their own right. Through our book-led curriculum, we foster pupils' interest in writing and offer a reason and context for writing which enables the children to write for purpose and audience. Pupils are taken on a writing journey which builds their knowledge of writing for context and purpose, allows the opportunities for the children to explore a variety of genres, planning, drafting and re-drafting their writing. In order to establish this, pupils will develop their knowledge of genre features, audience, language and effective composition. It is our intention to broaden our pupils' exposure to high level vocabulary to allow pupils to apply their understanding of vocabulary and grammatical features within and across the English curriculum.
We intend that pupils learn how to understand the relationships between words, word meaning, implied meaning and figurative language within writing lessons, whilst ensuring that children are supported in their spelling strategies. We intend that pupils will be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use correct Standard English.
Writing Curriculum Implementation
Our English curriculum is derived from a sequence of high quality, age-appropriate texts. The first step in any unit is to assess the children’s prior knowledge and starting points through the completion of a ‘cold write’. We then immerse children in a model text, encouraging a deeper understanding of the literary content, features and structures required in writing. During this immersive week, children will use a range of reading strategies and interactive activities to promote a secure knowledge and understanding of the text type. The next phase of teaching is the innovation stage, where teachers model writing in collaboration with the children in their class to demonstrate the processes of writing. Children then plan their independent piece of writing using the ‘boxing up’ method in the invention stage. This is used as a support tool when writing their independent piece, which has a clear context and purpose, before evaluating the effectiveness of their writing by editing and re-drafting.
Book-Led Curriculum Approach to Writing
At Amberley, we believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils. We value the importance of reading to supplement writing, providing a purpose and a context to writing. We believe that pupils who are provided a reason for writing demonstrate flair and effective writing composition, leading to high quality outcomes. The English curriculum is taught by studying a range of high quality texts or extracts which cover a breadth of genres and provide strong cross-curricular links. Grammar, spelling and oracy are embedded within units of learning and correspond effectively with the genres being written as part of the writing process. Children are then supported in how to apply the grammatical content before progressing to plan, write and re-draft a written piece which is fit for purpose and audience. Across school, we also use a range of approaches to writing including Jane Considine’s ‘The Write Stuff’, Talk for Writing and Read, Write, Perform by ICT Mr P, which are all centred around a focus text(s).
Mastery Approach to Writing
When planning our English curriculum, we have adopted a mastery approach to writing. Using this approach allows staff to build longer units of work, which focus on less elements of writing yet in more detail. Units of work are planned within a ‘purpose of writing’ in mind. The idea behind these ‘four purposes of writing’ is that rather than trying to teach children seven or more different ‘genres’ or ‘text types’ across the year it is better to focus on what those genres have in common and the purpose behind them. Thus, across school we have four main purposes of writing:
Amberley Mastery of Writing Long Term Plan
Amberley Mastery of Writing Medium Term Plan
Writing Curriculum Impact
Teaching and support staff use a wide range of formative assessment tools during the lesson to judge the impact that the teaching is having on children’s learning. At the end of a ‘hot write’, marking ladders are used to identify curriculum objectives which have been met through an independent piece of writing. Examples of children meeting these objectives are highlighted in blue within their piece of writing. Editing takes place after a hot write to address spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar misconceptions which may have arisen. Children are given time to reflect on these and edit/improve their writing using a purple polishing pen. To give further support where needed, children are then grouped based on their needs and attend interventions based on the aspects of writing they have found challenging. It is vital that measuring the impact of our teaching of writing closely informs our planning going forward, individualising our curriculum to meet the needs of all children.
Promoting Handwriting at Amberley
At Amberley, handwriting is promoted across the curriculum, where staff have high expectations of pupils' presentation. Recently, we have implemented 'Nelson Handwriting' across Y1-6 as a progressive teaching approach to promote the appropriate sizing and joining of letters, appropriate letter formation and to develop fluent writers. Pen licences are presented to children who show consistent and fluent cursive handwriting in their writing, as well as to those who show a great deal of effort in their written work. Letter formation is taught from the earliest opportunities and reinforced in phonics, English lessons and all written tasks.
We further promote handwriting through termly handwriting competitions. In our most recent handwriting challenge, awards were presented for 'most improved' handwriting and 'best overall' within the year group. Here are some of our winning entries from the end of Autumn term 2022:
Please see our English documents and policies section for further information on our handwriting expectations and letter formation.