ENGLISH: Writing CurriculumAt Hollywood “Our Mission is to develop each child as a caring, confident and independent young person able to play a full part in a changing world.”

We aim to create opportunities for every child within a climate of success for all.  We will strive to enable each individual to achieve their personal best at all times, encountering challenges not problems, planning for success at every level.  Ours will be a school with a sense of community: secure, comfortable and yet challenging.

From 2015, new programmes of study and attainment targets were introduced from the New Curriculum.

The main aim is to raise standards.

The curriculum is intended to be challenging, focusing on essential core subject knowledge and skills.
For most children, these changes took effect from September 2014, but children in Years 2 and 6 these changes were implemented in September 2015.

What’s new in Writing?

•    Stronger emphasis on vocabulary development, grammar, punctuation and spelling (SPAG)
•    Handwriting – not currently previously assessed under the national curriculum – is expected to be fluent, legible and speedy
Our Aims:
•    Hollywood Primary aims to provide all children with the necessary skills to communicate in the written form
•    To nurture children to enjoy writing and experimenting with language
•    To cultivate children who can adapt their writing to meet the needs of a specific audience

Writing at Hollywood:

The new programme of study for English set out in the National Curriculum is knowledge-based.
English is set out year by year in Key Stage 1 and two-yearly in Key Stage 2. Appendices give specific content to be covered in the areas of spelling and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. These are set out yearly across both key stages. Teachers use the New Curriculum to plan, deliver and assess English.

Lesson Planning at Hollywood:

We use the new National Curriculum and the appendices to plan English lessons.

Each year group has objectives taken from the New Curriculum and these will be taught as part of Units of Work.

The Units of Work cover genres in fiction and non-fiction.

The units are taught in 2 or 3 week blocks, this is up to the teacher’s discretion and the needs of the children.

Units of Work are based on Wordsmith, a planning, teaching and learning scheme.

Wordsmith is a whole-school approach to English designed to help children develop the very best language skills. By using Wordsmith we aim to develop confident, creative communicators with the language tools they need to succeed in every area of their learning. To this end, the Wordsmith programme is underpinned by four core principles, which was developed in conjunction with the UK's leading experts in literacy and raising standards.

1.    CONTEXTUALISED GRAMMAR: Children learn grammar best when it is contextualised; when they explore the effect of language choices rather than just learning to label features.
2.    PURPOSE & AUDIENCE: writing taking on real meaning - and a real sense of excitement – when it’s done for a real purpose and excitement.
3.    VAIRED, WHOLE TEXTS: Varied, whole texts are essential: both for engagement and for helping the children explore what real writers do.
4.    TALK FOR WRITING: Talk is one of the most important factors in improving children’s writing, allowing them to explore and analyse language and extend their vocabulary.
When planning, teachers ensure that there is a balance of poetry, fiction and non-fiction covered in every year.

English lessons:

English lessons are taught every day at Hollywood.

Every week there are 3 ‘warm up’ sessions, which are approximately 10 minutes.

The warm up covers SPAG objectives and basic skills.

English lessons teach key reading, writing, SPAG and handwriting skills and objectives.

Lessons are divided up into units of work, which are approximately 2- 3 weeks. These units cover different genres in fiction and non-fiction.

During these units the children will read examples of the genres, discuss the genres, analyse the structure and content and write in the style of the genre. The teacher will model writing with the children, share and guide children in writing and plan for independent written tasks. As part of the units the children learn handwriting, grammar, spelling and punctuation skills too.

Children are expected to write every day in school and will be provided with the opportunity to complete at least one piece of extended writing every 2 weeks in the English lesson.
Opportunities for writing and developing writing skills extend across the whole curriculum. Children will be provided with opportunities to consolidate and extend their writing skills in other curriculum areas, including Science, Topic, RE and ICT.

Handwriting at Hollywood is cursive. Children from Reception up to Year 6 are taught to write in the cursive style. Handwriting is taught both as a stand-alone session as well as integrated into writing lessons.

Monitoring & Assessment

What we do:

•    We use the Assertive Mentoring (AM) programme to monitor and assess progress.
•    Teachers meet every term to moderate each other’s assessments. During moderation, teachers exchange samples of the children’s independent writing and moderate each other’s judgements. This ensures consistency in judgements across the school.
•    Moderation of writing is also completed between local schools.
•    Years 2 and 6 submit their writing levels as part of national assessment (SATs).
•    Years 2 & 6 complete a SATs SPAG test
•    Children in Reception and Years 1 & 2 have daily phonics sessions to support spelling progress.

WRITING:

•    Every half term, children complete independent writing tasks to provide evidence for assessment.
•    Writing is assessed across a range of writing.
•    Every half term 2 pieces of independent English extended writing, one piece of topic writing and one piece of written Science work are completed for assessment.
•    Children are given the opportunity to edit, improve and perform their written work.
•    Writing is discussed with the pupils so that they are clear on what they have done well and what the next steps in their learning journeys are.
•    The writing is marked and staged. All work is marked against child friendly bookmarks, which detail the curriculum objectives for each stage.
•    Assessment bookmarks feed into end of half term Assertive Mentoring assessment.
•    Children are assessed against composition, structure, spelling, grammar and handwriting criteria.
•    Based on the writing assessment, targets are created for each child, so that they know how to improve in their writing.

In the new curriculum there is a significantly higher emphasis on standards of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG). The bar for spelling has been raised very high and there’s much more to do than previously, particularly in lower years.

SPELLING:

•    The AM scheme provides a logical consistent structure for implementing an all-through spelling system incorporating both Letters and Sounds and the entire Programme of Study for the New Curriculum.
•    We use a Year 0-6 Spelling Programme, which is an extensive teaching programme matched to the Key Stage overviews.
•    All classes have three 20 minute spelling sessions per week, where they follow the school spelling scheme.
•    Reception classes use the 45 high frequency words instead of the AM system. They also practise the spelling patterns in phonics sessions and through dictation from  the LCP scheme.
•    Spelling is also taught as part of the daily English lessons.
•    Children complete a spelling test every 6 weeks.   

GRAMMAR:

•    Every class has a regular grammar session, called Grammar Hammer. In Key Stage 1 the sessions are weekly and in Key Stage 2 the sessions are every two weeks.
•    This is based on the Assertive Mentoring grammar scheme. AM provides a structure that will help pupils learn the challenging expectations of the curriculum.
•    Pupils are given grammar activities to complete every week and will have 30 minutes to complete them. The rest of the grammar teaching session will address errors made in these grammar sessions and teaching points will cover any gaps in grammar knowledge.

All assessments are used to monitor the progress of the children, plan for the next steps in learning, support learning and inform parents of progress.