Our Writing Curriculum focuses on equipping children with the tools to write effectively in a sequential manner. At its centre is the idea that writing is made up of small building blocks which contribute to a child’s ability to effectively convey ideas in writing. Much like Mathematics, knowledge and skills must be gained in a logical order. For example, just as children must know number bonds and place value in the early stages of their education to be effective Mathematicians later on, so must children be confident in understanding concepts like capital letters, full stops, conjunctions and nouns early on so that they can be effective Writers in multiple genres later.

To this end, our writing curriculum uses a mastery approach. At each stage of their education, children develop a deep knowledge of identified ‘non-negotiables’: the building blocks that they must understand at any given stage so that their written word can convey meaning and ideas with increasing accuracy and proficiency as they progress through school. A deep knowledge of the key components of writing in Year 1 is essential to understanding the next stage of the writing journey in Year 2; in Year 2, a deep knowledge of the identified key components of writing is essential so that they can understand the next stage of the writing journey in Year 3, and so on.

The ‘Learning Journey’ of our Writing Curriculum follows the notion that the majority of basic Grammatical Skills are embedded and secure by the time children leave Lower Key Stage 2. In Upper Key Stage 2, the focus is shifted towards the manner in which the writer employs and uses these prior learned skills – as well as a smaller number of new, more advanced skills – to contribute towards meaning and effective communication at the whole-text level. For example, in Year 5, pupils encounter the idea of the complex sentence (which utilises their previously acquired knowledge around conjunctions in Years 2, 3 and 4) and how it can be applied to great effect in descriptive passages where a reader may require further information about where, when or how an action has occurred.

Underpinning our writing curriculum is the belief that writing is a tool of communication and the means by which we ‘effectively transmit ideas and knowledge in print’. This means choosing the best format and language to match our audience and purpose. Our overall curriculum goals align with the notion of author John Dougherty, who expressed the idea that ‘good writing is about communication, and will vary depending on what you’re trying to communicate, what kinds of emotion you’re trying to stir up, what kind of character you’re trying to put into [the reader’s] minds.’

Writing Curriculum

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