Our aim is to develop confident, expressive writers who can blend transcriptional and compositional skills to produce engaging work across a range of text types and for a variety of audiences. We understand the importance of using quality children's literature as a starting point for effective writing and our teaching sequences enable children to be fully immersed in these texts as part of the writing process.
Our English curriculum clearly identifies the knowledge, skills and understanding that children must learn, practise and revisit. We know that there are key pedagogical approaches that are proven to be effective in securing this learning and the teaching sequences, and these strategies are embedded in our English curriculum.
As with all aspects of English at Milton Park, Writing is treated progressively. We aim to start developing the fundamental skills and knowledge that will be the foundation of their success as writers from the moment they arrive.
In Reception and Year 1, we follow the ELAN Early Writing curriculum, which reflects the National Curriculum and simultaneously addresses both the transcriptional and compositional aspects of writing in our youngest pupils.
As a result, the children develop the range of skills they need to express themselves and start to communicate their knowledge and ideas in an accurate written form. Children enjoy plenty of opportunities for purposeful writing in their environment while guided sessions, using the individual's current understanding of phonics, develop their spelling, punctuation and understanding of sentence structure. Handwriting is an important transcriptional skill and, in the early years at Milton, we focus on achieving the correct posture, pencil grip, positioning and pressure before moving on to accurate letter formation.
As they move into Year 2, pupils' writing is developed through our English Learning Journeys. These are driven by quality children's literature and are designed to develop confidence and competence in both the written and the spoken word. Children are immersed in engaging texts which form the models for their own compositions. Appropriate grammar and punctuation learning is built into each journey and, together with our Spelling Programme and continued support with handwriting, this further enhances the transcriptional skills the children need to write in a way that can be understood by others while allowing their imaginations to flourish.
Grammar is planned for and taught through the Learning Journey. Where we need to introduce a new concept or revise one, additional discreet grammar sessions are created.
We know that children make progress in writing where teachers engage in writing themselves, sharing experience and expertise and their classes. Self-assessment and peer-assessment is also encouraged and supported as it allows children to regulate and enhance their own learning in English.
Pupils at Milton write regularly and often. They respond positively to the engaging stimulus provided by high-quality children's literature and, as we emerge from the challenges of COVID, which had a significant impact on writing in progress, we are seeing a pleasing improvement in both the transcriptional and compositional aspects of their learning.
Writing in English is assessed regularly and the adults who work with them provide timely verbal and written feedback, which is intended explicitly to move the pupil's learning forward. The same criteria is applied to written work in other curriculum areas.
As a school, we participate in a national scheme for the comparative judgement of writing which supports our measurement of progress in each year group. This is further supported by teacher assessment throughout the year which enables us to set medium term targets for the children.
The above is a sample of our progressions for English. We also have progressions for editing, proof-reading, handwriting, poetry and all non-fiction forms of writing. For further information contact: Mrs Samantha Dewey, English Subject Lead.