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SEND Quality First Teaching - English

Curriculum Statement: Writing


At Gisburn Primary, we acknowledge the strong reciprocal relationship between speaking, listening, reading and writing.

We believe that all pupils can achieve in Writing. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve, and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We believe through writing, pupils will have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We feel that writing enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.

Through using high- quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary-rich learning environments and ensuring the new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, the children at Gisburn will be exposed to a language-rich English curriculum which will  enable them to develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful, confident speaking and listening skills .

The overarching aims of our English curriculum are to:

  • Enable children to draft, edit and present writing that is both technically proficient and creative, tailored to the demands of purpose and audience.
  • Enable children to have a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.
  • Encourage confidence and enjoyment in speaking, listening, reading and writing.


Underpinning our English curriculum are some core principles:

  • Consciously builds on children’s existing language and literacy experiences.
  • Recognises the importance of all those involved in the learning experience – parents and carers, wider family members, teachers and children.
  • Values diversity and is culturally inclusive.
  • Has high expectations of all children.
  • Offers challenge but provides models, demonstrations, examples and scaffolds to help children tackle them successfully.



In the Early Years, children start their writing journey through their play, mark making for a range of different purposes, for example writing shopping lists and making cards for loved ones, as well as learning to write their name. They begin to develop their small motor skills so that they can use mark-making tools appropriately. As they move through Reception, they learn the individual letters and sounds and begin to develop their letter formation. They use these emerging skills to write phonetically plausible words, phrases and simple sentences in a range of contexts. Alongside this we focus strongly on language development and oracy skills – if they can’t say it, they can’t write it!



Throughout Key Stage 1, the link between reading and writing continues to be reinforced. The children’s oracy skills are developed further through a wide variety of opportunities to discuss, verbalise and refine their ideas, for example through role play, paired talk and drama. This prepares them for the writing process. Alongside this, the children learn about the structure and organisation of a variety of genres. Shared and modelled writing provides an opportunity for teachers to demonstrate the writing process. Children will then use their developing phonic knowledge within their writing, before editing and redrafting their work. Motivation is enhanced by encouraging children to write for a range of purposes and audiences, including opportunities to publish their writing. Children are taught to develop the foundations of a fast, accurate and efficient handwriting style.




In KS2, children follow a structured approach to the writing process which begins with the deconstruction of a model text. Key grammatical structures are identified and relevant skills are taught through shared and modelled writing. Children then apply their learning through the process of planning, drafting, sharing, evaluating, revising, editing and publishing. Children working at greater depth are encouraged to exercise conscious control over levels of formality including the manipulation of grammar and vocabulary in order to demonstrate the appropriate register. High-quality literary texts are available to all learners which reinforces the reciprocity of reading and writing.




The scope and depth of the literature inspires high standards for all through a mastery approach to learning and love of language in all its forms.

  • Our pupils will be able to change the way they speak to suit different situations, purposes and audiences and become active listeners who can offer relevant responses in a range of situations and group sizes.
  • Write independently using language features appropriate to their age and ability and for varying purposes and audiences.
  • Become increasingly familiar with a widening range of vocabulary and use new words in different contexts.
  • Lessons are closely linked to the English Skills & Knowledge Progression, ensuring progression and depth of knowledge and skills.
  • Cross-curricular learning and activities support subject knowledge in different situations e.g. Geography, History, Maths, DT, Science and Art.
  • Effective questioning techniques are used to stretch and challenge children’s knowledge and understanding.
  • Enrichment opportunities are planned to enhance the learning experience for pupils, including author and poet visits.



The school follows the National Curriculum expectations for spelling. Progression of spelling is available on the Spelling Shed progression document. It is expected that teachers explicitly teach spelling and that teachers use diagnostic assessment to focus effort of spellings children find difficult.


Children are also taught to:

  • Spell accurately and identify reasons for misspellings.
  • Proofread their spellings.
  • Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills.
  • Use dictionaries and thesauruses.



 It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. During the foundation stage at Gisburn Primary, the children are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. From KS1, the school adopts a cursive handwriting style. Teachers model the school’s handwriting style when marking children’s work, writing on the board and on displays around the school.


Grammar, punctuation and vocabulary

Grammar, punctuation and vocabulary skills are taught explicitly during writing lessons and the children identify how authors have used them effectively during their reading lessons. Grammar and punctuation is planned and taught using the 2014 National curriculum year group expectations and children are expected to apply their knowledge in their writing.



Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps. They use a variety of formative assessment methods and constructive marking strategies. This judgement is made using the children’s independent writing and cross curricular writing opportunities.

Teacher assessments are moderated internally and externally with other schools during network cluster meetings at least twice a year.

Spellings, Punctuation and Grammar are currently assessed three times a year using the GAPs

Pupils’ progress and achievement in English are assessed and tracked on a termly basis through assessment data, which is entered onto our school tracking system. Data is then analysed by the Headteacher and English Lead. Pupils are tracked against different criteria including higher achieving learners and those classed as pupil premium.

Regular pupil progress meetings are held throughout the year to discuss any children who are not achieving their potential in reading and writing, and immediate support is put in place through intervention programmes etc.

Pupils’ independent writing is self-edited with support from the class teacher and, where appropriate, peers. Any detailed feedback in English should take place during the guided writing or planning opportunities (see marking and feedback policy).

The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work. By the end of Key Stage 2 children have developed a writer’s craft, they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.



Monitoring of the standards of teaching and learning and progress made by the pupils in English across the school is the responsibility of the head teacher, subject leader, English governor and members of the SLT. Monitoring will include scrutiny of books, lesson observations, pupil interviews, analysis of data, fluency assessments and staff meetings to evaluate effectiveness of policies. The results of any monitoring undertaken by the subject leader will be shared with the staff, either formally or informally, form the basis of the English action plan and be used to identify future training needs.

At Gisburn, we believe in the importance of quality first teaching as the key strategy for raising standards in English throughout school. Intervention programmes will only be put in place for pupils who are consistently underachieving in English.

More able pupils who consistently display ability in English above that of their peers, achieve above average results for their appropriate age and make above average progress will be recorded by the head teacher at Pupil Progress meetings. This progress and attainment will be monitored to ensure these children are given access to learning that offers them breadth and depth of the subject and allows them to master the skills throughout the curriculum.

Pupils who need additional support in any aspects of English will have identified targets for these areas on their own ‘IEP’. Pupils on the SEN register will have full access to every part of the English session and independent work will be set at an appropriate level for each child, which will give them plenty of opportunities to practise and consolidate learning targets on their IEP’s.