Writing (including Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling)
At Fox Hill, spelling is taught in discrete, regular sessions across the week. Learning to recognise the high frequency words on sight is crucial in developing fluency and accuracy in reading and then writing. Once children are confident in reading and spelling these words, they are taught spelling rules and are encouraged to apply these rules in their writing. Class teachers use Spelling Shed to support with the teaching of the different spelling rules. Spellings are sent home in each year group as part of the children’s homework; the pupils are then tested on these words in their weekly spelling/dictation tests. Statutory Spelling words are taught at the start of each academic year and revisited and consolidated throughout the year. Children are encouraged to use them in their writing. Children with additional needs in this area are supported through precision teaching and use of Dyslexia Gold software.
At Fox Hill, handwriting is taught in regular sessions across the school to help children write legibly, at length and at speed. We use the LetterJoin handwriting scheme to ensure a consistent approach across the school. In Key Stage 2, children are expected to write in a cursive font and this is modelled by staff. Staff have high expectations of handwriting and presentation and celebrate and share examples of children making progress and trying their best in this area.
Punctuation and Grammar
Children are taught short, discrete punctuation and grammar lessons every day at the start of English lessons. This ensures that new concepts are being taught, revisited and consolidated regularly. Teachers use a range of resources to support them in their teaching of GPS and children in Key Stage 2 are assessed using Pixl assessments three times a year. Punctuation and grammar is also taught through daily English lessons, where it is relevant to the text type being explored and written.
Tier 2 vocabulary is taught daily through “Word of the Day” resources across the school. These words are displayed in every classroom alongside other newly-acquired tier 2 and 3 words. Children are encouraged to use this higher-level vocabulary in their spoken and written language and celebrated for doing so.
Children are given regular opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences within English lessons and across the curriculum. In most cases, writing is also linked to a class text or curriculum driver. When planning the writing process, teachers use the following Talk for Writing strategies to build up to an independent piece of writing:
Children are taught the value of editing as a crucial part of the writing process and teachers use editing stations throughout the school to help children become comfortable with editing their own work and the work of their peers. Teachers give verbal feedback to children during the writing process, which is purposeful and relevant. This allows children to edit and redraft their work independently.
By the end of their learning journey with us, our learners will:
Writing is assessed through regular teacher assessment against National Curriculum objectives. At the start of each unit of work, children will produce a piece of independent writing that the teacher will use to identify existing knowledge, strengths and gaps. From here, the teacher will plan their lessons with this initial assessment in mind. At the end of the unit, children will complete a second independent task that the teacher will use to measure progress from the starting point.
Teachers will complete a termly summative assessment of the children's writing and RAG (red, amber, green) rate each national curriculum objective. This will give them a clear picture of what the child needs to progress in the following term. Teachers receive termly internal or external writing moderation training/practice to ensure that their assessment and judgement is in-line and consistent with other colleagues.
Writing is monitored both formally and informally through a mix of Leadership Team whole school monitoring and also by the English Lead. Our Governors also play an active role in assessing the quality of our English Curriculum at Fox Hill.
The English Lead also gathers both staff and pupil voice, using this to inform priorities, actions and staff CPD.