This document was recently shared with governors, and explains our approach to Literacy across school.
The writing in Literacy and across the curriculum uses a book-based curriculum approach. Each year group has a book that they base the Literacy work on for that term. Work in Literacy books should include a variety of shorter and longer writing tasks with evidence of some shared writing and guided work.
Examples of extended writing should be found in topic books and across the curriculum. For example, a recount from an enrichment trip, a non-chronological report related to the topic, an explanation in Science books. This is to show how our children can apply their writing and presentation skills across the curriculum and are not confined to writing in just Literacy.
Talk for Writing
Talk for Writing is used in all year groups to motivate and engage children in the writing process. Each unit of work is planned using the immersion, shared and independent application stages.
The work in Literacy books should show the build-up and progression of a unit of work starting with the children being immersed in the text type to shared and scaffolded writing to independent drafting and editing.
Drafting and editing
Drafting and editing is the process used for independent writing. After the children have been immersed in a text type and had writing structures and vocabulary modelled to them by the teacher through shared writing lessons, the children move onto drafting their own writing. The children follow the process of ‘write a line, miss a line’ to allow themselves the room to edit clearly. Once the draft is complete, teachers will mark the work without giving deliberate prompts for improvement. Teachers may write ‘sp’ on a line where children have made a spelling mistake or bracket a paragraph and mark it ‘p’ to indicate where punctuation needs attention. The children are given the opportunity to edit each line using a green pen on the line they missed out and can independently use dictionaries and word banks to help edit their work. This shows clear editing and improvements that are made to their writing. The children may be given a particular focus to edit.
Big Write sessions should take place in each class at the end of each unit of work. This will be where the children write up their final version using their edited piece of work. Big Writing is recorded in Writing Portfolios and assessed by teachers using an assessment checklist for the year group the child is accessing. This is to formatively assess and track the progress in writing.
Presentation and handwriting
The standard of presentation should be high in each year group with dates and learning objectives underlined with a ruler from KS2. We are working towards children being able to show joined handwriting by the end of Year 2. We follow a handwriting scheme (PenPals) across whole school. In each class there are either 2 x 15 minute sessions or 1 x 30 minute session each week. Handwriting practise must be done in purple handwriting books. The literacy coordinator monitors the impact and progress of handwriting of our pupils to ensure they are applying handwriting expectations and skills across the curriculum.
Assessment of Writing
Teachers are expected to know the curriculum and objectives that each child is working within in order to support and plan for their next steps in learning. Marking of literacy should follow the Marking and Feedback Policy for each piece of work. This should include smiley faces and a ‘next step’ for learning (See Marking and Feedback Policy).
Children have the opportunity to read and respond to the marking and feedback in their book. Self and peer assessments should also be planned into lessons. When marking literacy work, teachers should follow the whole school marking key which can found at the front of each book.
Writing Portfolios show a range of independent writing which is the outcome of a unit of work that has followed the drafting and editing process. Work in the writing portfolios is assessed using assessment checklists which assess against the objectives for year group. Independent writing is moderated to ensure consistent and effective assessment of writing across the school.
Moderation is carried out within phase groups every term. Teachers are to ensure a range of independent text types are evidenced in writing portfolios in order to demonstrate a broad bank of evidence.
Feedback Clinic is another effective way of monitoring targets and children’s progress; where the teacher marks a piece of writing alongside the child and has an in depth discussion with them regarding feedback on their work and their individual progress.
All staff use the school literacy planning format.
The unit to be covered, key learning objectives and learning outcomes should be made clear on each weekly plan. Writing tasks (group or independent) should be differentiated to challenge and support the children regardless of their ability. Where possible, examples of differentiation to be made evident in literacy books, e.g. use of word banks, differentiated success criteria.
There is an expectation that literacy lessons have planned ‘warm-ups’ at the start of each lesson. These ‘warm-ups’ should be included on the weekly planning and where possible to consolidate or link in with the grammar focus being taught. These could include: SPAG activities, word and sentence games, up levelling of sentences, VCOP activities, Talk for Writing activities.
Planning should show the progression of a unit of work and incorporate the drafting and editing process and allow time for the final version to be completed for writing portfolios.
Planning also needs to include a weekly grammar lesson. This lesson in an explicit grammar lesson which is differentiated to ensure children accessing different year group curriculums are able to access the grammar objectives they are working on. Staff may choose to remain on a particular grammar objective for more than a week to ensure the children can embed the knowledge and skill. Where possible, staff are to plan the grammar lesson to link with the class book to show are purpose for grammar and engagement.
Evidence of grammar in books and differentiation of grammar is monitored by the literacy coordinator.
Children are encouraged to read a range of texts and books for pleasure. As part of the children’s homework, they are expected to read 3 times a week which is to be recorded in their Reading Record. To promote reading further, KS1 and KS2 both have reading initiatives to promote and encourage reading at home regularly.
In KS1 and F2, the children are familiar with the term RED TED (Read Every Day Talk Every Day). The children in KS1 work towards receiving 50 stamps in their Reading Records. They receive a stamp for every read recorded with an adult at home. When the children achieve 50 reads at home, they are awarded with a Red Ted bear and a certificate in our First Class Friday Achievement Assembly. The children then continue to read in order to collect their own Red Ted family.
In KS2, we have a reading initiative called Reading Stars. Each KS2 classroom has a designated Reading Star display. The children in each class move up the Reading Star wall in their classroom to show how many times they have read at home. Teachers monitor the reads by checking Reading Records. The entries in the reading records make it clear to the class teacher how much the children have read that week. The children will get a certificate in assembly and a golden ticket reward at the 25, 50, 75 and 100 reads milestones.
Guided Reading/Shared Reading
Using the class book, in the first half-term lessons use a shared reading approach where the class book is shared with all children and reading activities are planned accordingly. Reading sessions are planned for weekly and cover a range of reading objectives. Each session may have a different focus and teachers use the reading objectives to plan from, assess and evaluate.
After the first half term, children can be placed into small groups where children have at least one guided reading session with an adult each week and reading activities are planned for the other children to access independently.
Every two weeks, teachers will create a reading checkpoint. This is a selection of different reading style questions to allow the children the opportunity to gain the skills needed to access reading comprehension. The questions will be in different formats eg multiple choice, tick questions, draw a line to, give three reasons etc so that the children are used to seeing and answering questions in different styles.
Reading Books in KS2:
Children in KS2 have the opportunity each week to visit the school library. They are encouraged to choose a book of their choice and sign it out for that week.
Children are given a ‘Reading Stage’ for their school reading book which are all colour coded. Once children reach Stage 12, they become a ‘Free Reader’ and can choose a chapter book from the school library.
Reading Books in KS1:
In KS1, the children read books from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. They are assessed on a regular basis to move onto the next stage. The children read at least once a week to an adult and their books are changed weekly.
Reading in Year 1:
Guided reading is taught in groups. Each group has one session a week during Autumn 1. From Autumn 2 onwards Guided Reading is taught every day (independent carousel and teacher lead activities). Golden time as an initiative to encourage the children to read 3 times a week at home. Every child will be read with individually by an adult in school at least once a week.
Writing in Year 1:
The children will have two pieces of work written up in best and in portfolios each half term. Autumn term will be slightly guided but more independent as the year goes on. Independent writing in portfolios will be written at the end of a unit of learning, focusing on that particular text-type taught and these will be different text-types throughout the year.
There are separate grammar and spelling lessons taught in the summer term.
Spellings are given each week (increased throughout the year from 5-10) with mostly phonics spellings and some common exception words. Phonics is taught daily in ability groups.
We strive to deliver quality phonics sessions across the school to ensure that our pupils are able to read with accuracy and with increasing fluency and use effective strategies for spelling.
We use the up to date letters and sounds document rewritten in line with the new curriculum for Nottingham City Council 2014 to plan our phonics sessions.
See Phonics Policy for detailed information on when and how Phonics is taught across the school.
There are three sessions of spelling per week in KS2 (Teach rule, Investigation/spelling activities and test) and two sessions of spelling per week in KS1 (Teach rule/ practise).
Spelling record books are used from Year 1- Year 5 and Look, Cover, Write, Check sheets are used with Year 6. Weekly spellings include an additional 3 challenge words taken from the statutory word lists for that year group.
In addition to the feedback and marking policy, incorrect spellings are also marked and children respond to them. Incorrect spellings are identified in marking using ‘SP’ and where necessary, mis-spelt high frequency words are identified. In KS1 and year 3- teachers correct spellings and child copies out 3 times. In years 4-6, teachers write SP and the children find the spelling and correct it using dictionaries or classroom environment. Teachers use discretion as to how many spellings to correct if the target written is challenging and if many spellings need correcting.
Spellings are corrected in literacy books and extended writing in topic books.
In KS2, there is investigative spelling work carried out in one of the spelling sessions. This is to encourage and support pupils in their enquiry and discovery of spelling and embed new spelling rules taught to maximise learning and consolidation.
The teaching of spelling and evidence of spelling in books is monitored to measure impact and check that spelling rules are being applied in writing across the curriculum.