Writing is one of the most important skills children need to master throughout their time at Carlton. It is a life skill which will be fundamental for the rest of their lives, both in future employment and daily life. Children must learn to be clear, accurate and coherent in their writing, having the skills to choose the language and style of writing to suit whichever purpose is necessary. They must be able to apply this clarity, accuracy and coherence to a range of contexts and tailor their writing purposefully and deliberately for different audiences.
There are a variety of skills which are encompassed within the writing curriculum, all of which are necessary and important in enabling children to be effective writers. These skills are:
- Handwriting – the formation of individual letters and their joins to other letters. The ability to form letters is the first step towards becoming a proficient writer as children move from mark making into creating shapes with meaning. Handwriting is taught as a specific skill and practiced regularly in every year group.
- Spelling - including the ability to proof read for errors and recognition of homophones.
- Punctuation – a wide range of punctuation to be gradually introduced across school accurately
- Grammar - the ‘rules’ the English language follows, including correct verb tense, word groups and sentence structure.
- Cohesion – the ability to make sentences and paragraphs link together to create rounded pieces of writing.
- Creativity – a wide range of vocabulary and the skill to choose specific vocabulary for different purposes.
Across school children use Jane Considine resources to help structure their writing and write creatively and consistently through use of ‘fantastics’, ‘boomtastics’ and ‘grammaristics’.
Fantastics form the foundation of every sentence and phrase, providing a framework for children to generate ideas to use in their writing. Children often find it difficult to get going with their writing as they are either stuck for ideas or have too many that they can’t narrow down their start point. Fantastics enable children to focus their ideas, selecting the most prominent or vivid idea to begin with and using it as a base to write from. By covering a range of fantastic the children will ensure that their writing is varied and interesting. Once children have structured their ideas they need support in choosing the most appropriate vocabulary to use. Teachers will support children in building up vocabulary banks, promoting effective vocabulary use and introducing children to a wider range of vocabulary through reading, in order to support children to make the more effective choices, rather than thinking the best word is the hardest/longest/most complicated word.
Grammaristics provide the tools with which to communicate ideas and are increasingly important within the National Curriculum. From Foundation Stage through to Year 6 the children need to have a clear grasp of grammatical terms and conventions at a word, sentence and text level. This includes the ability to punctuate accurately and clearly, as well as understanding the grammatical terminology for different aspects of writing. Teachers must have a firm understanding of the grammatical terms, conventions and nuances expected for their key stage so that they can deliver this knowledge and understanding to the children. Throughout school, grammaristics will be introduced gradually and built upon each year.
Boomtastics introduce children to a variety of techniques they can use to convey their ideas. They are typically poetic devices which, when used sparingly and accurately, can conjure up clear and imaginative visuals for their readers. Teachers will introduce these ideas through modelling and identify them when reading texts, making sure the children are aware of the dangers of overusing these techniques.
Spelling will be taught regularly throughout school, with years 2-6 following the No Nonsense Spelling scheme. Year 1 children will follow a scheme designed in house to mirror the No Nonsense approach with appropriate content.
In addition to the schemes in school, Spelling Bee will be used to promote spelling at home. This will be used as an informal approach with regular competitions held across year groups to promote spelling in a more casual way.
An overview of the different objectives covered in each year group is attached below.