At Barnfields Primary School, we provide rich and varied experiences for our pupils, allowing them to develop their confidence and foster a positive attitude towards their writing.
At the start of the writing process pupils are exposed to many samples of the writing genre; this fundamental stage provides the opportunity to introduce children to a specific genre form, enabling them to capture ideas and secure understanding. As the writing process continues, the teacher models writing and undertakes shared writing and guided writing to develop the children’s knowledge and skills in readiness for the independent writing they then undertake.
Teachers model writing skills, including how to compose, edit and revise their writing. Pupils are taught to self-evaluate their writing and check their work independently for sense, accuracy and meaning. Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation are taught in the context of pupils’ own writing, as well as through discrete lessons.
In years 1 to 6, writing assessment grids are updated every six weeks by teachers to assess the writing of pupils and a summative judgement is made in order to track progress made.
At Barnfields Primary School, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught high frequency words that do not completely follow the phonic rules. We call these ‘tricky words’.
The school begins teaching phonics using the ‘Letters and Sounds.’ programme. In reception, multi-sensory Jolly Phonics pictures, songs and actions support this. Pupils in Year 1 will individually take part in the Phonics Screening Check. It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. We will then report your child’s result at the end of the summer term.
All children in year 1 to 6 take spellings home to learn each week and are tested on them the following week. Teachers follow the spelling objectives for their year group as outlined in the National Curriculum. Where appropriate, objectives are adjusted to suit the ability of individuals. In class, specific teaching is undertaken to develop an understanding of the spelling objectives and to investigate the rules and any variants. Word lists and visual prompts are used in classrooms to assist children with their learning.
In all work, spelling is given a high priority. Children are encouraged to use different strategies to help them spell correctly including phonics, use of word lists or mats and dictionaries. When marking work teachers pick out spellings for children to correct and practise to improve their spelling of words.