Our school British Values Statement can be found in our Key Policies section of the website.
At Bridgewater we want all of our learners to see themselves as writers and enjoy writing. We want them to understand the purpose and value of writing and have a variety of engaging opportunities in which to develop and apply their writing skills within writing lessons, across the curriculum and at home. The writing skills they acquire through Quality First Teaching, will support them in their future as life-long learners and writers.
Within writing, our key aims are:
- To enable children to use spoken and written language effectively in their lives, facilitating communication, self-expression and learning.
- To enable children to enjoy literature of all kinds and become appreciative and competent readers and writers.
- To equip our children with the necessary spoken, written and reading skills to enable them to be confident, articulate, adaptable and resilient learners throughout their lives.
As a school we recognise that reading is fundamental to the writing process, as children can only write successfully if they have a full understanding of the features of specific genres and therefore reading and exploring texts from a variety of genres is closely linked to writing opportunities within English lessons. Within our English curriculum, we aim to heavily link writing with a love and understanding of reading. Our literature spine and writing long term maps compliment each other, meaning that children can use their analysis and exploration of high-quality texts to support their writing. When teaching grammatical skills, the purpose and effect on a reader is always discussed. The grammatical skills taught progress year on year; each year group retrieves previously learned skills and learns new ones, based on the National Curriculum.
As a school, we are continuing to develop our pupils’ oracy skills. Pupil’s ability to manipulate their spoken language alongside learning through deep listening will impact directly upon their ability to write for a range of purposes. We have a heavy focus on vocabulary; children are excited about learning new vocabulary, the subtle differences between synonyms and the etymology and morphology of words. We encourage pupils to use high level vocabulary within both their spoken and written language.
Progression is ensured within all areas of writing. Opportunities are carefully planned for children to write for different purposes. These are revisited to ensure that pupils build upon their knowledge and develop writing skills at a deeper level.
Writing is taught using a range of approaches allowing teaching to be flexible and work with the needs of our children. Children are taught the fundamental building blocks for a chosen text. Once these elements are secure, they are strongly encouraged to develop their own writing style. Quality texts, visual stimuli, drama and talk for writing techniques are combined to inspire the children’s writing.
Teachers model and co-create high quality shared writing, as well as unpicking high-quality examples of writing. Children are encouraged to enhance the effectiveness of what they write, through the process of editing their own work and responding to feedback. Marking codes per key stage are used by all staff and are stuck into the front of children’s English books, so that children can use these to support them in editing their work. Our Bridgewater marking codes are succinct, clear and progressive. Marking is purposeful and progressive for our learners. Where possible, in-the-moment verbal feedback is given; this is noted on the children’s work or the work is developmental marked and the child responds. Children respond to feedback using green editing pens. Throughout the children’s writing journey, they are given the opportunity to individually and peer assess their work. Thus, checking and securing their knowledge of the written word.
Punctuation, Grammar and Vocabulary
An understanding of the mechanics of sentence structure and grammar is an important feature of writing. In recognition of this, punctuation and grammar skills are taught discretely and then embedded into writing sessions, so that children have every opportunity to refine and enhance their ability in this area. With writing linked to quality texts, pupils are exposed to high-quality ambitious vocabulary and taught how to select this appropriately for their own writing. Grammar and spelling are taught in line with the progression outlined in the National Curriculum.
At Bridgewater Primary School we teach phonics following the structure of the program “Sounds-Write”. Sounds-Write provides the children with experiences to learn to read and spell from the moment children begin their schooling in the Foundation Stage, throughout Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2.
Reception children are introduced to the ‘Initial Code’. Once the initial code has been established at a CVC level, they will begin to explore more complex structures of words such as CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, and CCCVCC. Within the Early Years setting, the children will have opportunities through their continuous provision to revisit, review and deepen their understanding of the initial code within phonics.
In Key Stage 1 the children begin to explore and deepen their knowledge of the ‘Extended Code’. This is where the children will experience more complex code where many letters make one sound, different spellings can represent one sound and the same spellings can represent different sounds.
In Key Stage 2, pupils follow the Spelling Shed programme to build on the Sounds-Write spelling from KS1. Each lesson has a main objective from the National Curriculum appendix for spelling. The linguistic areas of phonology, orthography, morphology & etymology are included within the programme. Each lesson is designed as a number of modular components which are taught as a single lesson per week or split into a number of sessions delivered over the course of a week. Each week a set of words is explored focusing on a specific spelling pattern. Retrieval practice is used at the start of each lesson to revisit sounds and spelling patterns from earlier weeks in the scheme. Within the main teaching input, teachers and pupils explore the words of the week and examine aspects such as the number of syllables, tricky sounds and the morphology of the words. Challenge weeks are also included to focus on the statutory word lists found in the National Curriculum English Programme of Study.
Progress is tracked regularly by the class teacher and interventions are put in place to support those who are not making the expected progress.
Presentation and handwriting are given high priority at Bridgewater Primary School and there is an expectation that quality, aspirational writing from learners should be evident in books and on displays across school. We use the twinkl font in the EYFS and KS1 and the twinkl unlooped cursive font in KS2. The children follow the formation of these fonts when being taught their handwriting; they begin to join in KS2.
Handwriting is taught weekly and teachers follow the Bridgewater Handwriting Expectations document, which details how lessons should be taught and how progression looks. Lessons involve a physical warm up, focus on pencil grip, modelling, practice and immediate feedback to learners.
Writing by pupils shows that they are able to write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences. This will feed into cross-curricular writing. Grammatical skills will be embedded and used efficiently in order to achieve a chosen impact on the reader. Spelling will be mostly accurate according to year group expectations, and handwriting will be fluent and legible for all pupils, unless there is a significant reason.
Pupil voice will also demonstrate that children enjoy writing and see themselves as writers, through being given a range of writing opportunities and them feeling as though they have mastery as writers. When discussing their writing, pupils will be able to discuss the features found in given genres and story patterns and make connections between the writing they access in real life and the writing they have learned about in school. They will be able to discuss how their previous learning relates to new learning and build upon their schemas over time.
At Bridgewater Primary School, our pupils are confident, articulate young people, who are able to communicate effectively in a range of situations – skills that will serve them well far beyond primary education.
As an inclusive school, we believe that diversity needs to be embraced, celebrated and highlighted, both within the curriculum and through the culture of the school. As a result, children and stakeholders are represented fairly and accurately, with a focus on equity. Learners will have the opportunity to have access to a deep, enriching curriculum, which supports community cohesion and enables all pupils to develop and understand themselves as interconnected, global citizens. All children, regardless of gender, culture or disability are given the opportunity to study the curriculum. We acknowledge and plan for the specific needs of all learners.
All children are provided with equal access to the English curriculum. We aim to provide suitable learning opportunities regardless of gender, ethnicity or home background. This is achieved by ensuring our literature spine provides a broad and diverse range of authors, characters, settings and topics. Pupils have access to high-quality texts with diverse and positive role models across the curriculum. Within writing lessons, teachers use a variety of characters and settings from diverse areas and backgrounds that the children use as models within their own writing. Pupils actively take part in English lessons and everyone’s contributions are valued.