At Tidemill Academy, we recognise the fundamental principle that writing is key to improving learning and raising standards; it enables pupils to gain access to all subjects across the curriculum. In addition, writing allows the children to express themselves creatively whilst developing key skills for organising and communicating ideas, linked to our Tidemill skills and attitudes. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society, and we believe that literate pupils will ultimately emerge as confident and articulate life-long learners.
During their time at Tidemill Academy, children are given the opportunity to write across a wide variety of genres, spending time focussing specifically on the audience and purpose of a piece of writing. In order to support their composition, diverse and creative texts are used to teach the objectives from the writing national curriculum. Writing units often begin with an immersion lesson in which the class read extracts from their core text and complete activities linked to drama that provide children with rich first-hand experiences. Following this, children are shown a high-quality modelled example in order to develop a success criteria. Throughout the unit, there is a specific focus on the teaching and rehearsal of vocabulary to support children to acquire a wide vocabulary. Furthermore, we provide specific learning objectives to help pupils make clear and understandable progress towards their expected standard. Children’s writing is regularly celebrated, with a variety of displays across the school and opportunities for the publishing of work.
Teachers plan for writing on a weekly basis following the guidelines of the national curriculum and Tidemill Academy progression document, which form part of our current English policy; this ensures progression of knowledge across and within each key stage. Sequences of learning are based around core texts, embedding grammar, spelling and punctuation within the writing process. Pupils are taught to use grammar correctly, to punctuate consistently and to develop accurate spelling. Our daily planning includes the objectives and writing outcomes to be taught, with clear success criteria, differentiated activities and opportunities for assessment. All children have weekly spelling lists as part of their homework. We also encourage neat handwriting and help the children to achieve a legible script as a matter of course.