The school’s curriculum for writing is built around skills which enable learners to express their thoughts clearly and accurately. The curriculum ensures that there are regular opportunities to write at length in both imaginative forms and for practical purposes. Opportunities to write poetry and other forms of expressive writing are built into the medium term planning.
Grammar is a key part of the curriculum for writing. Because many of our learners do not have English as a first language, accurate teaching of grammar is particularly important to give them equality of opportunity to succeed in education.
At Our Lady of the Rosary, all children learn to write through Talk for Writing. Talk for Writing was developed by the author Pie Corbett as a fun, creative yet also rigorous approach to develop writers.
Talk for Writing starts with enjoying and sharing stories. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on enjoying a range of literature. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing.
During the initial 'imitation' stage of Talk for Writing, children learn to tell a story off by heart. They retell a text with expression and actions and make use of a story map to support their retelling. Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At the 'innovation' stage, children make the story their own, for example, by changing the character or setting. Finally, at the 'invention stage, children write their own text independently.
The curriculum for writing includes opportunities to write in lessons other than English. Consequently, learners are given a chance to apply their skills in a range of contexts.
Cursive handwriting is taught systematically and good handwriting is valued. Equally spelling is taught through phonics and the spelling patterns in the national curriculum document.