Deer Park School pupils will become writers across all the different curricula; they write as a historian or a scientist in addition to writing in English. Through their extensive reading and explicit teaching of vocabulary, they will be confident and accomplished writers. They can write for a variety of audiences and purposes using range of vocabulary, grammar punctuation skilfully to enhance their writing. At Deer Park School, pupils learn from authors and use this to develop their own personal voice, mood and style and authorial voice. Pupils also use their own personal experiences and ideas to create their own authorial voice. High-quality spoken language including extensive vocabulary and understanding of syntax is central to our curriculum both generally and in writing.
The DPS English writing curriculum is taught through a carefully chosen high-quality text and these texts are read and analysed in class throughout the unit. These texts are chosen to reflect a diverse range of genres and authors as set out in the DPS English Overview. Each unit is skilfully prepared aiming towards defined writing outcomes with a clear audience and purpose.
Many units use the Power of Reading teaching sequences as a starting point and then these are developed with a clear and relevant vocabulary, grammar and punctuation focus and a variety of realistic and motivating writing outcomes. Teachers explicitly model through high quality spoken language and as writers themselves, to develop the pupils knowledge of writing. Each unit provides opportunities for pupils to make connections with other subjects (horizontal links); previously taught books and units (vertical links) and diagonal links of concepts such as root words, book genres and key themes and conventions.
The vocabulary, grammar and punctuation taught is fully embedded in the text the pupils are using to ensure meaningful application and the ability to use this independently. Each unit culminates, in an extended writing lesson where they also edit and improve their writing. Writing is published in different forms such as displays and class books.
This is formatively assessed throughout the teaching of a unit where teachers identify gaps and misconceptions and address them in the next lesson, in small groups or by adapting by the next lesson. Extended writes are used to identify any individual gaps or large areas of misconception. These take place fortnightly in most units. Feedback (either written or verbal) following this lesson is responded to in the next lesson which is dedicated to editing and revising their work. Publishing (either in books or for display) their work is the final stage of the writing process.
The pupils’ writing is moderated in phase meetings and with other schools to assess the impact of our teaching and the attainment and progress of the pupils.
PENPALS for Handwriting
At Foundation stage, your child will be focusing on developing the necessary fine and gross motor skills in readiness for handwriting. They will practise a range of patterns including dots, waves and zig zags to prepare them for letter formation. You can view the full document here.
We also use the Little Wandle mantras in Reception and KS1 to support the children’s recall of the formation of the letters. Here is a copy of the formation mat they use in class.