At St Peter's, we believe all our children (from Y3 to Y6) are entitled to an ambitious, knowledge-rich English curriculum that ensures they will become fluent readers and writers who are able to confidently access the demands of the secondary school curriculum. Our English curriculum is driven by a canon of culturally important, high-quality texts. This is the stimulus for all our reading and writing. We have chosen texts which lead to the development of the personal and cultural capital of our children. We believe that in order for our children to leave St Peter's as successful learners, they need to have knowledge of a range of these texts.
Writing is probably the most complex process that we ask children to perform. A runner does not learn to run a marathon by running long distances at the beginning of their training; they build up slowly and develop their running technique over time. Equally, a pianist must learn and practice scales repeatedly in order to perform complex compositions. In the same way, children need to learn basic grammatical skills to automaticity before they can confidently compose extended pieces of writing to a high standard.
Our vision for writing at St Peter's focus' on teaching six text types: recount, report, instructional, explanation, discussion, and persuasive texts. The text types are introduced and revisited in a specified sequence to reduce cognitive load. Additionally, the core grammar knowledge for each phase (LKS2, UKS2) is specified and carefully sequenced so that children have plentiful opportunities to learn the skills and practice them to automaticity. Once children are ready to apply these skills, they draft extended pieces. The writing outcomes are based on content from the text read and discussed in the whole class reading lessons or from previously taught content in foundation subjects. Again, this is to ensure the focus is on thinking about grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary choices, rather than making up content, which is something children do naturally when we use rich texts.
Children are taught explicitly how to plan their writing and time is spent re-drafting, so that all children carefully consider the choices they are making. This ensures that every child can become a competent and successful writer. We believe in improving the writer not improving a single piece of writing. The cycle of drafting, responding to feedback and redrafting is repeated until children publish a piece of extended writing. This enables the taught grammar and punctuation to become embedded, so that children think carefully about their language choices and apply this in new pieces of writing across the curriculum.In summary, at St Peter's we write for a clear purpose is at the heart of our writing curriculum. Each young writer is taught the grammar and text type conventions to best deliver a high impact piece of writing. They are supported through a journey from an experience or 'hook', into What A Good One Looks Like (WAGOLL), so it is clear what is expected. This is taken through to careful modelling and scaffolding, finally publishing an end piece they are proud of.