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Our Approach to Writing


Writing at Murdishaw West Community Primary School


At Murdishaw West Community Primary School we plan learning using our English curriculum texts as a driver. We follow The Literacy Company’s ‘Pathways to Write’ from EYFS to Year 6.  

Aims for Writing

  • To enable children to write in a variety of styles and forms, be it narrative or non-fiction.

  • To enable children to successfully write for a wide range of purposes and audiences.

  • To encourage children to confidently write for enjoyment, independence and success.

Children take part in a variety of planned writing activities, both within English lessons and across the curriculum.

How we Teach Writing

We use Pathways to Write to drive our writing curriculum. Children learn about the purpose, structure and language features of a variety of writing genres.  The teaching of writing and use of compositional skills are grounded in a rich experience of reading and reflecting on quality written texts. The texts are often used as models for writing. When appropriate, cross-curricular links are made.

Children are given regular opportunities for telling, retelling and refining texts as a preparation for writing. We encourage the process of planning, saying, writing, checking and editing writing.

Planned teaching sequences include shared, guided and independent writing. We prepare children for the transition from shared to independent writing by use of teacher demonstrations-‘modelling’ writing, teacher scribing and supported composition.

Extended writing opportunities are regularly planned for across the curriculum. This encourages the children to be creative and flexible with their writing skills, applying what has previously been taught; e.g. writing a narrative set in Ancient Egypt or writing an explanation of how a volcano erupts.

Writing in the EYFS

The skilled staff in EYFS provide many exciting writing opportunities for the children, both focused sessions and through continuous provision. They follow the Pathways planning when it is appropriate and grips the children’s interests, if texts are changed the objectives (Pathway’s Keys) for each unit are followed to maintain progression. Children are given a range of opportunities to create and use print in a meaningful way.  As children develop their knowledge of phonics and Harder to Read and Spell words this is quickly transferred into their independent writing.

Pathways to Write: A Whole School Approach

Pathway's ensures coverage and progression through the National Curriculum:

  • Mastery of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation skills

  • Writing a range of genres across a year

  • Vocabulary development

  • Using a wider range of reading comprehension strategies as a whole class

  • Spoken language activities including drama and presentations

  • Opportunities for practising previously taught genres

  • An extended, independent piece of writing

Pathways to Write- The Sequence

The Gateway:

  • The Gateway is begins with a ‘hook’ session to intrigue and enthuse young writers

  • Pupils are given the opportunity to predict

  • The purpose and audience of the text is established

  • Revisit previous mastery skills and ongoing skills through an assessed piece of writing

The Pathway:

  • New writing skills are introduced from the year group's curriculum, these are called mastery keys and these are displayed in the classroom.

  • Writing opportunities are provided to practise and apply the skills taught. This is through short and extended writing tasks, including character descriptions, poetry, dialogue between characters, fact files or diary entries in role.

  • Opportunities are provided to re-cap and apply previously taught skills.

  • There are opportunities to challenge greater depth writers through a wider range of tasks e.g. changes to form, viewpoint and audience.

The Writeaway:

  • Pupils section and sequence texts, this can be independently or collaboratively.

  • They create extended pieces of writing.

  • Opportunity is given to apply mastery skills.

  • Time is given for planning, writing, checking, editing, redrafting and publishing.

  • A fiction or non-fiction outcome will be written (covering a wide range of genres and themes over the year).

High Expectations

High expectations are set for children’s written work.  School has an agreed set of non-negotiables which children must try to adhere to.  These areas are adapted to be specific and appropriate for each year group.

Our five Non-negotiables are:

  • Presentation

  • Handwriting

  • Grammar

  • Spelling

  • Quality/Quantity/Effort

You will find the end of year expectations for writing, reading and spoken language for each of our year groups in the attached documents below. For further detail on the objectives that your children are learning on a termly basis, please contact your class teacher.

Year Group Objectives

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