‘You can make anything by writing.’ – C.S. Lewis
‘There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.’ – Beatrix Potter
The ability to write effectively is vital for communicating with others in school, in the wider world and is fundamental to learning in all curriculum subjects. However, many pupils arriving at New Heights lack confidence in their writing abilities and can be reluctant to put pen to paper. Therefore, in English we focus on building pupils’ confidence with writing in fun and engaging ways; ensuring that all the key skills are covered to prepare pupils for KS4.
In line with the English National Curriculum, pupils are taught to write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information; through writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences.
Pupils receive teaching on the following topics:
- Sentences and punctuation
- Structure and paragraphs
- Tone and style
- Formal and informal
- Preparing and drafting
- Writing to inform and explain
- Writing to describe
- Writing to persuade, argue and advise
- Writing to review and comment
- Writing to analyse
- Creative and narrative writing
Every two weeks, pupils are given a writing stimulus and work towards an extended piece of writing through which they can showcase their newly acquired or improved writing skills.
Writing topics include: description of a jam doughnut; a spooky short story; a persuasive argument highlighting the positive side of video games; a formal letter complaining about the conditions at ‘Camp Green Lake’ (from the novel Holes); narrative writing inspired by the events in ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins.
Pupils learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively through writing, and to communicate with others confidently and effectively. By developing English skills pupils can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations, as well as appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and speakers. Speaking and listening skills are important life skills, and discussion and group work is regularly incorporated into lessons to give pupils opportunity to develop in these areas.
Assessment and Feedback
When pupils arrive, they are given a baseline writing assessment to complete. After this, pupils are given an extended writing task to complete every fortnight which is used to track writing progression. Pupils are regularly encouraged to self-assess and peer-asses writing within lessons, and given individual specific targets to work on.
Relevance of Subject to Everyday Life
It is a necessity in most careers and walks of life to be able to communicate effectively and write with coherence; from passing exams to applying for jobs, basic writing skills form a crucial part in being successful.
As well as writing being an essential skill for everyday life, there is a range of vocational qualifications linked to an interest in English, such as:
- Travel and tourism
- Performing arts
- Media and marketing
- Graphic design
- Health and social care