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Our writing vision
At Cottesmore, we aim to inspire learners to write by sharing high quality texts together. We believe that by driving our writing in this way, learners at Cottesmore will be able to unlock their writing potential and be inspired to write with creativity and flair.
We aim for learners to become creative writers and to express their knowledge clearly through the medium of writing. We recognise that writing is integral to our daily lives, and we encourage the children to ‘dare to dream’, and to make a difference in the world. Therefore, we aim to prepare them to harness the writing skills that they may need in their future careers, where they can share their gifts and talents with others. We encourage the children to consider and explore the purpose of their writing, whether to entertain, inform, or persuade their audience. Wherever possible, we aim to share their writing in some way, so children complete the writing unit feeling that their writing had the effect on the reader that was intended. We also want them to feel that their writing is valued.
Planning for writing
Cottesmore is developing a coherent and well planned mastery approach to writing, ensuring that skills are practised repeatedly and then applied in pieces of writing. We focus on a set of objectives in one school term and through a variety of writing opportunities. We aim to embed these skills, before building upon them in the following term with new skills. Our hope is that, rather than skimming the surface of these skills, the children will ‘deep dive’ into them, using them confidently, so that they are embedded before moving on to new skills. Children are given rich opportunities and supported by adults within the classroom to reach their full writing potential, through small group work and master classes.
The structure of our sequence of lessons in writing ensures that children see models of excellence and are able to talk about the features of a genre, so that they can mirror these skills in their own writing.
We believe that good writers are good editors, and children are taught vital editing and proof reading skills in each unit of writing that they undertake.
Vocabulary knowledge is an important focus at Cottesmore. It is explicitly taught to the children in order to add flair and style to their writing. Our aim is to explicitly teach the children new and high level vocabulary, to impact the quality of their writing.
Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are taught to write and spell using the Read Write Inc. phonics program. Once this knowledge is secure, and they have learned different phonemes to represent sounds, they continue to develop their spelling skills through the ‘No nonsense spelling’ program, which combines direct teaching of spelling rules and independent practice.
Writing for enjoyment
We want the children to be immersed in cross-curricular links for writing to ensure that their skills are transferable into different areas of learning, as these are skills that they will need when they leave school and embark on their chosen path, career or future study. We have launched a ‘budding journalist’ program, where children are encouraged to write articles for publishing in our school newsletter – a step towards a career in writing. We aim to link our writing topics closely to our Science, History and Geography topics to ensure that background knowledge can be coupled with writing skills, and to promote enjoyment. As a school we run an annual writing competition, linked to both poetry and story writing to encourage the children to dream big! We also partner with the local Brighton Martlets charity, writing letters to those in care homes to build a sense of community and to show how writing can change someone’s world for the better.