Writing at St Matthias
In the Early Years, in order to meet the Early Learning Goals for writing, we focus on developing a combination of phonological knowledge and fine and gross motor skills. We do this through teaching phonics alongside mark making and letter formation as the basis of transcription skills and use the method of Talk for Writing to support with early composition skills. Alongside high-quality books (and subsequent training) selected by the CLPE, the method of Talk for Writing is designed to develop language through storytelling and through meaningful repetition via multi-sensory activities, such as actions, songs and story maps. It is through this repetition that children develop their comprehension, learning new vocabulary and anticipating events, at the same time as writing recognisable letters, phrases and sentences. This combined with targeted activities within the continuous provision and through interventions allows children to internalise, imitate and create their own stories. All of the learning that takes place around these Early Learning Goals is built upon in KS1 and KS2, to develop skills around oracy, transcription and composition.
Years 1 to 6
At St Matthias, we use the Primary Advantage Being A Writer document to structure our writing curriculum and inform progression, underpinned by the texts that are used in The Literary Curriculum, as it covers a wide range of texts, including a balance of classics and more modern fiction; poetry; stories around social activism; non-fiction texts and texts representative of the children we teach. It is this that encourages children to ‘appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage’. Through putting carefully selected, diverse books at the heart of our writing cycles, we are continuing to embed a strong reading culture within our school, whilst exposing children to a range of language, with the continued aim of closing the word gap. Children complete a range of written outcomes that are meaningful and vary depending on context, purpose and audience; all the while, completing activities to develop their oracy, transcription and composition skills too. This is further supported through daily spelling and handwriting lessons and the teaching of punctuation and grammar.
Hackney Pirates is an afterschool provision that is offered to selected members of Year 6, to support with their oracy, reading and writing. We have been lucky enough to work with Hackney Pirates for the past few years and have seen a remarkable improvement in the literacy and confidence of the children who take part. You can see some of this amazing work on our Writing Blog here.
“The Education Team here at The Literacy Pirates would like to commend the pupils at St Matthias, Stoke Newington, for the wonderful work they have produced during their first term on our Literacy development programme. Not only have they produced wonderful work, but they have also boarded our Virtual Ship to join weekly sessions with their teacher and volunteers. We are very proud of you St Matthias and are excited to see you take on new and exciting challenges next term! A salute from us all at The Literacy Pirates!” – Wendy, Director of Learning
To find out more about the work our children do with Hackney Pirates, please visit their website here.
Writing is a priority across all subjects and teachers have high expectations around oracy, composition, spelling and handwriting in each one. Writing can be celebrated in any subject or lesson. One of the main aims that we would like to achieve is to close the vocabulary gap and this is more likely to be done if there is a high level of vocabulary and oracy across the curriculum. In addition to this, alongside the books that underpin our writing lessons, through celebrating writing across the curriculum, we are engaging boys more in the writing process, with hopes to reduce the gender gap in writing too.
Click here for our writing curriculum map.
We have a writing blog!
Click here to read all the amazing work written by the children of St Matthias.