At Alma Park, we value Writing as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they are enthusiastic, confident writers who understand that writing is both essential to thinking and learning and enjoyable in its own right.
We enable our children to learn to communicate meaning in narrative and non-fiction texts, spelling and punctuating accurately and for a range of purposes.
Alma Park’s Writing curriculum begins in EYFS. This foundation in Writing is based on the Early Years Framework: Literacy, Physical development and Expressive Arts and Design educational programmes. Pupils develop their fine motor/gross skills so they can use a range of tools competently including pencils for writing and develop their core strength to achieve a good posture when sitting at tables. They learn to spell words by identifying the sounds and then writing them. They engage in conversations and learn new vocabulary. They use print and letter knowledge in their early writing. The National Curriculum provides the skill and knowledge foundations that are then built on to provide a purposeful progression. This ensures that the National Curriculum end points are met.
Pupils build on their knowledge and skills in different areas of Writing, such as transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. This ensures they can write confidently to support learning across the entire curriculum.
The Writing curriculum gives pupils life skills to enable them to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. By teaching Writing in discrete lessons and with purposeful links to other curriculum areas, pupils become confident, independent writers.
At Alma Park, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. We start teaching phonics in Nursery/Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression (a systematic and synthetic phonics programme), which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. At Alma Park, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. Mark making is the first step in a child's journey to writing and important for their development in handwriting, creativity and coordination. Mark making opportunities are planned and provided through the use of range of materials Children then learn to write letters, simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others and themselves.
We encourage our children to see themselves as writers for both pleasure and purpose. As a UNICEF Rights Respecting School, Writing is delivered in a safe and inspiring environment which nurtures children’s talents, allowing them to thrive so that when they leave Alma Park they are responsible, active citizens. Writing at Alma Park promotes and encourages sustainability in various ways including links with wider curriculum areas. Diversity is embraced through providing a wide range of reading material and texts that reflect our local community. Teaching materials are also adapted when necessary to ensure SEND and disadvantaged pupils can access all aspects of the same curriculum.
At Alma Park we are always looking for opportunities to develop our curriculum and this involves seeking enrichment activities for our pupils using local community links. E.g. workshops, writing for purpose to local politicians, celebrating writing through competitions and creating stimuli for writing through exciting, real life experiences and trips.