“Among its many achievements, the school is remarkably successful with writing. This can be seen first of all in the unusually positive attitudes that pupils have towards writing.”
Ofsted (2010) Excellence in English
Over time, Castle View has developed a workshop style approach to the teaching of Writing which was recognised by Ofsted. This whole school approach is the heart of our success because it allows for high-quality teacher modelling where pupils have the opportunity to apply skills taught immediately.
In every lesson, pupils are encouraged to see themselves as writers and, as a result, behave like writers, confident in their own writing ability and able to think about the impact their vocabulary and punctuation choices have on the reader. This has also developed teachers’ confidence as writers and texts are often written by the teacher to use as a model in lessons.
Each lesson begins with a short activity or writing game which provides children with the opportunity to manipulate language and build towards their final piece of writing. Planning stages are used effectively during lessons to provide a framework for writing and support independent ideas.
When writing, pupils are encouraged to cross out, make additions, edit and self-correct their writing which allows the children to work as real authors improving their work.
Children develop strong Reading and Writing links as genres are studied in two-week blocks. Staff have created ‘Genre Toolkits’ to ensure the progression of skills and consistency throughout the school. This ensures that staff and students understand what is expected from the genre being studied.
Because we pride ourselves on our Writing, Key Stage 2 write in high-quality, hardback books which have a high status in school. These books are a professional journal of writing experiences that we offer our children and are regularly commented on by visitors to the school.
Working Walls are used effectively to document teacher guidance and offer a point of reference for pupils during lessons.