English at St Mary’s RC Primary School

At St Mary’s RC Primary School we use the following:

What does Writing look like in our school?

What does it mean to be a Writer?

At St Mary’s we foster children’s love for writing through introducing the children to high quality texts full of rich and varied vocabulary. Every child at St Mary’s is a storyteller- through our Talk For Writing scheme of work, children develop oracy skills which are fundamental in order for the children to share their views and opinions. A well rounded approach to teaching writing, enables the children to explore different genres and write for different purposes. Talk For Writing enables the children to imitate the language orally before children analyse texts and write their own. We support children in their creative writing, through teaching them how to organise their ideas, choose the most effective vocabulary to be topic specific and memorable and to choose appropriate conventions. Writers at St Mary’s are as diverse as our school community – we ensure that children’s ideas and writing efforts are championed and celebrated and that we expose children to a variety of texts from our rich and diverse Modern Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries.   


Talk for Writing
EYFS, KS1 and KS2 Talk for writing at St Mary’s is fostered from the very start by introducing the children to age appropriate texts. Children’s understanding of model texts is introduced in 3 stages:


Stage 1: imitation

Stage 2: innovation

Stage 3: independent application


The imitation stage starts with the ‘Cold Task’ which allows the teacher to plan for the whole cycle. Teachers introduce the model text through active engagement and the hook. Children learn the story off by heart through actions supported with a ‘story map’. In this stage, children learn the text, look at the vocabulary and sentence structures and discuss in depth the genre. The class also creates a toolkit which supports the children to include all relevant components of the successful write in the genre and studied themes, e.g. description toolkit, suspense toolkit etc.


The innovation stage is where the children box up the modelled text and together as a class develop their shared text with alterations to the first. Alterations vary from key stage to key stage, and can include: changing the scenery, characters, writing a prequel or sequel or introducing flashbacks into the story. The teacher supports the children with writing through modelling high quality writing, grammar and vocabulary and provided ongoing feedback to all children with next steps.


In the last phase of the cycle, children apply all knowledge and skills learnt in the first two stages in order to develop their own stories. Teachers monitor what the children write and provide feedback where necessary, however this is an independent application, also called the ‘Hot Task’, where children showcase what they have learnt through the whole cycle.


Feedback and Assessment

Children receive precise and constructive verbal, as well as written, feedback based on the actual work regarding their knowledge and skills and the feedback is directly linked to the learning. Next steps are given to children to further improve or to address misconceptions in order for the children to make better progress during the lesson and over time.

We also share the feedback with the parents on a regular basis, verbally or via email. Written feedback to parents will share the teaching focus and next steps. We assess the children formally throughout the year and teacher assessment, as well as Assessment for Learning, is happening on a daily basis. We analyse formal data on a termly basis and discuss these with the staff during Pupil Progress Meetings. We do book evaluations as well as internal moderations to ensure consistency across the school.  We strive to intervene as soon as a gap is identified to address misconceptions and/ or missed learning in order for the attainment gap to close.


Assessment and Tracking Progress
EYFS Upon entry to EYFS we conduct a baseline assessment in order to identify where the children are with their knowledge. Formal assessment happens termly, however teachers assess children’s knowledge and attainment daily through their professional judgement and assessment for Learning.
KS1 By the end of KS1 children are formally tested with KS1 SATs and for writing this includes Teacher Assessment. We follow DfE guidance in assessing writing across the school, with a school based approach to writing assessments. Teachers track pupils progress throughout the year and address misconceptions whenever necessary.
KS2 By the end of KS2 children are formally assessed with KS2 SATs and this includes Teacher Assessment for writing. We follow the DfE guidelines for writing and have devised our own assessment of writing expectations in order to ensure consistency across the school. Data is then analysed to identify GAPs in order for the teachers to precisely devise support and further interventions for the children.


Provision for those children who need additional support

Solid and secure phonological knowledge as well as rich and varied vocabulary are the key for the children to be successful writers. Children who struggle with accessing age appropriate curriculum objectives get support within the classroom and this includes: first quality teaching, scaffolding of the work, word mats, extra support and focus from adults in class, use of technology such as laptops, tablets or talking tins. For children who require further support they attend interventions planned by the SENCo.



St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School
Kirkley Cliff, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0DG
Tel: 01502 565384
Email: office@stmarysrcps.org

Please contact the school office if you require a paper copy of the information on our website or wish to speak to our SENCo - Mr Lambert.