St Joseph'sCatholic Primary School


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Subject leader: Mrs Handford

Governor Link: Mrs Strinati




 ‘Reading and writing float on a sea of talk.’ James Britton, Educationalist


It is our intent that children at St. Joseph’s receive a high quality writing curriculum that develops confident writers, communicators and fluent readers who are able to effectively articulate their ideas and emotions in the wider world. We deliver varied and rich literary teaching that inspires and nurtures a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately across a range of genres and recognise their own potential when doing so.


We recognise that at our children have varied life experiences and the ability to read and write effectively directly impacts their life choices. We understand that reading and writing skills also has a direct impact upon progress and attainment in all areas of the curriculum and also upon a child’s self esteem, well-being and motivation to learn. Therefore, we recognise that children need to develop a secure knowledge of the skills in literacy which follows a clear path of progression as they develop through the school. This is crucial for our school as we support them to become lifelong writers and readers enabling them to participate as full members of society.





 In order to achieve our intent, our aims are fully imbedded through our writing lessons and the wider curriculum.  We immerse our writing lessons using the Talk for Writing approach consistently throughout the school. It supports children to be able to generate ideas, draw upon their reading and write confidently for a variety of audiences and purposes. The methodology follows a three-tier pattern: Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application.


Teachers provide expert models of the writing process in daily shared writing sessions and there are regular opportunities for children’s writing and ideas to be shared, displayed, published and celebrated.  Collaborative learning is at the heart of our curriculum, ensuring that our children are engaged, learning from each other and strengthening their knowledge and understanding of their reading and writing skills every day. Learning is adapted so that reading and writing skills can develop and grow and our children continue to make progress.    



Substantive Knowledge


Substantive knowledge includes the understanding of structural, grammatical and linguistic features, as well as knowledge of handwriting and spellings. Children will begin to develop the knowledge of how to structure a simple sentence, using accurate punctuation, and will then learn how to combine sentences to form paragraphs to suit different writing genres.  Through deliberate practice, this substantive knowledge becomes automatic and fluent, and children become confident in effectively planning, drafting, and constructing writing for different purposes.


Disciplinary Knowledge


In writing, disciplinary knowledge is the process of thinking critically and creatively using the automaticity of substantive knowledge. 

Disciplinary knowledge is the ability to evaluate and edit text and apply substantive knowledge to effectively write for a range of purposes. Children will be able to adapt their writing to suit different genres and audiences, making careful language and grammar choices. They will be able to edit and re-draft their writing, using tools such as dictionaries and thesauruses to help them as well as internalising the text and language through our Talk for Writing pedagogy. 


Our writing curriculum is broken down into the following:




When children start at St Joseph’s the teaching of literacy focuses on oral language development, phonemic awareness, phonics, alphabet knowledge and early reading. Our Talk for writing lessons use a selection of age appropriate, high quality texts and models in a range of genres and incorporates rhyme, singing and an environment that is rich in opportunities for discussion and talk to help promote early literacy skills. Children are able to enjoy a wide range of engaging and exciting concepts that build knowledge and vocabulary that is essential for successful comprehension as they continue on their learning journey through the school. 



As children progress through the school they are introduced to a wide range of texts and models that are specially selected to provide the focus for writing tasks across a range of genres. They receive daily teaching of reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar. This teaching explicitly links phonics skills to their reading and writing tasks. Reading lessons have a targeted phonics sound enabling children to fully embed and practise the sounds they have learnt in their literacy skills. 



Across the school, their literacy is further widened including not just fiction and non-fiction but a real dive into poetry and continues to both support but also challenge our children. Vocabulary is extended and there are regular opportunities for independent writing through our Talk for Writing teaching. Teaching is supported by high quality texts, adapted model texts that are chosen to engage and deliver rich literacy teaching across the curriculum as well as time allocated for a story at the end of the day. Phonics does not stop in KS2 and where children need further support with their reading skills they will continue to receive daily phonics teaching. 





Attainment in writing is assessed regularly throughout the year. At our three main assessment checkpoints, progress is tracked, using the Corner Stones Assessment Maestro which align with the National Curriculum.  Regular moderation takes place, to quality assure judgements are made. These opportunities to moderate are in school, as part of a hub of local schools and within our Academy Trust. This three tier approach ensures our judgements are consistent and robust. During end of Key Stage Assessment, teachers will attend external moderation sessions in Years 2 and Year 6, using this to inform reported Teacher Assessment judgements. Exemplification materials are used to support judgements made. 


As a result, we have a school community of enthusiastic readers and writers who can recognise their progress, are confident enough to take risks within their learning and enjoy nothing more than celebrating their reading and writing skills and achievements. 


Adapted Learning & Inclusion

  • We plan our classroom activities to challenge and involve all pupils appropriately
  • We are aware of different learning styles and the need to allow pupils to be able to work in their preferred learning styles
  • We use materials for teaching which avoid stereo-typing, and bias, towards race, gender, role or disability
  • We deal with such issues clearly and sensitively when they arise


For our gifted and talented children, we will expect teachers to provide teaching and learning experiences that provide oppportunities for children to

  • show pleasure and involvement in experimenting with language
  • analyse insights when discussing their own and others’ writing intentions
  • draw out relationships between different texts that they have read
  • reflect on language and linguistic forms they encounter
  • contribute incisive, critical responses,
  • analyse their own writing and the writing of others
  • explore the nuance of language use and use language precisely
  • Avoid giving additional writing tasks and encourage them instead to communicate their understanding in a variety of ways, giving them responsibility for choosing and evaluating the most appropriate method.



We follow the Penpals scheme of writing from Reception through to Year 6. We have consistently high expectations of handwriting and presentation across all areas of learning.  Our children take pride in their learning and recognise the need to write carefully and clearly so that it can be celebrated by everyone. Please read our Handwriting Policy for more information. 


Writing Assessment

Attainment in writing is assessed at regular intervals and daily by Class Teachers. At the three main assessment checkpoints, progress is tracked, using the Corner Stones Maestro which align with the National Curriculum.  Regular moderation takes place, to quality assure judgements made. These are in school, as part of a hub of local schools and within our Academy Trust. When assessing end of Key Stage writing, teachers will assess a selection of pieces of writing in Years 2 and Year 6, using this to inform reported Teacher Assessment judgements. Exemplification materials are used to support judgements made. 


Skills Progression

At St Joseph's, the children's learning is assessed using the skills progression tool on Cornerstones where we are able to individually track the children's personal progression.