You can make anything by writing   CS Lewis

At John Locke Academy, our approach to the teaching of English is multi-faceted, incorporating oracy, drama, real contexts and high-quality literature as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. 

Linked to our curriculum drivers of our learning skills and values, our priority is to create fluent readers and creative writers with all the skills and knowledge they need to be confidently literate in life. This will support pupils in their transition to secondary school and higher education. Gaining and using skills in language not only affects a child’s progress in school, but also has a profound influence upon the course of his or her whole life.

By the end of Year Six, we intend our children to have developed the skill of writing such that they can express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word with a clear awareness of purpose and audience. Our pupils are writers who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing, and confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. At JLA, we set high expectations for all our children to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style alongside allowing their imaginations to flourish.

In response to the needs of our children and teachers, we have developed ‘Writing - the JLA Way’ to ensure a consistent, effective approach to teaching writing, based on research.  Teachers adapt their planning and teaching to meet the needs of all children.

There are two distinct, but related areas involved in teaching children to write:

composition and transcription. Composition is about sharing their ideas and thinking about the purpose and audience for their writing. Transcription covers the technical aspects of writing: handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Both are essential for developing lifelong successful writers. It is imperative that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions. Composition and transcription skills are taught within real contexts or using high quality sources and, where possible, teachers plan creative and relevant links to their termly year group Learning Journeys as a stimulus for writing.

Handwriting - see separate policy

Spelling - see separate policy

Marking and Feedback  - see separate policy

In addition, we hold biannual whole school writing projects to celebrate our writing achievements and raise the quality of our outcomes with an inclusive and collaborative approach.

All children in year 2 to year 6 write an extended piece of cross-curricular writing each half term. This is most often a non-fiction report demonstrating the knowledge gained in their history or geography Learning Journey. 

Regular monitoring of lessons, books and pupil voice ensures writing is taught in a systematic and progressive way, that prior teaching and learning is considered, and that learning is memorable. This also ensures areas for CPD are identified and suitable support put in place. 

Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps. Formative assessment grids are used to make termly assessments alongside constructive marking combining verbal and written feedback to enable children to edit and improve their own writing.  

Consequently, our children have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the JLA Way of Writing across the school, children become more confident writers and able to plan, draft and edit their work. By the end of Key Stage 2, they enjoy sustained writing in both English lessons and across the wider curriculum and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation effectively. 

Children leave John Locke Academy with a secure understanding of writing and are well prepared to meet the needs of a challenging secondary curriculum and the expectations of writing across all subjects. This forms the basis of the skills that enable children to have a wider choice in their lives.

2024 Revised Writing Implementation at JLA

Click on these links for the JLA progression maps and for our approach to planning.