"If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do the thinking for them"
Eric Blair (George Orwell)
We believe the fundamental purpose for teaching writing at St Francis de Sales is encapsulated in Orwell's view. Our writing curriculum has been designed so that all pupils can use the skills they have learnt here to: develop and grow as creative, independent writers; form and articulate their own ideas; make their voices heard and understood; appreciate writing as an art, a form of escapism and an enjoyable pastime; inspire further study of the subject at a higher level; and use the skills and knowledge in the future to improve their lives as active members of society.
Our curriculum is deliberately ambitious, which challenges all pupils to write for a range of audiences and real-life purposes. It is comprehensive but necessarily selective in the genres that we cover, ensuring that pupils understand how to write for different contexts and adapt their style, language and vocabulary accordingly. A 'no glass ceilings’ approach to the differentiation of writing ensures that pupils are not restricted by artificial barriers or unjustified limitations on their learning. We believe that this enables high aspiration and achievement for all writers.
The composition tenant of our curriculum uses our 'Process for Writing' at its centre: this provides a structure that is systematically sequenced with opportunities to acquire genre-specific knowledge and increasingly more demanding grammar skills; opportunities to develop oratorical skills for writing; as well as how to organise texts coherently for the reader. Close, intentional links to high-quality reading texts permeate our process. At the beginning, our pupils deconstruct and analyse these texts to learn from their structure; grammar and linguistic conventions, developing the appropriate vocabulary suited for the genre. By the end of our process, pupils use the skills and knowledge that they have acquired to produce an independent piece of writing with a purposeful and, where possible, 'real-life' context. To complement our 'Process for Writing', the teaching of spelling and handwriting ensures that pupils are not limited by their inability to write quickly, fluently and accurately to clearly communicate their ideas with their intended audience.
Our writing curriculum provides a challenging, dynamic and creative outlet for our pupils to express themselves and communicate their ideas effectively. It sets them up for, we hope, a life-long love and understanding of an integral set of language skills that will enable our pupils to participate fully as members of society, which we know is fundamental in actively reducing the risks of them being disenfranchised.
Please follow the link below to view data and results.