The School Improvement Plan (SIP), focuses on closing the attainment gap in literacy by encouraging reading and improving literacy skills e.g. grammar. The SIP also linked literacy skills with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) emphasising the importance of these skills for pupils as they progress. The pupils in Primary 3 are keen readers, and enjoy listening to stories, but lack consistency with grammar in their writing, specifically the use of ‘core writing targets’ as set out in North Lanarkshire’s Active Literacy programme.
Within the programme, it is stated that ‘writing is underpinned by many specific understandings and it demands the use of many complex skills namely: handwriting, spelling, grammatical knowledge…’ and that this should be taught specifically through teacher modelling. It also states that pupils should then ‘have opportunities for repeated practice of these skills in the context of independent writing.’ The core writing targets the programme suggests pupils at stage three should achieve in their writing are:
- writing sentences with capital letters and full stops
- spell correctly common and cvc words
- join sentences using a variety of conjunctions
- link handwriting.
For my pupils, capital letters, full stops and correct spelling of common words were the targets that most children did not achieve consistently within their work.
The use of these targets in pupils’ writing was sporadic and varied depending on the type of writing they were doing. I decided to focus this inquiry on measuring what would happen if core writing targets were referred to before literacy lessons daily.
This inquiry aims to measure what happens when core writing targets are referred to regularly before daily writing lessons. It will focus on the following core targets:
- capital letters
- full stops
- correct spelling of common words