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Middle Street Primary School – Pathways to Write – Case Study

About the school: We are a school in the City Centre of Brighton & Hove with 30% Pupil Premium,25% SEND, high levels of additional need and somesignificant mobility.
3/7 teachers are ECTs in theacademic year 2023/24.
Number of classes: 7
Number on roll: 192

The Challenge:

We were aware of the proven track record Pathways to Write has in improving standards in writing. We found that progress in writing was not good enough, especially for pupils working at Greater Depth and our English curriculum in place lacked a way to track the skills the children were learning and therefore couldn’t ensure progression. We have an already well-embedded approach to maths mastery which wasn’t reflected in English and we decided the Pathways Literacy mastery approach matched our curriculum design at Middle Street. In addition, The Literacy Company team provide a high-quality of training and support to aid schools implementing the programme.

Mastery Approach:

Pupils’ attitudes to writing have improved, especially in those that are harder to reach when it comes to writing. The texts and the planned activities engage children well and empower them to meet the raised expectations that the programme has supported. Writing data across the school since implementation evidences an entirely positive picture.

For example:

  • 10% increase of pupils working at Greater Depth across Key Stage 2.
  • 8% increase of pupils working at the expected standard or higher at Key Stage 1.

Pupil Voice:

“I love writing. My favourite bit is making up my own characters. They [teachers] do theirs first to show us how to do it” (Evie Y2)

“My favourite one this year was Nibbles. It’s funny. We wrote our own story at the end. It had to be similar but different”. (Harvey Y2)

“Most of the time they [lessons] are very creative and come from books I like a lot. Gorilla and Journey were good. I am good at adventure stories. We get mastery keys one at a time that help us know what to do in our writing. At the end, we have to use all the Mastery keys before we move on to a new book” (Yin Y3)

The Impact:

Teachers have gained confidence in the teaching of writing and for more experienced staff, they are better equipped to support less experienced staff in the teaching of writing. Teacher assessment of pupil work is more effective, resulting in better planning for future learning and we are more confident in making judgements about pupil attainment.

The English lead’s subject knowledge has improved, including in key stages where they have limited experience. They are now competent and confident in supporting staff across the school to deliver high-quality English lessons.

Teacher workload has been reduced, through the use of the high-quality planning, enabling them to spend more time adapting the learning to meet the specific needs of individuals in their class.

Teacher understanding of pedagogy has improved through the implementation of the programme which has had an impact in foundation subject teaching when connecting the learning across subjects.

Teacher subject knowledge and pedagogy is now current and up to date, enabling them to tackle the needs of their pupils and the curriculum with confidence.

‘The implementation, supported by high-quality training and support, has been straightforward and one the most effective school improvement activities completed in the last 2 years in terms of impact on outcomes, but also valuing staff and investing in them and their teaching.
As a leader, I am confident that the programme ensures our English curriculum is not just fit for purpose but one of the huge strengths of the school and one that other colleagues externally are interested in hearing about.
Our commitment was to invest in not just the resources but also the support to implement the programme well – I think that is where the impact far outweighs the expense and you then see the real value of Pathways to Write.
Having worked with the Pathways to Write programme for over 3 years now, I can safely say that it is given that the programme will deliver in terms of a positive impact on writing attainment, cross-curricular links, quality of texts and diversity. It’s the additional impact that really makes it shine – the development of teacher skills and knowledge and the confidence this brings. The improved professional dialogue in our staff meeting discussions is a testament to this..
The positivity that the programme and training has generated in school has had a marked impact on the culture of the school and the understanding the team has of what high quality school improvement looks and feels like.’
Middle Street Primary School