We believe that all children’s writing should be valued and in the Early Years (Nursery and Reception), there is an emphasis on children ‘having a go’ alongside the planned program of phonics, spelling and sentence level work. Writing corners and role play areas with exciting opportunities to mark make and write all foster an early interest and enthusiasm for writing.
We place great emphasis on the development of communication and language skills throughout the school in order to support writing and use a wide range of approaches including shared reading, storytelling and drama, and explicitly extend children’s vocabulary.
Within each unit of work, children first write a ‘cold piece’ so teachers can assess what they already know about a genre. Children are then taught the specific skills and writer’s toolkit before completing a ‘hot piece’ which teachers use to assess their learning.
Many of the texts we learn are initially memorised and performed by all the children to help internalize and deepen their understanding of tone and language, before being innovated to become ‘their own’ writing.
Children are taught to plan, draft, share, evaluate, revise, edit and publish their work. Exemplar texts and ‘shared writing’ generated in class are used to support the children in their own writing, and the key structural and linguistic elements of each text type are explored and explicitly identified during units of learning, which the children know as ‘Writer’s skills’. These are displayed in all classes and the children are supported by adults to include these skills in their own writing to produce well-structured, purposeful and creative outcomes.
Writing assessment bookmarks are used by children from Year 3+. They are stored in the back of children’s books and updated by teachers as a personal running record of the skills mastered by each child and the child’s current writing target.
We teach children how to spell quickly and accurately, to use correct grammar and punctuation and to develop a fluent and legible handwriting style. These basic skills then allow pupils to be confident at articulating and communicating ideas, to develop clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context.
To be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill. When spelling becomes automatic, pupils can concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. Whilst we note that spelling is not the most important aspect of writing, confidence in spelling can have a profound effect on the writer’s self-image. We aim to use explicit, interactive teaching, which draws children’s attention to the origins, structure and meaning of words and their parts, the shape and sound of words, the letter patterns within them and the various ways they can learn these patterns.
The 'Look, Cover, Check, Write and Check' method is the teaching strategy to help the children learn to spell and will be seen in a grid format in their spelling homework books. You can learn more about the method:
In Reception and KS1, daily phonics is the key to the children’s learning of spelling. From Year 2 and into KS2 the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them to understand spelling rules and patterns. We teach children to use their growing understanding of the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words to support their spelling. Helping the children to understand how to use and apply known spelling patterns (and to develop strategies to tackle tricky words) is the key to helping them to become successful spellers. Spelling skills are taught daily in both KS1 and KS2.
When writing, children should be concentrating on higher-order thinking skills and should simply ‘have a go' at spelling. Where words are spelt incorrectly, they are highlighted in their books. Children are then given the correct spelling, copying it correctly at least 3 times. Staff also recognise common errors in class and these are added to weekly spellings.
We do not test spelling rules each week. This is to ensure children are learning the spelling rule and not a list of words. Each week we will test spellings from weeks gone by.
We want to help children with layout, presentation and the way they organise themselves on paper. If success is achieved in this area, they have pride in their written work, tend to be better at spelling and are more motivated to write. Getting the right habits established early on is key to future success. We appreciate that some children find this more difficult than others and will offer additional support or alternative ways of recording when necessary.
Standards in handwriting are very high at our school. Short, focused handwriting sessions are taught on a regular basis.
English writing overviews - need to add an intro