Writing

We encourage children to develop a love of writing and we teach the skills needed in order for them to become confident and independent writers.

We provide children with engaging, purposeful opportunities for writing through immersion in high quality texts chosen as whole class readers and those which are closely linked to our cross-curricular topics. We also use visual literacy (short films), oral storytelling and ‘Talk for Writing’, and trips as stimuli for writing. We know that purpose and audience are central to effective writing and with this in mind, teachers plan and deliver lessons which not only motivate children to write but that teach the key writing skills explicitly, systematically and within a context so that they can successfully communicate their ideas in writing.

We believe that all children’s writing should be valued and in the Early Years 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 memorized and performed by all the children to help internalize and deepen 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 up.  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.