Writing

Free pencil writing implement mine vector  Our aim is for children to develop a love of writing and to develop their range of vocabulary and       grammar as they move through the school. 

 

We provide opportunities for pupils to understand and explore a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry genres of writing through a broad range of high quality texts that include classic children’s texts, books from other cultures and books that reflect current affairs. Our children become confident, creative and independent writers who are able to write in a range of different genres using the correct grammatical structures to match the style of text. 

 

Composition  

We follow a sequence of lessons based around a high quality text: this includes fiction, non-fiction texts and poetry. The sequence of lessons working towards an extended piece of writing could take up to two weeks and follow this format:

  • Introduction to the text
  • Identifying features of the text
  • Analysing and practising using specific grammar and punctuation
  • Planning the piece of writing
  • Producing the piece of writing
  • Editing and improving 
  • Publishing

  

Free pencil writing implement mine vector  During the first couple of lessons, children are immersed in the text identifying key features and ambitious vocabulary. Next, children begin to rehearse using specific elements of grammar, punctuation and vocabulary that fit that genre. Once secure in the key features children will then plan their own version of the model text which they will then write over a few lessons and finish the cycle by making any edits and improvements.

 

Throughout the writing sequence teachers model how to use key features, vocabulary and punctuation providing scaffolds for children to use in their independent writing. 

There are 4 stages of writing:

  • Modelled writing - at this stage the teacher writes while the children watch. They model the expected structure for the genre, specific grammar and ambitious vocabulary. Teachers talk through their vocabulary and grammar choices as they write.
  • Paired composition - children contribute to the next sentence or idea. In pairs children will rehearse writing a sentence, usually on whiteboards, to ‘have a go’
  • Shared writing - the teacher asks children to contribute ideas to produce a piece of writing and composes the writing with the children. Often at this stage the teacher might make deliberate mistakes for children to spot and correct and take contributions from the children.
  • Independent writing - children use the skills they have rehearsed earlier in the writing sequence to produce their own piece of writing. Models created earlier in the sequence are displayed to support children. Additional resources like word banks, sentence stems, toolkits or a specific approach to sentence structure like Colourful Semantics are used at this stage. Once a piece of writing is complete children are supported to edit their work, identifying elements that could be improved. 

 

Spelling 

Years 1 and 2 use their daily Phonics lessons to teach specific sounds that children need to learn. They also teach a list of ‘tricky words’ or common exception words that are not spelt phonetically. Towards the end of Year 2, children move away from daily Phonics lessons and move to twice weekly spelling lessons in line with Years 3 to 6. 

For Years 3 to 6 we use the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme which focuses on a different spelling pattern each week as well as statutory spellings for each year group and personalised spelling lists. Dictation is used to test children's ability to apply what they have learnt.

 

Free pencil writing implement mine vector  Handwriting 

Handwriting lessons are taught three times a week from Years 1 to 6 using the Letter-Join scheme with a fine motor skills starter activity. 

Years 1 and 2 focus on letter formation, letter families, ascenders and descenders.

By the end of KS1 we want children to correctly form their letters, understand how to form ascenders and descenders and join their letters particularly in Year 2. Beginning with fine motor skills is fundamental in this from Reception onwards.

Year 3 to 6 handwriting sessions are designed to improve the legibility, consistency and quality of the children’s handwriting through a variety of resources which link handwriting to other areas of the curriculum. The sessions are designed to promote fluency and speed of joined handwriting.