At Grayswood CE Primary School, we understand the importance of writing and how vital it is to becoming successful communicators. We pride ourselves on delivering an interesting, broad and balanced writing curriculum which excited and inspires. Right from the start of their education, we provide children with a vast range of opportunities to write and make writing meaningful. In addition to writing for a purpose and developing an awareness of audience, we place great emphasis on language development and specifically choose high quality texts which employ rich vocabulary choices and an array of grammatical structures to expand the children’s own repertoires. We link the teaching of reading and writing closely, often using the key texts shared in Guided Reading or within a topic. We encourage children to realise the importance of writing in everyday life and to understand the importance of the skills necessary to become confident writers.
At Grayswood CE Primary, we want all our children to be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and reach their full potential.
Our aims are for all children to:
- Develop a love of writing
- Have a good knowledge of phonics to springboard children to becoming fluent writers
- Take ownership of their own writing and see themselves as writers
- Be able to organise and plan their work effectively and competently edit their written end result
- Be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary
- Be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school
- Have a solid understanding of grammar and be able to apply it effectively to their writing
- Take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a legible, cursive, individual handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school
Right from when children begin their school journey, a vast array of opportunities are planned for to develop writing skills. The Reception learning environment lends itself to much child-initiated independent writing as well as teacher-led small group work with a specific end goal.
In Years 1-6, English lessons are taught daily across the school and to the whole class, allowing all children to have access to and engage with the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum.
We passionately believe that reading and writing are inextricably linked, therefore studying the text in both reading and writing sessions encourages children to make links and become empathetic and ambitious writers.
Long, medium and short term planning and the use of progression maps ensure that a variety of genres are progressively taught and built upon both throughout the year and throughout the school.
Writing is also a key focus in the wider curriculum, especially in ‘Topic’ lessons. Children are given the opportunity to transfer and build upon their knowledge of a genre studied during English lessons and apply this learning to a topic focus.
All classes follow a learning journey through writing. Teachers will identify relevant, high-quality texts with which to guide pupils through the key elements of writing. The journey usually follows the following structure and will last anywhere between a week to a whole term, depending on the age of the pupils, text type and length:
- Introducing a hook and explaining the purpose for writing
- Sharing the model text with the children
- Analysing the text; exploring the language and key features- this could include drama, spoken language activities and vocabulary exploration
- Boxing up/exploring the structure of the text
- Shared writing and creating a WAGOLL (What a Good One Looks Like)
- Planning own writing
- Independent writing
- Responding to feedback
- Editing, re-drafting – peer or individual
- Performing or publishing a piece of work
At Grayswood, we teach spelling in regular, focused lessons across the school.
In Reception and Year 1, spelling is taught via the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Spellings are linked to the focused graphemes for the week and are sent home weekly to practise.
From Year 2, when the children are secure reading and writing tricky words, spelling rules are taught and children are encouraged to apply these rules to their writing. All classes have access to Spelling Frame and this is used by teachers to support the teaching of spelling rules. Weekly spellings are set for all year groups as part of the children’s homework and the children are tested on these spellings in class. High importance is given to understanding the meaning behind the words and teachers give regular spelling-based tasks to support the development of spelling and understanding of new vocabulary.
It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. In Reception and Year 1, letter formation is taught in line with the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme and the children learn rhymes to support the correct formation of letters. Pupils are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. Activities which promote and develop both fine and gross motor skills are planned into the curriculum to build strength.
From Year 2 upwards, handwriting is taught explicitly in sessions and children begin to join their letters. We have a whole class approach to handwriting and teachers are expected to model the correct cursive handwriting formation.
Grammar and punctuation
We teach grammar and punctuation primarily through our English lessons. Teachers plan to teach specific areas of grammar and punctuation through writing that lends itself well to the concept, therefore, highlighting to the children natural progression through writing. Sometimes concepts are taught in isolation in specific grammar and punctuation lessons if the teacher deems this to be most effective. Grammar and punctuation on-going knowledge is evidenced in the children’s books and assessed in their independent writing.
We passionately believe that developing the children’s vocabulary is fundamental to the teaching of both writing and reading. Children are exposed to high-quality, age -appropriate texts which offer a challenging level of vocabulary. Numerous opportunities are provided to explore new language and children are encouraged to develop their understanding of new words. Teachers value the impact of new language learnt and model new vocabulary in everyday classroom speak. Language is revisited in discussions and classrooms display new words and phrases learnt in order to support children’s recall and to encourage them to use ambitious vocabulary in their own writing. Children are also encouraged to ‘magpie’ words from their own independent reading to enhance writing.
We pride ourselves on providing a high-quality text-based approach to writing. Key texts are carefully chosen, linked to class topics where possible, for the children to study in Guided Reading sessions. Teachers plan and deliver writing lessons based on these texts, giving the children excellent models for writing and a clear purpose. We strongly believe that if children are engaged and excited by a text and read widely, this will have a huge positive impact on their writing.
We set ambitious goals for our children and strive to provide a curriculum that equips all pupils with the necessary skills to become confident, successful writers. We hope that by the end of KS2 children will:
- Be confident and engaging writers
- Enjoy writing and have an enthusiasm for writing across all areas of the curriculum
- Understand of the importance and value of writing in everyday life
- The ability to write for a range of purpose and audience
- Be able to plan, organise and edit their work carefully
- Have an extended vocabulary that is applied effectively within their writing
- Have a growing knowledge and understanding of grammar and spelling evidenced through a range of writing genres and be able to apply this effectively
- Present their work neatly and nurture a sense of pride in their work and achievements
Impact is measured through:
- Everyday marking and constructive feedback
- Regular, school-based moderation meetings, between year groups and across key stages
- Moderation between schools
- Monitoring attainment and progress across year groups and key stages to ensure pupils remain on track
- Regular book monitoring to ensure a range of writing genres are being covered and grammar, punctuation and spelling is being applied correctly
Enrichment in Writing
In addition to the curriculum, we offer the following enrichment opportunities in Writing for children at Grayswood CE Primary School:
- Access and use of Spelling Frame for all year groups
- Opportunities to share and celebrate writing