Learning to write begins in Nursery with mark-making and talk. From the time pupils enter our school in Early Years, we begin exposing them to new vocabulary through conversation.
As pupils move through Reception they begin writing words and linking them together. In Key Stage 1, children learn to construct sentences with capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks. They learn to write descriptions, recounts and stories and simple non-fiction pieces. In Key Stage 2, children learn to tailor their writing for a range of text types and audiences. They learn to use different sentence types and to write with cohesion. By the time our pupils leave us at the end of Year 6, we want them to be able to express themselves clearly in writing across a range of text types, using well-chosen vocabulary.
All of our writing is linked closely to high quality books. Some of the books we look at and link our writing to include I Want My Hat Back, Planet Omar, How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Odyssey and Letters From the Lighthouse.
Our writing structure
All writing units begin with a ‘hook’ to get children interested in what they are writing. This could be a video, a drama lesson a visit to the woods or something as simple as a mysterious image with a question to get them thinking. Children read and analyse a model text to see how a writer uses words and structures to build up a piece of writing. They learn and develop grammar skills before having the opportunity to gather their ideas, through drawing, comic strips or mind maps to help them plan their piece of writing. Drafting takes place over several lessons, with the opportunity for children in Year 2 and above to revise and edit their work. At the end of a unit of work children will have produced a final, polished piece of writing.
We teach spelling four times a week, including teacher input, spelling games and activities and a weekly test.
Children in Key Stage 1 learn spellings as part of the Read, Write Inc programme, but also have the opportunity to learn spellings including common exception words as part of class teaching.
Children in Year 2 and above make use of ‘spelling journals’ to help them apply the spelling rules they have learnt to their written work.
Each pupil has an individual login for Spellingframe, the spelling website. Teachers use this site to set rules for children to practise. They can access spelling frame from home to practise their spellings through games and varied fluency activities.
Our school subscribes to the Letter-join handwriting scheme.
Pupils in Reception begin by learning print letters. In Year 2 we begin to join letters together and in years 3-6 we practise our joining fluency and speed so that by Year 6 we can write fluently, legibly and at speed.