We believe that all pupils should be able to confidently express their thoughts, emotions and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word. Our aims are for all children to have fluent and legible handwriting, write for a variety of purposes and audiences and develop a secure understanding of grammar and punctuation.
Purposeful writing is at the core of everything we do and all writing lessons are grounded in the development of a rich vocabulary, building articulate writers and speakers.
Writing is built into EYFS activities, giving children opportunities to explore different writing tools whilst allowing emergent writing to develop. Role-play, phonics sessions, fine-motor skills activities and writing lessons feed in to make interested and creative writers.
From the end of EYFS onwards we use Jane Considine’s approach to writing: the writing rainbow is displayed in every classroom, allowing children to understand that sentences consist of the basics, grammatical structures and creative features in order to make them successful and interesting.
Our pedagogy for writing follows 3 main objectives:
1) Initiate – giving experiences and exposure to stimuli in order to shower the children with vocabulary, ideas, thoughts and knowledge.
2) Model – high quality modelling from the teacher – listening to an author in motion, examples of quality sentences are written for the pupils (grammar and punctuation is taught here).
3) Enable – Pupils use the initiate and model sessions to create their own writing – there are opportunities to be supported or extended .
We provide a rich and diverse selection of texts, which broaden the mind-set of our children beyond their everyday experiences – i.e. – exploring prejudice and discrimination within Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise.
Children are given plenty of time to reflect and share their writing and are taught from Year 3 to officially start drafting. Pieces of work are edited and refined to create a final finished piece. We encourage them to be bold and ambitious with their work and to take a genuine care in what they do.
Handwriting is taught across the school so that by the end of Year 6 the pupils are confident and fluent writers. In EYFS, pupils are taught the name letters, sounds and their formation using Read Write Inc formation sayings. Cursive handwriting is taught through the school from the summer term in Year 1. Click here to read our Handwriting Policy.
Spelling is initially taught through the careful introduction of phonemes using the Essential Letters and Sounds, pupils are strongly encouraged to use their sounds to make a phonetically plausible attempt at unfamiliar words. As pupils progress through the school, this strong phonics knowledge allows them to spot patterns. Spelling sessions are taught separately to writing (although spelling is still a main focus when modelling and enabling writing) in a fortnightly 30 minute investigative activity and daily 10 minute quick focus activities and the learning of the National Curriculum words set out in Appendix 1. Our main aim being that our pupils will acquire a range of best bet strategies to apply during real-life composition of writing.
What can I do at home?
The more books a child is exposed to the more ideas they will have to write, reading is the key to creating strong writers. Encourage your child to write for different purposes: thank you cards, shopping lists, writing out a recipe, diary writing.
Links to policies and useful websites
500 words - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00rfvk1
Creative writing - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zpccwmn
Vocabulary - https://vocabularyninja.co.uk/word-of-the-day/