Writing

Our aim is for all children to be excellent communicators both in spoken and written language.

We aim for all children to write both creatively and academically. We start all writing by making sure our children have something worthwhile to say and have time to develop the appropriate language and structures to do so effectively. 

Being an excellent communicator starts with spoken communication so our children are writers from the very start of their time with us. “If you cannot say it, you cannot write it."


Audience and Purpose

 

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Successful writing starts with a clear understanding of audience and purpose

 

We ensure children think about who will read what they have written and the effect they want it to have.  Do they want it to:  inspire, entertain, inform, explain, instruct, persuade, reflect or clarify thinking. 

Only when this is clear can the writing process begin. 

We develop writers through:

  • exploration of high- quality texts and models
  • understanding of audience and purpose
  • high emphasis on vocabulary
  • use of drama and dialogue to develop confidence
  • the development of children as writers, evaluators and editors
  • promoting enjoyment of language play and manipulation
  • understanding features of text types
  • practice and experimentation with grammatical structures
  • ensuring their writing reaches its audience

Our writing approach

 

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We have developed a clear structure for our  writing process. This process is followed for every written piece and the timescale adapted according the the context of the writing. 

This is part of a suite of excellent tools, resources and strategies to help children develop their ideas, plan, improve and present their writing.  

 

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We teach grammar alongside writing and reading, with purpose in mind. Teachers use the 'detail grid' to help make  improvements to content and develop ideas.

 

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We use our revising and editing tool 'ARMS and CUPS'  to ensure there is a clear structure for improving the accuracy and effectiveness of writing. 

 

We teach spelling and handwriting discretely, ensuring that children have the necessary physical and technical skills in handwriting and spelling to enable them to write efficiently. 

Our writing genres


Writing creatively and academically is developed through all writing types. We ensure we have an ambitious and engaging balance between different styles of writing. This is planned carefully to build up grammatical structures, organisation and sophistication and formality of the language or 'register' of the writing as the text types are revisited throughout the years.   We delay teaching some text types as they are more complex or revisit those which need more practice in multiple contexts. 

Our Overviews of Writing

Our whole school progression overview of writing shows the full coverage for each aspect of writing from Nursery to Year 6. 

We have a clear progression in the types of writing children experience to ensure a rich and varied curriculum with an appropriate range of narrative, non-narrative and poetry writing each year.  It is shown alongside the text or stimulus for writing in our year overviews. 

Our Writing Overviews: Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6


Narrative

Story-telling and story writing are key element in every year group. Different story types are built into our curriculum. Narratives cover common themes and structures of story including overcoming the monster, quest, voyage and return, rags to riches, rebirth, comedy, tragedy.


Non Narrative

Ensuring a clear purpose for writing means that for non-narrative writing there is often a clear link to other curriculum areas. Equally, this may be stimulated by a particular aspect of a class reading text.

We have a clear structure to the development of non-narrative writing and each text type has clear articulation of the features expected in different year groups and model texts for teachers to use to guide the standard and style. 

You can find further detail about the progression of each non-narrative style here: 

Text type  Purpose
Review  to respond to a text, an event or viewpoint
Recount    to recount an event that has happened
Information  to inform the reader about a thing, idea or concept
Explanation  to explain why or how something happens
Procedure  to instruct what and how to do something
Persuasion  to influence someone’s thinking or behaviour

       

Poetry  

Each year group have an engaging and diverse poetry curriculum with a range of classic and contemporary poets and poetry.    Writing poetry is developed through exposure to the wide variety of styles and forms matched to specific year groups. 

We aim for children to write creatively through extensive exploration of ideas, playing with language and breaking the language rules in order to express ideas in original ways through their own poetry. . 

Mechanics of Writing (Transcription)


We teach the physical skills of getting an idea into written form discretely from the writing process. Our aim is that children have the physical and technical skills in handwriting and spelling to enable them to write efficiently, starting with good habits from the early years.

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Spelling


Using the correct letters to represent the sounds in a word develops through our systematic synthetic phonics programme which also incorporates learning of words where phonics does not work, sometimes called 'tricky words' where they do not follow phonic rules or are tricky because the phonic rule has not yet been taught. 

From the earliest stages of writing, children are taught how to count sounds on their fingers and how to use sound buttons to support their early writing skills.

Children are taught a range of spelling strategies and follow clear programmes of study to ensure they are familiar with all the spelling patterns set out in the National Curriculum.

Download How to Remember Spellings

Check here for year group expectations of spelling patterns, words to learn as well as read some simple advice about 'How to Help your Child with Spellings'.

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Handwriting


We aim for children to becoming automatic accurate in letter formation of lower case, capital letters and numerals.

At each school a specific handwriting programme is covered carefully and systematically with sufficient time allocated to the discrete teaching of handwriting. 

Our focus is on ensuring children become competent, accurate in handwriting so that their focus can be on the composition and content.