Links with Reading
We believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading. We value the importance of reading as it provides a purpose and a context to writing. We believe that pupils who are provided a reason for writing demonstrate flair and effective writing composition, leading to high quality outcomes; therefore, writing opportunities are taught through the context of a high-quality text. Each week, the children are taught to develop an understanding of the texts through reading comprehension – exploring the key themes, events, and plot of the texts being studied. From this element of the curriculum, pupils are taught the grammar from the National Curriculum which is taught to correspond to the genres being written as part of the writing process. Children are then supported in how to apply the grammatical content taught in identifying features of a high-quality modelled text, before progressing to plan, write and re-draft a written piece which is fit for purpose and audience.
Teachers use a ‘slow write’ approach to model effective writing composition. Through sentence stacking, children partake in shared writing sessions which reinforce the grammar, features and coherence needed to suit the writing genre. This enables children to feel more confident moving into their independent writing.
Alan Peat’s Sentence Structures
Sentence structures produced by Alan Peat are used across the school to support children in their writing. They are included in our writing progression grid to coincide with grammar and punctuation taught within each year group. Teachers reference these structures within slow write lessons and encourage children to adapt sentence structures when writing independently.
Writing across the curriculum
Children are given frequent opportunities to write in a range of contexts for a variety of purposes and audiences across the curriculum. Text types are outlined in long term plans alongside key skills to ensure a breadth of coverage. Teachers have high expectations of writing and promote high standards across all curriculum areas.
It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. As soon as children are ready, they are taught the correct posture for writing and the correct grip to hold their pencil in order to develop a legible handwriting style.
In EYFS and Year 1, children follow a handwriting programme which enables them to print letters in the correct formation. From Year 2, children follow a continuous cursive programme which develops a fluent handwriting style throughout KS2. It is expected that all members of staff model the school handwriting style. By the end of KS2, all children should be displaying an efficient, neat and legible handwriting style that is effective in recording their ideas.
To be able to spell correctly is a life skill. When spelling becomes automatic, children are able to concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning; therefore, confidence in spelling can have a profound effect on the writer’s self-image.
In EYFS and Year 1, spelling is taught through the Read Write Inc phonics programme. Children are taught to blend sounds to read and segment to spell. At the same time, they learn words which are not phonetically plausible (common exception words).
From Year 2 onwards, ‘Spelling Shed’ is used as a resource to teach spelling. Children progress into using spelling patterns and rules as well as a growing understanding of the morphology and etymology of words to support their spelling. Spelling is taught discretely in short sessions, three times each week. A multi-sensory approach is encouraged to ensure a range of spelling strategies are covered.