Writing begins in our reception classes. The teaching team in reception use story scribing as a technique to inspire children to write. Whenever the staff feel that it is appropriate they will offer to scribe a story for a child. This story then gets acted out at the end of the day. Other types of writing are also scribed for children – these are always for a purpose. For example a child might write a recipe to bake a cake or write a letter to someone asking for something.
In years 1 – 6 we use picture books and novels as a stimulus for teaching writing. Each term, each year group has a main fiction and non-ficton writing outcome. During some terms there will be a poetry outcome as well. In the build up to these main writing outcomes children are given the grammar skills and vocabulary necessary to write their extended piece. Short burst writing opportunities are incorporated into the planning cycle so that children have time to practise applying the skills learned. We pride ourselves on teaching children how to write for a variety of audiences and a range of different purposes. This allows children to understand the different sentence types and word choices needed for different purposes and audiences.
Our non-fiction writing always links to our enquiry (wider curriculum) work. Children are able to apply what they have learned in enquiry.
Teachers give guidance and instruction to children to improve writing skills. This includes grammatical accuracy and correct use of punctuation. Children are expected to edit their own work based on their teachers’ guidance and recommendations. Each class has a set of non-negotiables to encourage children to self-edit their work for ‘juicy’ mistakes. We involve pupils in their own learning by sharing assessments with them, agreeing individual targets and sharing success criteria.
Spelling patterns are taught weekly and the children practise and improve handwriting weekly. We follow the ‘Nelson’ Handwriting Scheme.