Our school strongly believes in the importance of teaching children not only to have the skills to write, but to enjoy and feel motivated to write too. We try to make writing ‘real’ and purposeful for the children through interesting activities, which often link to a high quality text or cross-curricular topic.
Writing is a highly complicated process: children need to consider the content, structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation and handwriting (legible, regularly sized, fluent and joined). One approach we use to develop these skills is ‘Talk for Writing’, which involves actively using and understanding the language the children are planning to use in their writing before committing it to paper.
Pie Corbett, the creator of Talk for Writing, says…
“It is impossible to write any text without being familiar with the language rhythms and patterns that it involves. Indeed it is impossible to write sentence pattern without being able to say it.”
Lessons are planned carefully to teach different elements of writing across a range of genres, through focused learning objectives and learning targets. We also incorporate regular opportunities to learn and use the skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Children with special educational needs and those new to English are given support according to their needs. This includes ensuring inclusive classroom environments, where written and verbal language is complemented by visuals. Differentiated work is planned, with good models of spoken and written English provided, as well as resources, such as word banks and classroom displays. When deemed necessary there may be provision made for a period of one-to-one or small group focused support for those children in need.
Years 2 – 6 use ‘No Nonsense Spelling’, a complete spelling programme, and ‘Pen Pals’ is our whole-school Handwriting scheme of work.