You learn to write better by reading. You learn to read better by writing. Reading and Writing work together to improve your ability to think.
Learning to write is one of the most important things that your child will do at primary school. Almost all other areas of the curriculum are assessed through writing, so strong writing is one of the keys to academic success. Good writing also gives your child a voice to share their ideas with the world.
Writing at Handale Primary School
Through our teaching and learning, pupils develop the skills to become creative, fluent writers with the ability to write clearly and coherently for a range of purposes and audiences.
We aim for all children to…
- Develop a love of writing and have pride in their written accomplishments
- Know how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing effectively
- Understand that in order for them to develop as fluent writers, it is essential that they develop competency in phonics, word/spelling structure and handwriting enabling effective transcription.
- Embed basic skills in order to widen their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. This will allow them to develop their writing so they are able to articulate, communicate and organise their ideas for the audience and purpose. (Becoming authors!).
- Talk about their successes and areas for development
- Write for pleasure rather than because they have too
- Be confident writers and show off what they can do
- Be exposed to a range of genres
- Know what genres they are writing, what the purpose is and who the audience is
All pupils write daily in some form across the curriculum using the skills and knowledge acquired in English lessons. Class teachers follow the long term curriculum plan and progression of skills to ensure that children are exposed to all genres and writing forms. Modelled and Shared writing takes place frequently in the writing lesson. Shared writing is a whole class activity where the teacher models the writing of the text. In shared writing, the pupils will contribute to the text by suggesting words or sentences to be used. The teacher demonstrates how to write and explains decisions. Teachers model thinking, rehearsing sentences, writing and re-reading constantly generating words and ideas. Across the key stages, teachers focus on the purpose, audience, level of formality, structure and organisation of the text. A particular aspect of word or sentence level work provides an additional focus depending on the objectives and targets being worked on at that time.
Talk for writing allows developing writers at Handale Primary to explore the creative and thinking processes in writing through talk. The talk allows the children to begin to think and talk like a writer. The talk for writing (story telling approach) can include:
· Learning and repeating oral stories
· Extending the oral stories into writing
· Creating new stories orally
The story telling approach should include imitation (repeating the stories), innovation (changing and developing the stories and finally invention (creating a new story). Talk for writing will expose all pupils to oral storytelling. The benefits of the talk for writing approach are that the pupils will build a bank of good vocabulary and narrative patterning. It will also help build confidence so that children can build their own creative stories. The talk for writing approach gives opportunities for class teachers to build in role play/drama (story whoosh’s, hot seating, and conscience alley) and to build in different word games (tell me about, building a picture).
Children across the school learn different genres half termly with a fiction or non-fiction focus. Children are also expected to apply their knowledge of genres and key ingredients when writing across the curriculum. Poetry is taught termly throughout the school.
To view our Writing Long Term Plan, please click here
To view our Writing Progression of Skills documents, please click here
· To produce clear, concise, legible handwriting
· To provide equal opportunities for all pupils to achieve success in handwriting
· To present work to a variety of audiences neatly
· To develop accuracy and fluency
· To help children recognise that handwriting is a form of communication and as such should be considered important in order for it to be effective
· To display neatly presented work around the school and in classrooms as a model of excellence for others to aspire to
· To encourage pupils to take pride in their work
At Handale Primary, we have a consistent handwriting style leading from print to cursive. Handwriting is taught a minimum of two times a week in KS1 and KS2. Children work in pencil until their writing is neat, consistent and joined. At this point they are awarded a ‘Pen Licence’ which they keep with them and use in all exercise books. Pen licence winners are listed in the Handale newsletter every half term. A handwriting competition is held each term, to maintain the high status that we give presentation of work. A display of winners and ‘most improved’ children’s handwriting is created in a central place within school.
Throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1, spelling is taught through a systematic, synthetic phonics approach following our Phonic and Reading programme, where common exception words are weekly introduced. Regular formative and summative assessment takes place for the reading and writing of the common exception words and weekly spelling rules.
In KS2, children are taught their year group’s spelling patterns. We have created our own Spelling Programme which is well embedded across the school and follows National Curriculum spelling objectives. Regular formative and summative assessment takes place for the reading and writing of common exception words and weekly spelling rules.
Spelling Shed is used across the school for children to access their weekly spellings. Spelling is taught discretely every day for 15 minutes and the spelling lists are sent home for children to practice for a weekly test on a Friday. During the year, spelling is assessed 3 times formally but on an ongoing basis through writing and weekly spelling tests. The application of spelling across the curriculum is closely monitored.
Grammar is taught on a daily basis linked to the class writing genres – this gives children the opportunity to apply their skills in their independent writing. It is assessed as part of SPAG at the start of every half term. At times, grammar is taught discretely if needed. Word Family Lists are displayed in every classroom and are used daily to embed basic skills and for revision.
Editing and Improving
At Handale, from the early years our pupils are encouraged to read their work aloud to an adult and with support will improve their writing e.g. the use of capital letters or adding a missed word.
In KS1, the children develop their understanding of what ‘editing’ is and why we as writers need to develop this skill to improve our ideas. By the end of Year 2, the children begin to develop peer editing skills and are introduced to the idea of making additions and revisions to their writing.
In KS2, the children develop their editing and improving and are given targeted checklists to improve their written work linked to their writing targets. We encourage the children be reflective when looking at their work and identify how they can improve their initial work.
Purple Polishing Pens are used across KS1 and KS2 and children independently edit, improve and polish their own work before it is marked. Editing flaps are also used to show improvements made to a piece of written work.
Why is Writing a success at Handale Primary School?
- All children at Handale love to write and understand the importance of writing.
- We have a consistent approach to the teaching of writing which is well embedded across school.
- In 2019, 92% of pupils achieved the expected standard or above at the end of Key Stage 2.
- At the end of Key Stage 1, children are working in line or above the National Averages in Writing. This is also true for children working at Greater Depth in Writing.
- Assessment of Writing is well embedded and books show the evidence to support judgements made by teachers.
- Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is a strength across the school. In 2019, 100% of pupils achieved the expected standard at the end of Key Stage 2.
- Teachers are passionate about the teaching of Writing and in lessons and around school, children also share this passion.