It is our intent to provide high quality learning experiences in order to develop pupils’ competence in both transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). Pupils will learn how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing effectively. They will be able to write down their ideas fluently, spelling words quickly and accurately by knowing the relationship between sounds and letters in words. The development of pupils’ composition skills will ensure they can form, articulate and communicate ideas; organise them coherently for a reader, showing an awareness of the audience, purpose and context; and develop an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We aim for pupils to develop fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
Writing is taught in specific, meaningful and effective contexts. We underpin our writing lessons through the use of high quality texts and curriculum led stimulus. Children have effective, high quality daily writing lessons and frequent opportunities to write across the curriculum. Speaking and listening skills support children in articulating their ideas. Children have opportunities to reflect on and improve writing through editing with teacher assessment providing clear next steps for learning. Spelling skills are developed using a phonics based approach and in line with the requirements of the English National Curriculum 2014. Children are taught to use a neat and consistent style of handwriting, and presentation. Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is taught in accordance with the statutory requirements of the English National Curriculum.
Pupils will make at least good progress from their starting points. They will be equipped with a strong command of the written world and acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for writing. Pupils will write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
We have a "Published Writer" display in school that showcases work from Nursery to Year 6. An example is shown here:
To take a closer look at our writing journey please open the PDF version here:
In Early Years a blended approach is used to develop children’s writing and the skills for writing are both taught at an age/stage appropriate point and practised through continuous provision.
In Early Years the learning environment will constantly provide contexts for developing writing including:
Constant access to high quality mark making resources
Access to developmentally appropriate resources to scaffold learning
Models and images that cue children in to writing
Access to gross and fine motor skill development to support pencil control
The teaching of writing will include:
Daily Phonic sessions with a writing element using the Read, Write, Inc scheme
Shared/guided writing sessions based upon the story of the week
In order to achieve this the learning on offer will include:
Encouraging children to have something to say so that they have something to write about
Encouraging children to share what their marks mean (even when they look like scribbles)
Opportunities to be taught how to hold a pencil correctly
Telling an adult what they want to write, then copy over it, under it and onto another piece of paper
Opportunities to locate or recall the correct letter shape and write it
Learning to formulate a sentence, retain it and recall it whilst an adult supports the writing of the sentence
Developing an awareness of finger spaces and the organisation of writing
Being able to write longer sentences using conjunctions
Opportunities to write a range of genres
Teaching and learning about spelling, punctuation and grammar
In KS1 we follow the Read, Write, Inc scheme to teach the phonics, reading and writing skills that children need. Most children in Year 2 complete the RWI scheme by the end of Autumn term.
In addition to Read Write Inc (Get Writing books), pupils in Year 1 will also be taught specific literacy objectives through other subjects, embedding the writing process in a cross curricular format.
Most pupils in Year 2 take part in daily more formal literacy lessons. These are based on our ‘explore, skills, apply and review’ writing cycle but with more of an emphasis on orally rehearsing, shared writing as well as securing the basic writing fundamentals (spelling, handwriting and basic punctuation).
At Darton, we place a high emphasis on pupils articulating their ideas verbally prior to writing. Our ‘Think it, Say it, Write it, Check it’ chant is used from EYFS to KS2 to encourage and remind pupils that orally rehearsing sentences is an integral part of becoming an effective writer.
In KS1, a model text is read and analysed for each genre so that pupils are able to focus on the key language and text features used. Pupils listen to, share read, echo read or repeat read the text with the teacher so that they become entuned with the language used and so that they are using the language orally before imitating it in their writing. Effective shared writing, scaffolded tasks and modelling teaches the pupils the skills they need to write independently.
This writing process is used from KS1 through to KS2 with age appropriate adjustments. Our writing process takes on average 2 weeks however this may vary in length due to the text type, pupils’ age or needs.
Explore and gather (1-3 days)
During this part of our writing process, pupils will be exposed to high-quality texts or extracts in order to become familiar with the structural and language features. Children should begin to understand the different features used in the text type and understand the purpose behind them. It also allows pupils to understand what is expected of them by the end of the unit.
There is a high focus on developing and exploring vocabulary throughout this element. Effective words and phrases used in the texts will be discussed and collected. There should also be time to explore synonyms that could’ve been used to create the same effect to widen pupils’ vocabulary. In KS2, pupils should explore the impact of the word choices and discuss the author’s choices.
Skills (practise) (3-5 days)
Children will develop new, or refine existing, skills linked to the text type and their relevant year group objectives. Pupils are explicitly taught the skills required to enable them to become successful and independent writers. A specific skill may be taught over a number of lessons to ensure that pupils are able to read, identify then apply the specific writing skill in word, sentence and paragraph level. Shared reading, shared writing and effective teacher modelling are essential to this aspect to develop pupils’ composition skills.
The use of focus groups is utilised to support individual pupils through guided, modelled or group writing, scaffolded support or targeted questioning.
Each lesson during the explore and gather and skills elements, will begin with a ‘SPAG Starter. These will consist of a short spelling, grammar, vocabulary or punctation task which links to their previous learning and year group expectations.
Plan and Apply (1-2 days)
Pupils will be given adequate time to write their own text based on the model or models shared. Teachers may carry out some shared writing during these sessions. During this time, staff work with chosen individual pupils identified using their judgement either through the process or from the previously assessed piece. Other pupils will write independently but should have access to relevant resources at all time. The sessions may be split into smaller ‘chunks’ which allow pupils to edit and review their writing at different points.
Edit and review (1-2 days)
In the last element of our writing process, pupils will edit and review their writing. They will be modelled clearly how to do this on a regular basis throughout the writing sequence, as well as during this element, to ensure that they understand how to do this effectively.
At Darton, we use our C.I.A approach to editing writing.
A high focus is placed on the first aspect of ‘correct’ throughout school. Pupils are encouraged to read their work aloud, either to an adult, peer or to themselves in order to check for sense, missing or repeated words and to emphasise grammatical errors. KS1 pupils will primarily focus on ‘correct’ during the editing session to ensure that the fundamentals are secure by the end of KS1. Common grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors and misconceptions are emphasised and corrected by the teacher throughout the sequence so that pupils are able to identify them independently in their own writing. Key and relevant spellings are available to them to use within their writing or whilst editing their work. As pupils become more independent writers throughout each year, pupils will begin to look at the ‘improve’ and ‘add’ elements after correcting their work. Age appropriate thesauruses and word mats are readily available for pupils at all times.
At Darton Primary school the children are taught spelling through daily Read Write Inc lessons in Foundation, Year 1 and beginning of Year 2. From Year 1 to Year 6 the children are taught specific spelling rules taken directly from the National Curriculum Appendix 1.
Each year group has a spelling overview for the year which includes example words the children will learn.
At Darton Primary we have the highest expectations for children’s writing. All classes teach discreet handwriting sessions, both EYFS and KS1 have daily handwriting lessons as part of their Read Write Inc sessions and KS2 teach handwriting weekly. We focus on pencil grip, posture and formation to ensure that all children are able to write comfortably and correctly. All children are taught the Read, Write Inc letter rhymes to support their formation of individual letters.
Year Group Expectations
Children take part in activities to develop their fine and gross motor-skills and recognition of patterns, for example, to form letters using their index finger in sand or using paint. Children should begin to learn how to correctly hold a pencil. Then how to use a pencil, and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters most of which are correctly formed.
Children will continue to develop fine and gross motor-skills with a range of multi-sensory activities. Handwriting is discussed, taught, modelled and practised on a daily basis in RWI phonics sessions. Teachers and support staff continually guide children on how to write letters correctly, using a comfortable and efficient pencil grip in all lessons. Children should now be leaving spaces between words accurately. By the end of Key Stage 1 children should be able to write legibly, using upper and lower-case letters appropriately and correct spacing between words, using clear leading lines ready to join. By the end of Year 2, some children will make clear joins between their letters.
During this stage, children continue to have direct teaching and regular practice of handwriting if and when appropriate. We aim for them to develop a clear, fluent style and by the end of Year 6 be able to adapt their handwriting for the for different purposes, such as: a neat, legible hand for finished, presented work, a faster script for note making and the ability to print for labelling diagrams etc.