At Speldhurst, our aim is to develop children into articulate and imaginative communicators. We help them to leave primary school well-equipped with the skills needed to fulfil their potential as writers. With excellent teaching, we aim to give children a love of language through carefully selected, high-quality texts. Writing is often linked cross-curricular, making it relevant and meaningful and ensuring children develop an understanding that good writing is key to their learning and will be used in everyday life.
Our intention is for children to:
- Write for a purpose
- Understand the importance of the process of writing
- See themselves as real writers
- Enjoy writing
At Speldhurst, it is recognised that reading and writing are inextricably linked and therefore whole class texts are used in both reading and writing sessions to encourage children to make links and become empathetic and ambitious writers.
The use of progression maps ensure that a variety of genres are progressively taught and built upon throughout the year and throughout the school. Teachers employ a range of engaging stimuli to begin writing tasks such as:
- Conscience alley
- Drama (e.g. chariot race, Red Riding Hood)
- Visual images
- Residential and other visits
- Nature walks
- Forest school
- Visitors (e.g. History Off The Page)
- Story bags/Tales Toolkit
- Real-life scenarios
Emphasis is given to the writing process, ensuring that prior learning is built upon through sequenced lessons. Children acquire the knowledge and learn the skills to plan, draft and refine their written work and with teacher guidance, are encouraged to develop independence in identifying their own areas for improvement.
Speldhurst prioritises daily teaching of systematic synthetic phonics from the start of the Reception Year and into Key Stage 1, until pupils are fluent in word reading and transcription. From Year 2, discrete lessons are taught in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Children explore spelling patterns and rules, morphology and entymology. They are taught to spell accurately, identify reasons for mis-spellings, proof read for spelling errors and use dictionaries and thesauruses.
Handwriting practice is regularly taught and practised and when a legible handwriting style is achieved, children are expected to write in pen. To support expectations, teachers are expected to role model the school’s handwriting style when marking children’s work, writing on the board and on displays around the school.
Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process in English and link it clearly to the children’s next steps. In Years 2 and 6, teacher assessment frameworks are used to monitor children’s writing across various genres; this is used to identify gaps and inform future planning.
Constructive marking with next steps is part of the writing process and children are encouraged to use these for their future pieces of writing. Three times per year, teachers use formative assessment to track progress.