'Outcomes in writing have improved. More pupils are reaching the expected and higher standards in each age group. Pupils are given a good range of opportunities to develop their writing skills and are making good progress.' (OFSTED July 2018)
Early writing often starts with a shared class experience so that all children have something to contribute. Skills such as writing from left to right, and top to bottom on the page have to be mastered. Through pattern and copy-writing the children are taught the basic letter shapes and eventually the joining of letters that leads to an attractive, fluent style of writing.
Children initially use pencil for writing and progress to using a variety of writing instruments. As with reading, motivation is a vital element in children's development of writing skills. From the beginning, therefore, children are encouraged to make marks and 'be writers'. The 'emergent writing' which the children produce is developed through the teachers using a variety of techniques and strategies all designed to enable each child to become a confident and competent writer. As the children progress, they are given the experience of writing for a variety of purposes and audiences. Rules of grammar and spelling are continually introduced and reinforced when appropriate for the individual child.
Every class has two English sessions each day which are given over to the teaching of reading and writing skills. We place great importance on linking English to topics studied and other curriculum areas so that children gain confidence in writing for a range of purposes and audiences . Daily Phonics and SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) sessions have led to a heightened understanding of the construction of writing.
More recently, in KS2, we have adopted the IPEELL (Introduction, Points, Elaboration, Ending, Links and Language) approach to the teaching of writing. This is helping pupils to structure their writing, as well as score elements within, and focus on how to improve a text: the composition of the text or the grammar within. Children are also able to see the progression of SPaG elements through the use of mark sheets for each text type which develop each year. You can find examples of planning grids and a reflection sheet below.
Spelling is extremely important and is a major focus of our learning; this is because we recognise that once children progress to High School, spellings are no longer taught. Each year, each class revisits spelling rules and common exception words taught in previous years, as well as learning the rules and common exception words for that year group. Alongside these, each year group has a set of zero-tolerance words that should always be correctly spelt.
For further information, and ways to support your child at home, please talk to your child's class teacher.