Our aim is for our children to become effective communicators who enjoy playing with language and writing for pleasure
In the teaching of writing, we aim for all children to appreciate that writing is a universal method of communication and to enjoy playing with language and writing for pleasure. This includes writing for specific, real or imaginary audiences and a cross curricular approach is adopted wherever possible, in order to give writing real life purpose and meaning.
We aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Our approach to teaching writing covers the ‘transcription’ and ‘composition’ requirements of The National Curriculum (2013).
Teachers model writing skills and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. Children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions at the end of a unit; applying their taught skills to an unsupported piece of writing.
The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts using quality texts as a model and for a variety of purposes and audiences. The text types which are required to be covered by The National Curriculum (2013) are outlined in our long term plans for each year group to ensure that there is a breadth of coverage. They may be asked to produce their writing on their own or as part of group.
When modelling writing teachers use the 7-ects approach; collect, reject, select, correct, effect, direct and connect. Teachers should make clear the aim of the writing at the top of the modelled writing and a structure should be recorded at the side of the written content.
Our aim is that children write at their maximum potential whenever possible. They can be supported to do this by modelling or guiding writing or undertaking a shared write. Children should evaluate their writing alone or with peers and should draft and re-draft writing to ensure that final pieces of work are of the highest quality.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
At Holmgate Primary School, grammar and punctuation is taught through the use of Rainbow Grammar, both in discrete lessons and as an integral part of other writing activities. Rainbow Grammar breaks sentences down into coloured sections; it is designed to teach the children in stages and builds on previous knowledge. As children build their knowledge, they learn how to structure more complex sentences, using grammar and punctuation correctly.
Like grammar and punctuation, spelling is also taught in discrete sessions, as well as being incorporated into English lessons. Spelling is taught using the Read Write Inc. Phonics or Read Write Inc. spelling schemes. These sessions are taught daily. In KS2, the weekly spellings children take home to learn will link to the strategies they have been learning in class.
In EYFS, children focus on pencil control and correct individual letter and number formation. Children are encouraged to use a wide variety of writing implements, including pencils, crayons, paint etc. to support them with their writing. In Y1, a pre-cursive style is taught and modelled to the children. In Y2, children will start learning how to join their writing in the school’s cursive style. In KS2, most children should be writing in the school’s cursive style. Pupils should use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined. Children will also be able to earn a handwriting pen in KS2 when they consistently use clear, fluent and joined-up handwriting during their independent writing.