Writing begins as soon as a child can make marks on a page. Gross and fine motor skills are developed through our provision within EYFS, ensuring all children are developmentally prepared to form letters correctly. They are supported in developing their larger muscles (gross motor) and fingers (fine motor) to help them to hold a writing tool and make marks.
Letter formation is discretely taught in phonics sessions in the early years and developed in Year 1 and beyond using the Hemispheres Think Write Scheme.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, children are taught the skills of writing through the carefully planned English.
Each unit of work builds on phases towards a final outcome in writing which also includes strong elements of reading. This may be fiction, non-fiction or poetry.
This is then referred back to when writing. Hooks help to develop vocabulary and imagination e.g. finding a note written from an important person, finding signs of ‘wolves’ in Widey Woods, a visit to the aquarium, finding all the chairs turned upside down, holding a mysterious wooden ‘club’, author visits, images as well as film clips.
Children are taught to understand the genre (text type), its features, organisation and grammatical structures. They use powerful examples to capture ideas and decide why these are appropriate for their final writing outcome.
Children are taught grammar and punctuation in context. These tools are split into vocabulary tools, grammatical tools, punctuation tools and author tools. They complete sentence and word level work to develop the specific skills in order to apply them to their own writing. At this phase teachers will model how to apply the tools taught so far.
A final part of the English writing journey is where the writing is highly scaffolded by the teacher. Teachers adopt a ‘writer’s voice’ and explicitly model the choices writers make to directly impact the reader. At this point, 'boxing up' is usually used to support the writing of all children. Children are then able to innovate a new piece of writing having been taught to use the good examples throughout the learning process. Children are then taught and encouraged to edit their own work in order to make improvements. This is a vital part of the process involving ‘self-voice’ and self-assessment as well as peer-assessment. Children are taught to edit for sense, punctuation, spelling, paragraphing, effective vocabulary choices.
Our spelling curriculum follows on from the Essential Letters and Sounds Phonics programme taught in Reception and Year 1. We then focus on the spelling patterns in Year 2 and beyond developing the children’s understanding of the rules of spelling using the Westover Green Spelling Scheme and the Common Exception Words (National Curriculum) required in each year group. Children have homework which mainly focusses on the Common Exception Words for their year group. These are taught in a repetitive pattern in order to support 'automaticity' (knowing the spelling with rapid recall).