Writing in Early Years
Within the Early Years setting, children are encouraged from the start to begin making marks on paper. ‘Funky Fingers’ activities encourage the development of fine motor skills and our use of ‘Write Dance’, an approach that uses drama and music, motivates and encourages children to write. Children are encouraged to attempt independent emergent writing and their efforts are valued and praised. They are given opportunities to write independently and are encouraged to do so often, they are also supported in small groups and individually where necessary.
Writing in Key Stages 1 and 2
From Years 1 to 6 we use the principles of "The Write Stuff" by Jane Considine to ensure a whole school approach to the mechanics of writing. We have developed the progression documents below to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum:
Texts for narrative units are carefully chosen to inspire children’s writing and to enable them to acquire a rich and varied vocabulary. Non-narrative writing is based on the current topic to give context to the writing and to re-enforce knowledge.
We use "Sentence Stacking" to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they then apply to their own writing. Each writing lesson is based on a sentence model, broken into three learning chunks:
- Initiate: a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination, promote rich vocabulary and inspire a sentence.
- Model: the teacher models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
- Enable: the children write their sentence, following the model.
Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ which requires them to draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing.
Grammar and Punctuation
"The Write Stuff" also reinforces understanding of authorial technique and grammar through the use of:
- FANTASTICS which summarise the ideas that inspire writing.
- GRAMMARISTICS which encourage understanding of accurate structure.
- BOOMTASTICS which encourage children to use a variety of stylistic devices.
Punctuation is taught in context through the teacher model.
Where necessary grammar and punctuation is also taught explicitly before being applied in a sentence stacking lesson.
Following sentence stacking lessons, children apply their skills to an independent piece of writing in their Big Write books.
Spelling is taught both explicitly and in context, following the Letters and Sounds programme and the National Curriculum.
Handwriting is taught both discretely and as an embedded skill.
Formative assessment is carried out continuously and children are given feedback to move their learning forward. Summative assessments are made termly based on children’s independent writing and judgements are moderated across phases.
Assessments are used to inform planning and to identify children who need extra support to address any gaps in learning or need further challenge.