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Sir Francis Hill Community Primary School

'Learn, Achieve, Succeed'

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Writing

Intent

At Sir Francis Hill Primary School, we want all children to be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and reach their full potential.

 

Our aims are to

  • Guide and nurture each individual on their own personal journeys to becoming successful writers.
  • Provide exciting writing opportunities and experiences that engage and enhance all pupils.
  •  We want all children to acquire a wide vocabulary and to be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.
  • We want all children to have a solid understanding of grammar and apply it effectively to their writing.
  • We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  •  We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a legible, cursive, individual handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
  • We want every child to have a good knowledge of phonics to springboard children to becoming fluent writers.
  • To plan a progressive curriculum to build upon previous teaching, with regular assessment to ensure each child’s needs are met to reach their full potential.

 

Implementation

 

At Sir Francis Hill Primary School, writing is taught 4x per week across the whole school. Each class studies a different high-quality text, lasting from a few weeks to a whole term depending on text type, length and year group. We passionately believe that reading and writing are inextricably linked therefore a reading text is often the inspiration for the writing.

 

Long, medium and short term planning ensure that a variety of genres are progressively taught and built upon both throughout the year and throughout the school.  We recognise the value of taking inspiration from the current topic, events, theme days or interests of the class and therefore texts may be changed in a year group but the content of delivery will remain the same ensuring progression.  These changes will be identified on the long and medium term plans which are working documents and in collaboration with the writing team.

 

Writing is also a key focus in the wider curriculum, especially in ‘Topic’ lessons. Children are given the opportunity to transfer and build upon their knowledge of a genre studied during English lessons and apply this learning to a topic focus.

Through the ‘differentiated texts’ writing process, children will acquire and learn the skills to plan, draft and refine their written work over time and are encouraged to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing.

Within each unit of work, sequenced lessons ensure that prior learning is checked and built upon and that National Curriculum objectives are taught through a combination of approaches/opportunities e.g.

 

  • Opportunities to participate in drama & spoken language activities
  • Exploring the features of different text types and modelled examples 
  • Handwriting practise
  • Vocabulary practise
  • Shared writing (modelled expectations)
  • Discrete Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar lessons
  • Independent writing
  • Planning, drafting, editing, up-levelling and presenting
  • Performing

 

Handwriting

It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. During the foundation stage at Sir Francis Hill Primary School, the children are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. In KS1, we use an approach which takes a holistic view of teaching handwriting, developing both a child’s Key Strengths (Gross & Fine Motor Skills) and Key Abilities (Knowledge). It is a systematic, differentiated and progressive approach which supports children of all ability levels.

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.

 

Spellings

From Year 2, classes follow a progressive series of spelling lessons. Through exploring spelling patterns and rules, we aim to create confident and proficient spellers using a discrete teaching approach underpinned by phonics.

 

Children are also taught to

  • Spell accurately and identify reasons for mis-spellings.
  • Proof-read their spellings
  • Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills
  • Use dictionaries and thesauruses. 

 

Impact

 

Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps.

 

  • Summative assessment recorded using our assessment system - Insight
  • Constructive marking with ‘next steps’ and ‘modelling’ where appropriate. Teachers leave next steps in books  when marking to ensure that children know exactly what they need to do next to make progress in their writing. This may be through marking ladders which may allow for self and peer marking too.
  • At least one piece of ‘Best Writing’ per half term

 

The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work. By the end of key stage 2, children have developed a writer’s craft, they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.

Our whole school actions for 23/24:

 

  • To teach the spelling lists from spelling shed from Year 2 onwards and alongside this, the common key words for each year group and new vocabulary from the texts studied in class and through the non-core subjects.
  • To be consistent in the teaching of handwriting.
  • To moderate writing each half term as a year group and as a Key Stage throughout the year.
  • To complete a termly assessed piece of writing for each Key Stage. (Half termly Year 2 and 6)
  • To celebrate the pupils’ successes through displays, assemblies, writing competitions, everyday lessons, sharing of work with other classes.
  • To ensure that all pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching of all subjects.
  • To ensure the pupils working at Greater Depth are given the opportunity to work in small groups with a teacher or teaching assistant to develop their skills through a variety of additional writing opportunities to increase their creativity and love of writing.
  • KS2 to be using their journals
  • To develop the FEELIT emotional literacy programme from Reception to Year 6.
  • To support pupils in developing small muscle coordination for hands and fingers. 
  • To share best practise and resources with each other.
  • Designated areas in EYFS and KS1 to have writing opportunities both in the classroom and outdoor space.
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