Learning to write
At Grenoside Community Primary School, we recognise that writing is a key skill for life and should be taught through a wide variety of activities from Foundation stage all the way through to year 6.
Speaking and listening
The teaching of writing begins with children being given the opportunity to do lots of ‘Talk for Writing’ so that they develop the crucial speaking and listening skills needed in order to write. Throughout their time at school, all pupils will be expected to orally rehearse what they plan to write, often through pairs or group discussions, before putting pen to paper. This is why children are encouraged to speak in sentences and give detail through their speech.
Children are taught how to make all the correct letter shapes before learning how to join them fluently and develop a neat, cursive handwriting style.
This is our expected model for handwriting in Grenoside Community Primary School. It is based on the agreed Sheffield Scheme for handwriting, with letters being formed from left to right using a single pencil stroke (other than i, j, t, x and several capitals, which require the pencil to be lifted from the paper).
Further to this, the 2015 National Curriculum states that when using the “diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters”, children may develop an understanding of “which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined”.
Once children are confident in their use of phonics, usually in year 1 or 2, children will start to bring a list of spellings how to learn every week. These words will follow the National Curriculum spelling programme and will contribute to the children developing their skills as English language users and independent writers. The government’s appendix on the National Curriculum Spelling programme (see link below) will show what spelling patterns are taught in each year group.
Children should practise their spelling words at home and practise using them in the context of a sentence. At school they will practise the worlds through a variety of stimulating games and general spelling activities, and will then be tested on their ability to spell them in the context of a sentence at the end of the week.
Grammar and Punctuation
The new 2014 national curriculum places great emphasis on grammar and punctuation. At Grenoside therefore, children will be systematically taught grammar and punctuation as part of their English lessons. The government’s list showing what children will be taught in each year group can be found by clicking on the link below.
Writing for a purpose
Teachers plan for opportunities for purposeful writing, whether in Science, ICT or even Topic, enabling them to explore the writing process in several subjects. Teachers set pupils writing tasks in a wide variety of genres – including several fiction, nonfiction and poetry. They model the writing process and share with the children good examples of each writing type and success criteria so that the children know what they have to do in order to succeed.
Children are encouraged to draft and re-draft in order to continually improve their writing. Afterwards, children are given the opportunity to assess their success using their success criteria, and re-edit to further improve. Teaching and learning is always differentiated so that all children have an opportunity to access their learning at their own level.