At Atwood, writing for purpose and pleasure is at the centre of our vision for writing for our children. Teachers seek exciting, engaging and enriching experiences for children in the texts and topics they choose to study which provided pupils with a rich context from which to draw upon. Pupils are exposed to and immersed in a wide range of genres with a focus on purpose and audience. Our approach to teaching is based on the recommendations of the Education Endowment Fund aimed at improving literacy teaching and the outcomes of pupils. It focuses on teaching writing composition strategies through modelling and supporting strategies and developing pupils’ fluent written transcription skills through purposeful and explicit practices.
Throughout Early Years, children are immersed in a world of stories with a strong focus on developing vocabulary and oral literacy. Pupils start mark making from an early age developing the gross and fine motor skills needed for pen control through fine motor workshops. In Reception, pupils learn letter formation alongside letter sounds through the Read, Write Inc programme and start forming words and short sentences.
Key Stage One and Two
In key stages one and two, purpose and audience remain central to effective writing. Teachers look for opportunities in texts they are reading and topics children are enjoying to provide highly engaging contexts and provide a real purpose and audience for children’s work. Children grow to understand that writing is an iterative process and are provided with a range of writing activities that support the organisation and development of their ideas as well as an understanding of how to improve their work. This iterative process is embedded through a planning cycle used across the school: Immerse > Analyse > Instruct > Plan > Write > Edit > Review
Handwriting, Spelling & Grammar
Handwriting – Accurate letter formation is an essential early skill that forms the basis of a fluent handwriting style. Our handwriting progression follows six stages (as outlined from The National Handwriting Association)
Spelling – Fast and accurate spelling of extensive vocabulary is a key component of writing fluency. Evidence shows that spelling should be actively taught rather than simply tested. In year 1 and the beginning of year 2, spelling is taught through the Read, Write, Inc phonics programme. Phonics provides a foundation for effective spelling but is not the only skill needed. Starting in year 2, teachers follow the spelling programme ‘Rising Stars’. ‘Rising Stars Spelling’ provides a lively and flexible programme to teach every spelling focus in the curriculum. Spelling is taught through fun investigative activities, starter challenges and hands-on resources. Pupils are tested weekly on key rules and vocabulary.
Grammar – A large amount of practice, supported by effective feedback, is required to develop fluency. Across the school, grammar is taught both through literacy lessons and discrete sessions.