Writing


Writing subject Leader – Mrs Spencer


Intent

At Moat Farm Infant School, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by ensuring pupils have a strong understanding of spoken and written language. Our curriculum has been developed to address our context and the barriers to learning that our children face. We believe that children need to develop a secure basis in literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We want them to use a range of independent strategies to take responsibility for their own learning, including editing and correcting their own errors.

At Moat Farm Infant School, we want each pupil to communicate and express themselves using written language. We want our children to become accurate writers in a range of genres. We follow the Development Matters Framework and the 2014 National Curriculum for guidance as to what is taught in each year group and, from this, have devised units of work based on different genres. We ensure progression in complexity of writing tasks and expectations for each year group. Writing is linked to non-core subjects and the Reading Spine which enables the children to make links between reading, writing and spoken language and supports their development of vocabulary.

Spoken Language
We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Children are encouraged to develop their spoken language skills through listening activities, talk partners, role play and discussions. These extend the children’s vocabulary, strengthening the connections with their learning in English, foundation subjects and maths. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that the use of spoken language is a crucial skill for reading and writing in all subjects.

Implementation

Nursery
We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:

sharing high-quality stories and poems
learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
attention to high-quality language.

Phonics
We teach phonics through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery in the Spring term and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised and progression

We teach phonics daily in Reception and KS1. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.

We use the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to story writing throughout school. This involves children acting out a story, developing spoken language and preparing sentences verbally before writing. They plan through images and actions and finally produce written narratives. For other genres of writing, grammar and punctuation, together with the structural features of each genre, are taught through a series of lessons, starting with the basics of sentence construction including full stops and capital letters.

In EYFS, children are taught the letter graphemes as they learn the sounds in phonics and write by segmenting (dividing a word into its separate sounds) and recording the sounds they hear. This takes place during teacher-led sessions and there are also plenty of opportunities during child-initiated sessions, with a range of materials and writing prompts available.

In Key Stage 1, children begin to identify word classes (noun, verb, adjective and adverb) and use this understanding in their writing. Teaching builds term on term and year on year using prior knowledge. In Year 2, children are taught to edit and improve their work.

The teaching of writing is often linked to the current curriculum topic so that children are immersed in the topic and they are provided with a range of stimuli including relevant vocabulary, books, PowerPoint images, pictures etc.

Teachers provide regular constructive feedback through marking and children are encouraged to assess their own work through discussions with their peers and teachers.

Handwriting
In EYFS, teachers plan dough disco and squiggles sessions that develop the children’s physical development and mark making as well as letters and numbers and shapes.

Children use anticlockwise movements and retrace vertical lines with a pencil and begin to form recognisable letters. Children develop good control and coordination in gross and fine motor skills.

Across school, we teach handwriting through Penpals. In Year 1, children produce writing with clear spaces between words. Most letters are correctly formed and orientated, including lower case, capital letters and digits although there may be some inconsistency in size. By Year 2, all letters and digits should be consistently formed and of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another. Spacing is appropriate to the size of letters. Children begin to join letters using pre-cursive joins.

Impact

Book monitoring, learning walks, pupil voice and planning show progression for children. Writing is taught progressively across each year group and key stage. Children write every day in many subjects – English, phonics, handwriting and non-core subjects.
Monitoring has shown a range of genres taught and subsequently practised in different contexts. Children can talk about their writing. They can say what is good and in key stage 1, can say how to improve their work. Children can also name some features of different genres in writing. Pupil voice indicates that children find some genres of writing difficult.
Summer 2023 data analysis shows the impact as:
• The majority (66%) of children were on track at the end of EYFS (compared with 20% on entry)
• The majority (63%) of children are on track in Writing at the end of KS1
• 8% of children achieved ‘Greater Depth’ in Writing at the end of KS1

Downloads

Useful Websites and Links:

Little Wandle Phonics resources for parents

Phonic Screening materials