Writing at St. Gregory's
Within the Writing curriculum, we aim to ensure all St Gregory’s pupils develop the ability and confidence to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. We nurture a love of language and of the written word through our text-based approach. Our writing lessons has careful links across the curriculum to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful.
At St. Gregory's, we provide children with the compositional and secretarial tools to be able to achieve in writing. We base our writing lessons around high-quality texts so pupils are exposed to rich vocabulary, learn how author’s write for a range of purposes and can mimic a range of structures in their own work.
Pupils work through a range of short, shared, paired, modelled, scaffolded and independent writing opportunities to allow them to understand the writing process. We understand that pupils need purpose and structure for writing, as well as the confidence to experiment with language and build on their voice over time.
EYFS and KS1
In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, pupils are taught the initial skills associated with transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas in speech and writing). We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to spell and eventually write. This is taught in Reception and carried on as they move through school. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for writing, and reading, in all subjects.
In Year 1, pupils are taught to write sentences. They learn, first, how to say their ideas out loud. They are then able to compose sentences orally before beginning to write. Pupils are then taught how to sequence sentences to form a short narrative and finally they learn how to re-read what they have written and check it makes sense.
In Year 2, pupils build their writing stamina and learn how to write sentences for a range of purposes (stories, poetry, non-fiction). Pupils continue to learn how to re-read, check and edit their writing. They also expand the range of punctuation they use to write a range of statements, commands, questions and exclamations.
In Key Stage 2, pupils continue to develop their transcription and composition skills in combination with planning, evaluating and editing their writing.
In Year 3 and 4, pupils develop their knowledge of different genres and styles of writing. Pupils begin to write for a wider range of audiences and purposes, adapting the vocabulary, grammar and punctuation they use within their writing to show this. Pupils begin to use dialogue within their writing, use cohesive devices to join paragraphs and choose which features they should include when writing fiction and non-fiction. Pupils are taught how to proof read, usually aloud, so that they can compose, edit and publish a range of writing pieces.
In Year 5 and 6, pupils are taught to draw more deeply on what they have previously read and written. After learning all the KS2 grammar and punctuation features, pupils are taught how and when to use these in order to write cohesively and effectively. Pupils are also taught how to use active and passive voice, switch between formal and informal writing and some will learn how to frame a narrative by switching between tenses.
St. Gregory’s recognises that spelling is a skill that must be explicitly taught. We believe that the teaching of rules, instead of the testing of individual words, makes for life long spellers. Pupils learn new spelling rules each week and are given chances in each lesson to revise these spelling rules and apply them to news words they meet.
In Key Stage 1, pupils are taught spellings within the phonics phase they are learning. Pupils are taught spelling rules as well as common exception words.
In Key Stage 2, pupils continue to build on their knowledge of spelling rules. Pupils continue to learn the words within the National Curriculum guidance. They are exposed to a range of subject specific spellings throughout their learning across the curriculum.
Spelling rules are given as part of our online homework each week so that pupils can revise and revisit spelling rules that have been taught.
By the time our pupils leave Key Stage 2, we aim for them to have fluent, legible and, where possible, speedy handwriting.
In the Foundation Stage and into Key Stage 1, pupils learn letter patterns, how to equally space letters and how to correctly grip and hold a pencil.
In lower Key Stage 2, pupils learn to use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left un-joined.
In upper Key Stage 2, pupils increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting. They work on control, maintaining letter size and consistent spacing throughout longer piece of writing.
At St. Gregory’s, we use the ‘Penpals’ handwriting scheme. We teach discrete handwriting lessons as well as work on fine motor skill exercises so that pupils continually develop the skills needed for handwriting.