Our core aim is for children to write with enjoyment and confidence knowing that they have the skills to have a go, and know what to do if they get stuck!
As soon as children start school we encourage them to write - this may be mark making initially but we value and celebrate all efforts that children make to write. In Reception we call their mark making ‘Magic Writing’. You will see opportunities for writing in many areas inside and outside of the classroom. We teach the children the formation of letters using a programme called ‘Penpals’. Children very quickly learn how to write familiar sounds and along with sounding out words to read (blending) children then start to apply this in their writing (segmenting). They may start with the initial sounds of words (like below) but they quickly begin to include the final and then middle sounds as they learn more letters and gain confidence.
Talk for Writing
At Glenfrome we develop children’s speaking and listening skills and their ability to discuss and debate their thoughts and opinions. When teaching children to write a new genre we use the Talk for Writing cycle. We believe that children will have a sound understanding of a text if they have the time to talk about and explore key themes and language. The Talk for Writing cycle has three stages; Immersion/Imitation, Innovation and Invention.
Children are initially immersed in a key text through drama, discussion, story mapping and retelling. This gives them opportunities to develop reading comprehension skills.
Children then innovate and explore making changes to the text to develop their understanding further. As part of this, children explore key language patterns and grammatical structures.
The final part of the cycle is the invention stage, where children write their own text using the guidance and modelled activities that they have completed in the other stages to scaffold their writing.
Children are taught the programmes of study for English (National Curriculum 2014) through the Talk for Writing cycle.
There are regular opportunities for children to complete a Big Write/Independent writing task. This is a chance for children to revisit previous genres and to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Take a look at our Wonderful Writers wall to see fantastic examples of writing from across the school! In addition to this, there are regular opportunities for children to write across the curriculum, where they can apply their skills in other areas.
All teachers have high expectations in the presentation of work in all areas of the curriculum. Handwriting plays an important part and is taught weekly in Key Stage 2 and daily in Key Stage 1. Handwriting is taught using the Penpals scheme of work which is used from FS to Y6.
Children have at least 2 spelling sessions each week in Key Stage 2, with follow up activities throughout the week. They are given spellings to learn on a Monday based on their sessions and they are tested on these on a Thursday. In Key Stage 1, children have a daily phonics lesson and they also have spellings to learn each week, which are given on a Monday, ready for a test on Thursday.