Subject Lead: Miss Natalie Stewart
At Stanley Park Infants’ School, we strive to ensure that every child is a confident and fluent writer. As writing is a key life skill, we promote daily writing opportunities so that children can successfully write for a range of audiences and purposes.
How we teach Writing
Our writing learning is directly linked to the books that we are reading in class. Children will learn a story ‘inside out’ (off by heart), using talk for writing actions to help them. Writing lessons are then based on this story, including re-telling the story, re-imaging the story (using the structure but changing the plot slightly) or using the story as a springboard for different writing styles including character descriptions, letter writing and poetry. Early writing is heavily phonics based and children are taught to apply their phonics knowledge to spell words. Children are also taught the basic components of a sentence including capital letters, finger spaces and full stops. These clear success criteria are shared with the children throughout the lesson and are rehearsed using actions so they know what will make their writing successful. Imagination is encouraged and harnessed to write descriptively and children are exposed to a vocabulary rich environment which is reflected in their writing.
In Key Stage 1, writing is taught in a cyclical way following the analyse, plan, write, edit progressions. Before writing themselves, children are given the opportunity to analyse a successful piece of writing, finding the success criteria, before planning their own. They then complete an independent piece of writing and then edit and up-level their work. Children are provided with opportunities to read or perform their writing, publish their writing and read other’s writing. Alongside this, ‘sentence of the day’ lessons allow explicit teaching of grammar rules, vocabulary and up-levelling skills. Children are encouraged to be ‘word collectors’ and use interesting words in their writing. Children are often given a purpose for their writing, such as writing a letter to a local MP, which helps to motivate children and provide a context.
Handwriting and spelling are key components of writing and this is taught alongside writing lessons. Cursive handwriting following the Read Write Inc handwriting rhymes is taught from Reception and regular opportunities to practise cursive letters and letter joins are provided. All spelling rules are taught in individual lessons and displayed on flashcards and revisited, mirroring the approach used for phonics teaching and learning.
Writing is celebrated at SPIS and regularly shared with classmates. Children are selected at random to share their writing and children often swap books and offer praise and advice to their peers. Children are also encouraged to look back at their previous writing and are given time to reflect on the progress they’ve made. Any ‘WOW’ pieces of writing are photocopied and sent home to share with their family.
At SPIS we pride ourselves in planning creative, immersive writing lessons with a hook to draw children into a narrative to scaffold and inspire their writing. Recently, a ‘hurricane’ hit the Year 2 section of the school building. Children entered school on a Monday morning and couldn’t believe their eyes when they walked into their classrooms. There was caution tape across the door to warn children of the dangers inside; tables, chairs, trays and resources were all over the place and everywhere was a mess. Windows were wide open, leaves had blown in creating a mess on the carpet and the electricity wasn’t working! Mr D’Souza and Mr Wallace completed a safety check and came to say that it was safe to tidy away. He also asked Year 2 to write a newspaper report to describe the events from that morning. Year 2 loved being be to write about an event they had experienced, take a look at our photos of the morning and some of our excellent writing.