English - Writing

Rationale for our approach to teaching writing

We recognise that high quality writing is a skill built up over many years and requires deliberate, daily practice of key handwriting skills, grammatical knowledge and understanding of the conventions of punctuation to aid the reader. Foundational to all of this is an exposure to rich, lyrical language and a cementing in the long term memory of vocabulary and prosody, turns of phrase and text conventions. 

Our approach to writing (hand in hand with our approach to reading) aims to develop a deep understanding of language. Adults frequently model and rehearse a variety of texts to the children - both through oral storytelling and through reading quality published texts by celebrated authors. 

In EYFS and KS1, the teaching of letter formation, and phoneme-grapheme correspondence, segmenting and spelling is taught through daily small group phonics sessions, alongside reading. Children practise these skills in writing books and on whiteboards, provided with immediate feedback. Writing forms part of continuous provision, with carefully chosen adult-led and adult-directed tasks. In addition, teachers help children to learn a selection of short stories through oral storytelling. The stories that are chosen help children to develop a familiarity with differing sentence types, as well as being immersed in rich Tier 2 vocabulary. Children will begin to innovate these learnt stories, creating their own versions and as their physical writing skills develop, they will begin to record these, having had them modelled first by adults. 

We organise the writing text types into four categories and ensure that all are covered each year:

  • Writing to entertain (stories, poems, playscripts)
  • Writing to inform (reports, recounts)
  • Writing to argue (persuasion, discussion)
  • Writing to explain (explanations, instructions)

Being able to write coherent and effective non-fiction is a very important skill and we are careful to ensure that these text types are given as much weighting as fiction writing, even if the subject content is sometimes fictional in origin. A progression document for these text types and the associated grammar and punctuation can be found here: Text Types & Progression Booklet.pdf 

Through KS2, writing is primarily taught around a key text, often a beautiful picture book, which inspires a love of reading, introduces more rich vocabulary and promises a wealth of writing opportunities. A list of recommended texts can be found here: Recommended Texts.pdf but there are always more to add to the list. English leads for the trust’s schools should validate the quality of any new text that class teachers wish to use. For maximum synergy, these will be linked with other curriculum areas being taught concurrently, but the quality of the text is more important than a potentially tenuous curriculum link. Over the course of the teaching sequence, the children build their writing skills through three main phases:

  • Phase 1: Enjoy the text, engage with the text, learn about its context and discuss the characters and the issues it raises. Short burst writing opportunities using specific, taught grammatical skills. 
  • Phase 2: Analyse the text, author style and language choices, text organisation features. Short burst writing opportunities using specific, taught grammatical skills.
  • Phase 3: Plan, orally rehearse, write (using key focus grammar), edit and present a focused piece of writing.

Further information about the teaching sequence we use can be found here: Teaching Sequence and Planning for Writing.pdf 

Finally, some pieces are chosen to be published, with all the edits included in the final piece.

Please click on the buttons below to view the curriculum documents:

KS2 Writing Curriculum Overview 2021-2022
English Progression of Skills


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