Writing Curriculum Statement
At St. George's, we want all children to be able to communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions confidently through their writing.
We believe that all children should experience an abundance of quality, engaging texts that fosters a love for reading and stimulates children to write. We want all children to be immersed in a rich, creative and carefully planned curriculum that provides real life contexts for writing.
We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We believe in setting high standards in the presentation of writing along with setting the important foundations in spelling and grammar.
Our aim is for all children to leave our school, fully equipped with the literacy skills to achieve their dreams in future life.
At St. George's C of E Primary School, we understand the importance of a learning journey that leads to opportunities for extended pieces of writing.
We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression through implementing Talk4Writing (T4W). This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. The clearly planned texts are used as 'hook's for children in order to ignite their interest into the writing process.
Children are expected to transfer their key topic knowledge and vocabulary into their writing and vice versa to transfer their spelling, grammar and punctuation knowledge into their topic work. We expect the high standards for writing in Literacy lessons to be evident within the work in all books.
We believe that writing is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils. Units of work are planned so that children are introduced to and immersed in a range of genres including fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
How is Writing taught at St. George's.
All writing units begin with a pre writing task known as a cold write. These independent writing tasks are completed before the unit of work commences to set targets and inform planning. The targets set are mostly grammar and punctuation focused, these knowledge and skills are explicitly taught through English lessons as much as possible.
We use carefully chosen model texts as well as live teacher modelling and shared writing so that pupils can see the process involved in creating a piece of writing. The learning journey is captured throughout a unit of work and is documented through consistent working walls and washing lines.
We recognise the vital importance of exposing our pupils to a rich and varied vocabulary and understand that their acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. We use model texts and class novels to teach vocabulary in context and encourage discussion around word choices when writing. Dictionaries, thesauruses and word mats are readily available throughout all writing lessons.
Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. All children are given focus spellings and are encouraged to integrate these into their writing. The weekly spellings are taken from the spelling rules being taught in their discrete RWI spelling session at KS2 and spelling lists at KS2. However, if a pupil is needing extra support with spelling then spellings will match their ability and need.
Staff follow our Marking and Feedback policy, to provide pupils with live feedback as much as possible so that children are actively involved in drafting, editing and improving their writing. From an early age, children are encouraged to proofread their work carefully to check for spelling and punctuation errors. By the time children get to Key Stage 2, they will plan, draft and edit independently, enabling them to fully take part in the writing process.
Handwriting is a skill which, like reading and spelling, affects written communication across the curriculum. Children must be able to write with ease, speed and legibility. Cursive handwriting teaches pupils to join letters and words as a series of flowing movements and patterns. Handwriting skills should be taught regularly and systematically.
Aims at St. George's C of E Primary School
Our aims in teaching handwriting are that the pupils will:
- Achieve a neat, legible style with correctly formed letters in accordance with the cursive font.
- Develop flow and speed.
- Eventually produce the letters automatically and in their independent writing.
In order to achieve these aims, the following principles are followed:
Teaching and Learning
- Children should experience coherence and continuity in learning and teaching across the school.
- Develop a recognition and appreciation of pattern and line and be given support in finding a comfortable grip.
- Understand the importance of clear and neat presentation in order to communicate meaning clearly.
- Encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work and therefore study handwriting with a sense of enjoyment and achievement.
- Be supported in developing correct spelling quickly through a multi-sensory approach to handwriting.
- Shown how to be able to write quickly to aid expressing themselves creatively and imaginatively across the curriculum and for a range of purposes.
- Encouraged use of their skills with confidence and pride in real life situations.
- We will follow Twinkl Handwriting programme (Zigzag Monster Letters, One-Armed Robot Letters, Ladder Letters, Curly Caterpillar Letters) and we will have displays up in all classrooms to promote this.
Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
Early Years Children take part in a range of activities through adult led and planned continuous provision to develop their fine and gross motor-skills and recognition of patterns including ‘Dough Disco, Squiggle While you Wiggle and Funky Fingers tasks, for example, to form letters using their index finger in sand or using paint.
Children should begin to learn how to correctly hold a pencil. Then how to use a pencil, and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters most of which are correctly formed. They should be given the opportunities to develop their handwriting to their full potential at that age.
Key Stage 1
Children will continue to develop fine and gross motor-skills with a range of multi-sensory activities. Handwriting should be discussed within and linked to phonics sessions. Handwriting and letter formation happen in the children’s English books. Children are supported using the pre-cursive, once they demonstrate that they are confident in this style they move to continuous cursive.
Children will be taught pre-cursive handwriting, when they are ready, in Year One (when the children are able to correctly form printed letters) and if children are proficient with this by Summer term in Year One then cursive joins can begin to be taught. Teachers and support staff continue to guide children on how to write letters correctly, using a comfortable and efficient pencil grip. Children should now be leaving spaces between words accurately. By the end of Key Stage 1 children will be able to write legibly, using upper and lower-case letters appropriately and correct spacing between words using a continuous cursive style.
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Key Stage 2
During this stage the children continue to have direct teaching and regular practice of handwriting. We aim for them to develop a clear, fluent style and by the end of Year 6 be able to adapt their handwriting for different writing purposes, such as: a neat, legible hand for finished, presented work, a faster script for note making and the ability to print for labelling diagrams etc.
Continuous cursive looped style
Capital letters stand alone and are not joined to the next letter. Children must practice starting sentences and writing names using a capital letter and not joining the subsequent letter. This should be modelled by the teacher during Literacy and Phonics sessions.
Provision for left-handed children
At least 10% of the population are left-handed, the majority of whom are boys. All teachers are aware of the specific needs of left-handed pupils and make appropriate provision:
- paper should be positioned to the left for right handed pupils and to the right for left handed pupils and slanted to suit the individual in either case;
- pencils should not be held too close to the point as this can interrupt pupils’ line of vision;
- pupils should be positioned so that they can place their paper to their left side;
- left-handed pupils should sit to the left of a right-handed child so that they are not competing for space;
- extra practice with left-to-right exercises may well be necessary before pupils write left-to-right automatically.
- Teachers are aware of the fact that it is very difficult for left-handed pupils to follow handwriting movements when a right-handed teacher models them. Teachers demonstrate to left-handed pupils on an individual or group basis, even if the resulting writing is not neat.
The Learning Environment
In all classes, pencil pots with suitable materials are available for pupils to work at their own tables. Classrooms are equipped with a range of writing implements, line guides, word lists and dictionaries.
The Role of Parents/Carers
Parents/Carers are made aware of our agreed handwriting style and encouraged to practice this with their children at home.
Resources are available on the staff shared system in the folder ‘Handwriting’ and on the Twinkl website. Our handwriting style should be displayed in every classroom and available on tables for children to refer to.
Level expected at the end of EYFS.
Pupils should be taught to:
Literacy – Writing ELG
Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed; – Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters; – Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
Physical Development – Fine Motor Skills
Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases; – Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery; – Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.
Key Stage 1 National Curriculum Expectations
Pupils should be taught to:
- sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly
- begin to form lower case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
- form capital letters
- form digits 0-9
- understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ (i.e. letters that are formed in similar ways) and to practise these
- form lower case letters of the correct size relative to one another
- start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined
- write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters
- use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.
Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Expectations
Pupils should be taught 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 unjoined
- increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting for example, by ensuring that the downstrokes of letters are parallel and equidistant; that lines of writing are spaced sufficiently so that the ascenders and descenders of letters do not touch
- write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by:
- choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding whether or not to join specific letters
- choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task.
Handwriting is a skill which, like reading and spelling, affects written communication across the curriculum. Children must be able to write with ease, speed and legibility. Cursive handwriting teaches pupils to join letters and words as a series of flowing movements and patterns.
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