English - Writing
Aims of Writing at St Stephen's
Aims of writing at St Stephen’s
At St Stephen’s, we strive to help our children develop into articulate and imaginative communicators, who are well-equipped with the basic skills they need to become life-long learners; English learning is key in this. We aim to ensure all of our children develop a genuine love of language and the written word, through a text-based approach; this links closely to the way we teach reading. Careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful: where possible linking our reading, writing and the topic that we are covering in History, Geography or Science. We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.
Our intentions in writing are for children to:
- Write for a purpose
- See themselves as real writers
- Take ownership of their writing
- See writing as an interesting and enjoyable process
- Acquire the ability to organise and plan their written work Implementation
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, and to flourish to become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the audience / reader. Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English: grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling.
Throughout the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we teach writing through a text-based approach, which allows us to meet the needs of the children that we are teaching – through choosing a text that will engage, inspire and motivate. As well as reading a wide variety of genres, children are given frequent opportunities to develop their skills in writing in different genres.
Pupils are taught discrete punctuation and grammar skills, appropriate to their year group, within our text based approach to planning, allowing opportunities to identify, practice and consolidate grammatical understanding, whilst also being immersed in a text. Children then apply the grammar and punctuation skills that they have learnt in their extended pieces of writing.
Spelling is taught regularly in focused sessions within each class. Learning to recognise the high frequency words on sight is crucial in developing fluency and accuracy in reading and then writing. High frequency words are the words that appear most often in printed materials. Some of the high frequency words are referred to as ‘tricky words’, as the children are unable to use their phonic knowledge to decode every part of the word. Once children are confident in reading and spelling high frequency words, they are taught spelling rules and are encouraged to apply these rules in their writing. Class teachers use No Nonsense Spelling (Y2 to Y6) to support with the teaching of the different spelling rules and this can then often be used as homework for children when applicable.