Why Writing is important...
Writing is a way of communicating our thinking to others. In school this can be through fiction, poetry and non-fiction, across all areas of the curriculum. In life this can be through email, letters, reports, lists, etc. It is imperative that children learn to write and communicate effectively, as this is an important life skill.
At Alderman’s Green Primary we:
- Appreciate that the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary, grammar and their understanding for writing;
- Understand that the more children are exposed to a wide range of high quality and engaging texts the better writers they will become;
- Recognise that children’s skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening enable them to communicate and express themselves in all areas of their work at school.
How we teach writing:
In Reception, we develop children’s gross motor skills – through movement, bikes and scooters, using paintbrushes, using playground equipment and we develop children’s fine motor skills – through threading activities, using play-dough, scissors, etc. These motor skills are important for children’s physical development and allow them to develop the skills to write.
As a school we use the Letter-join scheme to teach handwriting. We aim to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking. We teach children to use a correct pencil grip – crocodile grip, to sit up straight and face forwards when writing. We teach children pre-cursive letter formation, but digraphs in phonics are taught joined, from the start. We teach children to write using capital letters to start sentences, full stops to end sentences and finger spaces between words.
In KS1 (years 1 and 2), we embed these basic skills and further develop them, teaching question marks and exclamation marks. We also begin to teach grammar skills – plurals, adjectives, nouns, noun phrases. By the end of year 2, children should be able to write using a legible joined script, begin to use paragraphs and include the grammar and punctuation taught.
In KS2 (years 3-6), children are taught further grammar and punctuation skills and are also taught how to use content to engage the reader. These are taught through explicit skills lessons, alongside use of quality texts which model these skills. We analyse texts so that children can understand how to produce their own quality work.
We promote the importance of how spoken language underpins the development of writing. Specific vocabulary teaching enables children to hear and use new words effectively to broaden their own vocabulary and understanding.
Editing and redrafting writing allows children to have enough working memory free to concentrate on content when they write, whilst having the opportunity to improve their grammar, punctuation and spelling through weekly edit/redraft sessions.
As a school, we use high quality texts that link with our History, Geography and Science units where appropriate. We have carefully selected texts which lend themselves to a variety of writing outcomes and high level vocabulary. Our writing outcomes build on skills each year linked to the National Curriculum. Children have demonstrated a strong understanding of their subject knowledge through writing which links to learning across the curriculum.