At Elton we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
We teach writing as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. We use strategies throughout the school to support children to achieve their full potential, which involve the use of text maps, scaffolding and word banks. The writing process is modelled through carefully selected units of work and linked to engaging books.
Spellings: Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Teachers use the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme to support their teaching and to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings (year 2 upwards). Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test the following week. In the lower school spelling is taught in groups according to ability and the differing needs of the children, which will also include the teaching of phonics.
Grammar and Punctuation: Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand-alone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills. Teachers incorporate Alan Peat sentence types, which have been proven to enhance progress and attainment in children’s writing. We teach these throughout the school, from year 1 to 6.
Presentation: Handwriting is not only taught discretely; it is an integral part to any lesson and is reinforced daily. Children are expected to use joined, legible handwriting and the pre-cursive style is introduced in nursery.
All children will enjoy writing across a range of genres, make links and apply their skills in cross-curricular topics. Children of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded. They will have developed a wide vocabulary that they are able to use within their writing and will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience. Children will leave school being able to effectively apply the spelling rules and patterns they have been taught. Most importantly, they will develop a love of writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education.