Writing at Our Lady’s
At Our Lady’s, the teaching of writing is of paramount importance within a broad, balanced curriculum. Our aim is to ensure that every child is immersed in a vocabulary rich curriculum and develops their skill, accuracy and love of writing through exposure to a range of exemplar texts. This exposure, to a variety of texts from different genres, allows the children at Wheelock to gain knowledge and experience of writing in different styles and for different purposes. Writing is embedded across the curriculum and in all year groups. It is intended that by the end of Year 6, children have developed a love of writing, become confident with the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling and have the ability to edit and improve.
We set high expectations for our children to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style. It is intended that children leave Our Lady’s with the confidence to use their skills, knowledge and understanding of different text types and how to construct them, in their future.
In order to create confident writers at Our Lady’s, we teach writing through The Write Stuff approach The approach, which focuses heavily on the link between reading and writing, is evidence based and made up of units. These units are mapped out so the entire statutory curriculum for writing is covered in each year group. The units of work centre on engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a wealth of writing opportunities. It provides teachers with high-quality literature known as ‘Vehicle texts’. Several of these selected vehicle texts have strong thematic links to Science, History and Geography allowing for great cross-curricular knowledge.
“The Write Stuff” follows a method called “Sentence Stacking” which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken in to 3 learning chunks. Each learning chunk has three sections:
- Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
- Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
- Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the model.
Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ which requires them to independently draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.
Teachers model the process of writing within every Writing lesson. Working walls and washing lines are used to support children with their writing. During the lessons, teachers will think out loud, edit and demonstrate how and why they are structuring their writing in the way they have. Children participate in shared writes where everyone contributes to the writing outcome.
The teaching of grammar and punctuation is an integral part of writing. This is taught through The Write Stuff units of work and as discreet lessons. This allows children to gain more confidence and practice previously taught skills. Although spelling is part of many units of work in writing, it is also taught outside of Writing lessons. The main strategy to enable children to become more confident with their spellings is the implementation of Spelling Shed. This has been implemented throughout the school from KS1-UKS2. Children are set weekly spellings to practise and these are also taught throughout the week as part of handwriting sessions. Children enjoy the engaging nature of the programme and its child friendly lay out. It is also easily accessed from home. This is beneficial for parents to see what their child is learning and their target spellings moving forward.
The children at Our Lady’s are set high expectations for their handwriting and presentation. We aim for children to be proud of their work and confident that it is eligible with a neat, cursive style. This is enforced daily by taught handwriting sessions. These take place across the school. Children are taught how to form the letters of the alphabet accurately, how to join letters and the importance of ascending and descending letters. Handwriting examples are placed in each classroom and extra support is given to children who have difficulty with their fine motor skills.
Writing Progression Document – See how our writing curriculum build as your child journeys through our school.