Writing, Grammar, Punctuation and Spellings
It is commonly known that good writers are often passionate readers. In school, we use rich texts (including some Power of Reading texts) as a base for our units of work, ensuring our children know what exciting and engaging writing looks like. We strongly believe that writing is not just one lesson in the daily timetable. Writing features in many aspects of the 'Lynsted day'.
Planning and assessment in writing:
We base each unit on a single genre from the long-term plan. The units are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction genres and each unit is usually studied for two-three weeks (dependent on the genre). Children read and examine examples of this genre as well as build up their skills to write their own writing. We teach the skills from the curriculum not just the writing assessment frameworks.
Before each unit, the children write a cold task. This is their attempt at the focus genre without any input. We assess this against the year group standards and use this to base the planning on, to know the areas which need developing and which the children already know.
The cold task therefore needs completing before the unit is being taught giving you time to plan the unit effectively. The cold task is best to be completed in topic writing so that it does not take any English time away from the teaching of skills.
When planning, we always start with the desired outcome and plan backwards from that. Each week we focus on two skills specific to the genre being studied. These skills are examined in the model text so that features are understood. The skills are then practised and applied by the children. The children then plan their writing which will incorporate the skills so that the children are ready for the final stage where they produce their writing.
The children’s final writing is the Hot Task. This is assessed against the year group standards and the progress from the cold task is measured as a percentage increase. Children should use their previous learning in their writing so ‘banked learning’ is seen.
How writing looks in lessons:
Writing in Year R:
Children begin their journey towards writing by mark making. This starts with scribbles, squiggles and symbols and then as fine motor control as is strengthen, into formal letters. Phonics plays its part in early writing and children should spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters. By the end of the year reception children should be able to write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
Throughout EYFS children have many Early Learning Goals. Here are their writing goals:
ELG: Comprehension Children at the expected level of development will: - Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary; - Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories; - Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.
ELG: Word Reading Children at the expected level of development will: - Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs; - Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending; - Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.
ELG: Writing Children at the expected level of development will: - 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.
Writing in Key Stage 1:
As children move into KS1, they are expected to write simple, coherent narratives about personal experiences and write about real events -recording these simply and clearly. They will also be able to confidently use full stops and capital letters accurately and question marks where appropriate. Present and past tenses will be used consistently and writing will be linked with co-ordinating (or/and/but) and subordinating conjunctions (when/if/that/because).
Writing in Key Stage 2:
Throughout KS2, children really take on their own style as writers and develop their own writers voice. They become confident writing for a range of purposes (this could be in a first-hand experience dairy entry or persuasive piece) and use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and place, pronouns, synonyms) within and across paragraphs. When writing narratives, settings, characters and atmosphere are written with thought and dialogue is added to narratives to express a character’s thoughts/feelings and to advance the action. Even in the upper years, handwriting is still as important as EYFS and lower KS1. Children will be encouraged to maintain legible writing when writing at length and individual writing habits, with regard to joined, cursive script, will be viewed as individualised writing style.
Texts being used in Term 1 to support the teaching of writing across the school:
Year R (Ducklings)
Years 1 and 2 (Butterflies)
Years 3 and 4 (Hedgehogs)
Years 5 and 6 (Foxes)
At Lynsted, grammatical knowledge and understanding is at the heart of every writing lesson and is carefully intertwined in many elements of the curriculum. Teachers ensure children are secure in their end of year expectations through developing a love of writing accurately.
GPS Progression Cover:
Spellings are taught three times a week in differentiated sets and are tested weekly. Year R/1/2 (and for specific individuals) phonics is taught using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and years 2/3/4/5/6, use No Nonsense Spelling.
Direct Teaching (10 mins)
- Revise – Activate prior knowledge. Revisit previous linked learning.
- Teach – Introduce new concept. Explain. Investigate. Model.
Application (10 mins)
- Practise – Individual/group work. Extend/explore the concept independently. Investigate.
- Apply/Assess – Assess through independent application. Explain and demonstrate understanding.