At Andoversford, we encourage children to become confident writers. Writing underpins a lot of our communication so it is a vital skill for pupils.
We teach children about the writing process, which includes generating ideas, drafting work, editing and checking.
The Importance of Talk
Before children can write their ideas, they need to be able to speak in clear sentences to share their ideas. We place a lot of emphasis on discussion and talk, especially in the Early Years. You can help at home by encouraging your child to talk when playing, helping around the house or just spending time having a chat. Sometimes new vocabulary or ideas are muddled when your child tries them out for the first time, so it can be helpful to repeat back the correct pronunciation or sentence structure to give them another chance to hear and try out the new words. At school we do lots of role-play and discussion based activities to help children explore language and learn to communicate their ideas.
The Development of Writing
It is no secret that some children can find writing tricky! Any it is no wonder - to write you have to master lots of skills all at the same time:
At Andoversford, we use a cursive handwriting scheme, called The Write Path. This scheme teaches children to form letters with feeder leader lines which helps when they are ready to start to join, which is usually in Year 2. We work with children individually to make sure that they progress at their own pace as their fine motor skills develop.
In Key Stage 2 we also explicitly teach children to write fluently in pen and we learn different fonts and styles so that children can make choices about the way they present their written work.
From Year 2, once children are secure with their phonic knowledge, we teach spelling patterns using The Spelling Book resources developed by Jane Considine. This approach is built on strong phonic foundations and includes a range of deep exploratory investigations, alongside short-burst ‘chunked’ revision activities. We support pupils to to self assess and monitor their own strengths and weaknesses in spelling so that they develop expertise and fluency.
Our spelling system is based on exploring and investigating spelling patterns rather than learning a list. We do not do a weekly spelling test - instead the focus is on investigating how to use the wealth of spelling patterns in written English! We want our children to feel equipped to tackle the challenges with joy, confidence and creativity.
What should I expect writing to look like?
Writing can be very subjective to judge, even for the experts! But you can find some typical examples of what writing looks like in each year group here:
The DfE have also created exemplification materials which show the expected standard at the end of each Key Stage. These documents are designed for teachers to use to help with their judgements. They also contain a description of how and why the expected standard has been met. You can find the exemplifications below: