English - Writing
At Banstead Infant School we understand that English skills are essential to understand, interpret and communicate about the world and with each other. Through reading, speaking and listening (puzzling images) and writing, we not only communicate our ideas, thoughts and feelings, but also structure and make sense of our experiences. Skilled writers understand the characteristics of writing in many forms, and are able to adapt their style to suit a wide range of purposes. We aim to equip children with the skills necessary to do this, throughout the curriculum.
Our curriculum encourages children to:
- Enjoy using language in different contexts and have the confidence and ability to do so.
- Write with confidence, clarity and imagination.
- Understand how to write in a range of genres in fiction and poetry, using some of the structures of narratives in relation to character, plot and setting.
- Write non-fiction texts, using the features of different forms.
- Use a range of spelling strategies and apply them in their individual work.
- Develop a fluid legible handwriting style and take care with presentation of their work.
- Develop a technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their writing.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) the teaching of writing is based on the area of Literacy. In Key Stage 1 (years 1 and 2) the teaching of writing is based on the National Curriculum for English and what we know and believe is successful in teaching children to write. Each year group uses suggested high quality texts from the CLPE ‘Power of Reading’ teaching sequences in conjunction with topic related writing, to enhance reading comprehension and provide meaningful contexts and purposes for writing.
Children are taught writing skills during English and through the creative curriculum which links English sessions to the classes’ current topic and may be cross curricular. Opportunities to apply and practise these skills are planned across a range of subjects and situations by the class teacher. Children have individual writing targets and are expected to work towards these in all their writing. They are monitored by the teacher and pupil on a regular basis and new targets set when necessary according to individual needs.
Children are given opportunities daily to develop their fine motor skills, pencil control and letter formation. Different genres of writing are introduced and modelled (e.g. lists, cards, captions, speech bubbles) and children are supported and encouraged to write in these forms. They are taught phonics and encouraged to use their phonetic knowledge in their writing. When modelling writing teachers focus on basic sentence structure (capital letters, finger spaces and full stops).
Children are given opportunities to develop their pencil control and letter formation. Different genres of writing are introduced and modelled in whole class shared writing over the year. These genres are taught through a hook, for example a high quality text or poem. Children are discreetly taught SPAG skills through teacher modelling, they are then highlighted through ongoing success criteria and the children are encouraged to apply what they have learnt in their own writing. In year 2 children are expected to take responsibility for making the recommended changes in their writing and implementing next steps.
We aim for our pupils to develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters that leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.
By the end of Year 2 pupils will begin to understand the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letter forms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.
Pupils should experience coherence and continuity in the learning and teaching of handwriting across all school years and be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work. Our aim is for our pupils to
develop a handwriting style with a sense of achievement and pride. Handwriting is a cross-curriculum task and will be taken into consideration during all lessons. Formal teaching of handwriting is to be carried out regularly and systematically to ensure Key Stage targets are met.
Practise the letters in their ‘families’:
- Write the letter, talking through the formation e.g. start here, round, up, down and flick
- They write the letter in the air, on their hands, on each other’s backs, in sand/foam, with paint and chalk, using roll & write and bobble write, talking through the formation each time
- Write the letter on the sugar paper – check formation each time
- Write in handwriting books – each letter large at the top – rainbow writing
- Write each letter on the lines for them – highlight the size – short or tall
- Children practise each letter
- When formation and size is correct and they can do it several times, they can use the letters in words
When children are ready they should begin to join digraphs/trigraphs to support the embedding of phonics.
Correct Posture and Pencil Grip
Pupils should be taught to sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly. Both right and left handed children should be encouraged to use the tripod grip which allows the pencil to be held
securely whilst allowing controlled movements of the pencil nib.