English – Writing at KS1
Children begin the ‘Talk for Writing’ process by internalising a text. This is done in a range of ways including text maps, inventing actions for parts of the text and drama. The children learn the text by heart. They are able to identify key features of the text, sometimes independently and other times as a group or class.
Following on from this, the children then have to imitate the text they have learnt. They may make simple changes to the original text to alter it slightly. Once they have internalised the reworked text, they then have to ‘box up’ with a simple innovative change e.g. change of setting. Boxing up helps them to organise their ideas and acts as a plan for their writing.
The final part of the Talk for Writing process is ‘invention’. By now the children will have been equipped with the skills required for inventing their own text from beginning to end. They will come up with their own ideas and be able to box them up. They will then be able to produce an independent piece of writing showcasing their text.
English – Writing at KS2
We draw all our writing from the whole class text. We let the text guide us in terms of genre bearing in mind that many genres can be drawn from one text e.g. a diary extract, newspaper report, non-chronological report, instructions.
Children are taught how to write well by looking carefully at good examples (WAGOLLs - what a good one looks like) and considering how the author has phrased things and chosen words to create specific effects. Look beneath at example WAGOLLs which give an example of the breadth of different writing styles and genres that children are immersed in. The teacher will often demonstrate the writing process through shared writing, making her thoughts explicit throughout. Pupils are further scaffolded through working walls, spelling lists, dictionaries and thesauri. They are sometimes individually guided by the teacher and also have time to work with a writing partner to edit and improve their work.
We would expect children to be writing in a range of genres across the year and evidently using their literary skills across the curriculum.
English – Grammar & Punctuation:
Grammar and punctuation is always taught through the context of the whole class book.
English - Spellings:
In KS1, spellings are taught as ‘encoding’ through the daily phonics programme. High frequency (common exception) words are taught using single letter names, syllables and segments using look, cover, write, check.
For Y3-Y6 spellings are taught using the Read, Write Inc. spelling programme. It is taught every day for 20 minutes.
English - Handwriting:
Throughout the school, from EYFS to Year 6, pupils are taught to write using the cursive script. In Reception and Year 1, teachers and children use pre-cursive writing (letters have lead-ins and lead-outs). In Y1 we use wide lined books for the children to practise their handwriting. In Y2, the teacher uses her judgement about whether children should be using wide or narrower lines depending on the individual. In Y3 & Y4, the children use handwriting books with additional lines to support the children develop correct sizing in ascenders and descenders. In Y5 & Y6, it is anticipated that children will have mastered fluent, cursive writing and no longer specifically practise their handwriting.