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Writing at KS1 & KS2

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:


Children in EYFS will:

• practise a correct pencil grip
• be taught the correct start and exit points for each letter, which should not include ‘lead-in’ strokes from the line

Children in Year 1 and Year 2 will:

  • practise pencil grip as required
  • be taught the correct start and exit points for each letter, including ‘lead-in’ strokes from the line i.e. continuous cursive handwriting
  • form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another.

Children in Year 3 and Year 4 will:

  • use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left un-joined.

Children in Year 5 and Year 6 will:

  • write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed and deciding whether or not to join specific letters.


Sequence of cursive handwriting / joins

Letter families should be taught, as grouped below, which follow a similar pattern.  All letters start on the line – see below for clarification on individual letter formations in the continuous cursive style.


Ladder letters:

l, i, j, t, u, y

Curly letters:

c, a, o, q, d, g, s, e, f 

One-armed robots:

r, m, n, h, b, k, p

Zig-zag letters:

v, w, x, z