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“The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions: transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).

It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.

Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.”

Writing: Purpose of Study from the 2014 National Curriculum.

What are we trying to achieve?

Our Writing curriculum is part of our ‘Big Idea’ of Human Creativity.

By the end of Year 2 our children are able to:

  • write simple, coherent narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real or fictional);
  • write about real events, recording these simply and clearly;
  • demarcate most sentences in their writing with capital letters and full stops, and use question marks correctly when required;
  • use present and past tense mostly correctly and consistently;
  • use co-ordination (e.g. or, and, but) and some subordination (e.g. when, if, that, because) to join clauses;
  • segment spoken words into phonemes and represent these by graphemes, spelling many of these words correctly and making phonically-plausible attempts at others;
  • spell many common exception words;
  • form capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower-case letters; use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters.

By the end of Year 6 our children are able to:

  • write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences, selecting language that shows good awareness of the reader (e.g. the use of the first person in a diary; direct address in instructions and persuasive writing);
  • in narratives, describe settings, characters and atmosphere;
  • integrate dialogue in narratives to convey character and advance the action;
  • select vocabulary and grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires, doing this mostly appropriately (e.g. using contracted forms in dialogues in narrative; using passive verbs to affect how information is presented; using modal verbs to suggest degrees of possibility);
  • use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials of time and place, pronouns, synonyms) within and across paragraphs
  • use verb tenses consistently and correctly throughout their writing;
  • use the range of punctuation taught at key stage 2 mostly correctly (e.g. inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech);
  • spell correctly most words from the year 5 and year 6 spelling list, and use a dictionary to check the spelling of uncommon or more ambitious vocabulary;
  • maintain legibility in joined handwriting when writing at speed.
Subject Themes
  • Writing – transcription
    • Spelling
    • Handwriting
  • Writing – composition
  • Writing – vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

How do we organise learning?

Over the course of a half term, the children go on a writing journey which ends in around three or four pieces of independent writing around a theme, which they immerse themselves in at the beginning of the half term through fun and engaging activities. The journey is divided into 5 steps which are explained in more detail below:

  1. Immerse – approximately 5 lessons
  2. Explore – approximately 1-2 lessons
  3. Plan – approximately 1-3 lessons
  4. Create – approximately 3-5 lessons
  5. Publish – approximately 1-2 lessons

Image of Combs Ford Primary School's Writing Journey.

Immerse: At the beginning of a half term, children will have the opportunity to delve into the theme of the writing by participating in a range of engaging and fun activities. This will get children excited and motivated about the theme for the half term and provide them with the context and understanding they will need to apply it to their writing. For example, in Year 4’s music writing theme, children experienced watching a live concert event online, a fun music movie, writing their own song lyrics and recording their own songs and videos for a class greatest hits album. Where possible, the immersion for a half term may also include a school trip and may have cross curricular links with other subjects to enhance their learning experience and make it more meaningful.

Explore: Our writing journey then continues with children exploring the conventions of each text type by looking at a wide range of examples, where they will gain an understanding of the content, structure, layout, language, punctuation and grammar features. They will then use this to create their own knowledge organisers for the text type. This will help inform the children’s writing checklist for them to check their work against in the ‘Create’ step.

Plan: The children will then have the opportunity to plan their own piece of writing. In this step, they will be given their PAT (purpose, audience and text type). Where possible, writing will have a purposeful meaning to it and be used in a variety of ways, for example, writing letters to a company, writing plays to be performed and stories to be read to children around the school. This step may also include sessions where they can develop and up level their vocabulary and have time to do some research within the theme if it will enhance their planning.

Create: The children will use their plan to independently draft their writing. The drafting will be broken into different parts where each lesson will have a specific objective. Children will have the opportunity within these lessons to access dictionaries, thesaurus, help cards and use plenty of peer support to produce their most accurate and successful writing.

Publish: Children will then have the opportunity to write a very best top-copy of their independently created pieces, where they write up all their parts from across the week in the ‘Create’ step in their very neatest handwriting and get to add features specific to that text type (pictures, captions etc). Once this writing has been assessed by the teacher and feedback has been given to the children, all the children’s work goes up on display outside the classroom.

Writing is taught for 5 lessons every week in across the school. This is shown in our example timetables.

Our Whole School Overview of Writing is in development for the academic year 2023-2024 - it will show when and what our children are writing about.

Click on the link for our Non-Negotiables for Writing.

How well are we achieving our aims?

Made with Padlet


Subject Leader: Mr Matt Wesley

Page reviewed on 19/02/24 by KJD.