‘Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe’
At High Halden Primary School we believe that writing is a means to communicate to an audience the full spectrum of human emotions and intent. All pupils should leave High Halden able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing.
We want our pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that the written word should be celebrated, nurtured and shaped into an economic and emotive tool for communication. In doing this, all pupils are encouraged to express themselves in their writing and to take pride in the presentation, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
As with all aspects of learning, we believe that good writers refine and edit their writing over time. Therefore teachers support children to develop independence in identifying their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
As a school we use the principles of Jane Considine’s ‘The Write Stuff’ to support the teaching and learning of writing. This framework does not limit pupils achievement in writing, providing all children with a scaffold to stretch their skills, deepen their understanding and express themselves creatively. Writing is broken into three zones of the ideas, tools and the techniques, using hooks and engaging topics, which are influenced specifically by the interest of children; capturing their imagination.
We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we support a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school. This includes open afternoons, ‘book launch’ events to celebrate children’s writing, parent workshops, sharing key skills and next steps at parents meetings or via class dojo.
Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Teachers use the Spelling Shed to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test to review these. When marking work, teachers identify up to three words that children have spelt incorrectly from within that child’s known ability and they write these on a post-it note for the child. Children are then encouraged to identify these incorrect spellings in their own writing and correct them, using this as a reminder for further pieces of writing across the curriculum.
Grammar and Punctuation:
Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre provides children with real life contexts and gives greater meaning and purpose to the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand alone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.