St Mary's C of E Primary School & Nursery

Faith in Everyone to Shine Brightly

College Road, Purton, Wiltshire, SN5 4AR

01793 770239


English Leads: Helen Fudge & Dianne Allsworth

Link Governor: Julia Knowles

   ‘Faith in Everyone to Shine Brightly’ 




At St Mary's we consider every child's ability to express themselves through skilful, accurate writing to be an essential life-skill that underpins their successful education and their successful future.

Writing for Purpose

Children write well when they are immersed in, and engage with, high-quality texts. We build on our school's 'reading for pleasure' focus by basing much of our English writing curriculum around the use of quality texts in each year group.

Children are encouraged to write creatively, informatively, accurately and effectively through four different writing purposes. These are categorised as:

  • ‘Writing to Inform’ (in Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2);
  • ‘Writing to Explain(in Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2);
  • ‘Writing to Persuade(in Key Stage 2); and
  • ‘Writing to Discuss' (in Upper Key Stage 2).

These types of writing are used and applied across other subject areas in our planned and taught curriculum. (More information on what component knowledge and skills are taught to produce each type of writing purpose can be found in the document below.)



Early Writing

In Early Years, a wide variety of materials are available to develop the fine- and gross-motor skills essential for pencil control and the formation of writing. These include manipulating play-dough, cutting, threading, using chalks, paintbrushes as well as use of a range of tools. Every class in EYFS and KS1 utilise their dedicated outdoor space to encourage the children to 'make marks' both indoors and out, as they access a range of materials independently. Such experiences are carefully planned to promote the development of writing skills.

Inspiring Writing

There are a variety of opportunities provided for children to engage in writing activities, such as shared writing, role play, writing labels and captions, recipes, lists and menus. Writing during the emergent writing phase, as well as in their later years, is routinely and overtly valued and celebrated, for example, through being displayed on our ‘How We Shine’ board (a feature of every class across the school). Writing is also taught formally each week, featuring modelling by the class teacher, and this work is often based on a quality text and/or linked with the classes 'big questions'

Teachers across the school carefully plan a wide range of experiences to enthuse, motivate and inspire the children to fuel their desire to write in different ways. These may include:


  • First-hand experiences: trips, visits, visitors coming into school, drama activities and themed/wow days. All these experiences give every single child a shared and tangible experience to write about.


  • Audience and Purpose: the children are aware of the reasons for their writing. Who is going to read it and where it will be published are important to the children and gives their writing a sense of purpose.


  • Cross-curricular opportunities: writing across the curriculum is important to us. It is vital that the children can transfer the skills they use to become writers in English across the rest of the curriculum.


  • Oracy: we plan in time for the children to voice their ideas and thoughts using talk partners, class discussions, debates and think, pair, share. They have opportunities for role play, hot-seating and other drama concepts to voice their thoughts before putting pen to paper.


  • Different types of writing: before beginning a unit of writing, the children are exposed to a range of examples of that text type. Some will be excellent examples to aspire to and others will be provided for the children to see how improvements can be made. These examples can take the form of simple captions and sentences, letters, poems, stories, character descriptions, recipes, reports, instructions and writing to inform or persuade.


  • Proofreading and editing: regular opportunities are provided for the children to proofread, make alterations and corrections to their writing. Termly editing stations lessons are now planned to focus purely on proofreading, correcting and re-drafting (Y5 & 6) to create a published piece of writing. 

Taking all of this into account, we developed our Writing Process Key Frame to encapsulate these key steps and enable all children to become independent writers. This can be viewed at the top of this page. 

Spelling at St. Mary's

We adopted the Spelling Shed spelling scheme in September 2022 for Years 2-6. This scheme compliments our vocabulary work through the use of etymology. The use of repeated practice, short-term retrieval and small step goal achievement is key to spelling improvement. Students will build on the firm foundations built whilst studying phonics in their early years of education. They will continue to break down spellings into the smallest units of sound and cluster them into syllables in order to read and write words efficiently. 



Governor Voice

}As the Governor responsible for monitoring the development and improvement of English, which includes reading and writing, I have visited all KS1 classrooms this year to see phonics teaching and whole class reading sessions in practise. I have also met with the subject lead in person and via zoom to discuss the subject improvement plans for both Reading and Writing, carried out a joint book look, reviewed targets and discussed strategies for improving the editing of work. I particularly enjoyed observing the enthusiasm and energy of both staff and pupils for the subject. . ~ Julia Knowles, English Link Governor