Faith in Everyone to Shine Brightly
College Road, Purton, Wiltshire, SN5 4AR
WRITING AT ST MARY'S
English Leads: Helen Fudge & Dianne Palmer
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:
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.)
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.
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:
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.
}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