At St. Gregory's, we aim to provide children with not only the tools to write but with a range of ideas so they know what to write about. We do this by basing each unit of work around a high quality text so pupils can develop ideas for their own writing. Teachers regularly write with the children to scaffold the writing process and we put a huge emphasis on vocabulary, which is evident on displays around the school. We believe that children need purpose and structure for writing, as well as the confidence to experiment with language and build on their knowledge over time.
We believe that Reading and Writing go hand in hand. We hope that by instilling a passion for reading in our pupils by sharing texts and writing together, our pupils will really develop deeper understanding of the purposes of writing. Please speak to your child’s class teacher about what their year band will be reading over the year. You may wish to encourage children to read books from the same/similar authors as it will widen their awareness of the particular author’s writing style and hopefully introduce them to some new vocabulary along the way.
Foundation stage and Key Stage 1
In Reception, children will start to learn how to form letters correctly. They will be encouraged to use their knowledge of phonics to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. By the end of the year, they will be expected to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others.
In Year 1 and 2, children will be taught how to write a sentence by saying out loud what they are going to write about, put several sentences together and re-read their writing to check it makes sense. They will also be expected to discuss what they have written and to read it aloud. Children learn to write for a range of purposes, including stories, information texts and poetry. This will relate to what they are reading as well. Children are encouraged to plan what they are going to write and to read through their writing to make corrections and improvements.
Key Stage Two
In Years 3 and 4, children are encouraged to draft and write by talking about their writing. They will continue to learn how to organise paragraphs and, if they are writing non-fiction, to use organisational features such as headings and sub-headings. When they are writing stories, they will learn to use settings, characters and plots. Pupils will be expected to use what they know about grammar in their writing. It is essential that children take ownership of their work and we ask children to read through what they have written, in order to find ways to improve it.
In Years 5 and 6, children will continue to develop their skills in planning, drafting and reviewing what they have written. Again, it is essential that they re-read their work and understand the benefit of this. Children learn to identify the audience for and purpose of their writing. They will be expected to use grammar appropriately. In non-fiction writing, children will use headings, bullet points and other ways to organise their writing. They will be expected to describe settings, characters and to use dialogue in their stories.
As mentioned, vocabulary is an essential part of Reading and Writing. This year, we have started a ‘Spelling Box’ initiative. Each pupil will be given tailored spellings to learn each week. The pupils will be given chances to learn, practice and use their spellings throughout the week in lessons as well as chances to revise them at home. Teachers will also be putting an emphasis on the teaching of spelling rules to ensure children are learning rules that they can apply to challenging spellings throughout their time at school.
Please see spelling strategies attached for ideas about how you can help your child learn/revise their spellings at home.
Handwriting and presentation is a huge part of the National Curriculum and something that St. Gregory’s pupils will focus on this year. As soon as they start to write, children will be taught how to correctly hold a pencil, practice forming lower and upper case letters in a correct and consistant size and use appropriate spacing between each word. As pupils move up through the school, they will concentrate on how to join letters correctly, use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined.
St. Gregory’s works with the National Handwriting Association to provide guidance for teachers and parents. Children in KS2 will also be given the chance to earn a ‘pen licence’ if their handwriting is legible and consistant. Once granted a pen licence, the school will provide one Nexus Handwriting pen to each child (parents/guardians are also able to buy additional pens, for use at home, from Miss Riley or Miss Pluckrose). This pen encourages correct grip and helps promote consistency across our school.
Please see the attached documents for each year bands specific targets. Every child is assessed in a range of ways and although your child may be in a particular year band, please see your child’s teacher for specific guidance about your child’s individual targets.