At Greenleas English writing is fundamental to all learning across the school curriculum. We help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively, accurately and creatively through written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We deliver the National Curriculum through the Big Write Programme supplemented by other appropriate resources such as Read Write Inc Spelling and Pen Pals for Handwriting to achieve the standards of creativity, accuracy, fluency and resilience our children deserve to be successful learners in their follow on schools.
Our principles for Writing are:
English lessons in Years 1-4 are timetabled for the equivalent of five hours per week which includes three discrete handwriting sessions. Daily phonics sessions are scheduled in addition to this time allocation in Year 1, in Year 2 – 4 this time is allocated to spelling.
Daily Phonics (EYFS and KS1) – Early reading and spelling is taught primarily through the Letters and Sounds synthetic phonics programme and also by regular reading with an adult to develop decoding and comprehension skills. Lessons teach phonetic spelling patterns in line with the national curriculum. Monitoring and Assessment for Learning strategies inform planned interventions and highlight any gaps in knowledge, ensuring that all children make progress.
Skills – children learn to write in different genres within these sessions. This includes identifying structural features of different text types and developing writers’ voice through the use of VCOP (Vocabulary, Conjunctions, Openers, Punctuation). GHaSP (Grammar, Handwriting and Spelling) elements are also taught in skills lessons and/or within discrete lessons. Children learn to apply these principles in all their written work.
Handwriting - children learn and are then expected to apply correct letter formations and early joins by the end of Year 1. In Year 2, joined handwriting becomes the focus and most writing should be joined correctly and consistently across all written work. When this is evident, children are rewarded with a pencil of perfection. In KS2 children learn to join all of their handwriting and are expected to apply this to all written work. When this is achieved, a pen licence is awarded.
Spelling - Read Write Inc. (RWI) activities are used in Years 2-4 to teach the spelling patterns specified in the National Curriculum and each unit is taught over a one or two week period. Children complete dictation linked to the current spelling pattern and this may be child or teacher-led in KS1. In KS2, a teacher-led dictation of curriculum words and spelling patterns is completed during alternate weeks. The sentences dictated link with weekly Big Write tasks, supporting children’s application of learned spellings. Spelling patterns are also shared with parents.
Big Write – Children are given time to plan their writing which provides an opportunity to share ideas with their peers. There is a focus on verbalising ideas before writing and shared or modelled writing is included in this session. Children are encouraged to include RWI and curriculum spelling words in their plans, as well as that particular week’s grammar focus. The Big Write provides an opportunity for children to write independently for a sustained amount of time, appropriate to their age. Afterwards children are encouraged to independently edit and improve their work as well as responding to feedback from teachers and/or peers. This is where most children will correct spellings using Look Identify Cover Write Check.