Being a confident writer and understanding how to write both informally and formally, for different purposes and audiences, has a direct impact on our pupil’s skills, not only for the next stage of their education but also their future life opportunities. Writing helps us to do so much: explain; instruct; persuade; inform; communicate; stimulate our imagination and creativity; acquire new skills and experiences; achieve our aspirations and succeed in life.
Writing at Wodensfield is based around a range of exciting and engaging stimuli, which includes books, film clips, music videos, visitors and real-life experiences. Writing is taught through skill-based lessons, where pupils cover the writing objectives for their year group including the grammar and punctuation requirements (see the spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) page for more information on our school’s SPaG progression). Where appropriate, children have the opportunity to see examples of best practise for each text type (model texts), which enable them to identify the key skills and deepen their understanding of vocabulary, genre-specific structures and writing features. These skills build up to a final independent Big Write at the end of each unit, where pupils showcase their writing ability and evidence the skills and vocabulary they have been taught. Pupils are taught how to edit and improve their work following feedback from teachers and their peers. Pupils are encouraged to use their age-related skills across all areas of the curriculum. As a whole school, we have introduced a Word of the Day to extend and improve children’s vocabulary. We also capture vocabulary from other subjects to support children’s vocabulary acquisition and enable its application across the curriculum.
A selection of our talented Year 6 writers, who won a Local Authority writing competition during Black History Month. They won prize money to spend on books, which celebrated diversity, for all of their year group to read.
Our pupils are taught cursive handwriting guided by the Penpals handwriting scheme (Cambridge University Press). Penpals for Handwriting is a complete handwriting scheme that offers clear progression through five developmental stages: physical preparation for handwriting; securing correct letter formation; beginning to join along, securing the joins and practicing speed, fluency and developing a personal style. Penpals is focused on whole-class teaching using digital resources to enable modelling and interactive learning.
At Wodensfield, children are taught to spell through the Read Write Inc. (RWI) Spelling programme. The scheme is used from Year 2 to Year 6 and involves the teaching of the statutory spelling words from the National Curriculum (2014). Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings. See the SPaG page for further information.