At Betty Layward Primary, we strive to create an environment that will promote both reading and writing. In order to ensure that all pupils learn to be confident writers we encourage children to write creatively whilst teaching key writing skills explicitly and systematically.
Teachers plan sequences of lessons to build towards a longer writing outcome that is linked to reading, drama and other shorter writing tasks.
At Betty Layward Primary School, we believe that all pupils should be able to communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We strive to create confident writers who have a wide vocabulary, a secure understanding of grammar which they can apply to their writing and the ability to spell new words effectively by applying spelling patterns and using their phonetic knowledge. We encourage our pupils to write clearly, accurately, coherently and creatively by adapting their language to a range of meaningful contexts, purposes and audiences.
We teach spelling, handwriting and grammar explicitly to ensure that children are able to understand the conventions of writing so that they have the ability to manipulate language to create effects for the reader.
We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing. From Reception, all children will be taught cursive script and will present their writing in a variety of ways across genres for both English lessons and the wider curriculum.
Teaching of writing
At Betty Layward, we plan well-structured units of writing which give our children opportunities to develop as effective and creative writers.
Within in each half term, the children are taught a combination of Narrative, Non-fiction and Poetry.
Teachers plan and teach these units over the course of the half term. Within a typical school week, children write at least one extended piece of writing; which is matched to their ability. They are also given the opportunity to publish one of their written pieces each half term. This places value on children taking pride and care over their work as well as giving them the opportunity to have their writing celebrated by the whole class.
Teaching of Spelling
At Betty Layward we use the No Non-sense Spelling scheme of work to teach spelling from Year 2 to 6. Within each lesson new spelling concepts are taught, practised and then applied and assessed. Please see the typical lessons sequence below.
At Betty Layward, we integrate handwriting activities into spelling lessons. The benefit of making our spelling activities kinaesthetic, allows our pupils to acquire the physical memory of spelling patterns as well the visual memory of how words look.
In Reception and Year 1, spelling is taught through the Little Wandle phonics scheme.
Within the half term, teachers integrate the teaching of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) which is achieved through short burst writing tasks such as; poetry (for similes and metaphors or expanded noun phrases), recount (for use of subordinating and coordinating conjunctions) or letters (fronted adverbials or shifts in formality). Alternatively, SPaG is also taught through direct teacher instruction.
Handwriting is a is a complex process which requires a mastery of skills which, like reading and spelling, affects written communication across the curriculum.
Children must be able to write with ease, speed and legibility and in order to do so handwriting skills should be taught regularly and systematically. Pupils’ self-esteem is also heightened when they are able to take pride in
Aims and Purposes
• To develop a joined, confident cursive handwriting style that is clear, legible and fluent, which will free the writer to write and not worry about letter formation.
• To foster a positive attitude towards writing.
• To establish and maintain high expectations for presentation of work.
• To ensure that pupils’ recorded work is of real value to their learning.
Teaching of Handwriting
At Betty Layward we teach our children to write using the continuous cursive script (see appendix 1 for progression of skills). This script will be displayed prominently in classrooms.
Handwriting is explicitly taught from Reception to Year 6. In Reception and Year 1 children will have daily 10-minute handwriting lessons where specific letter shapes or joins will be taught. Across the rest of the school, children will have 2 to 3 20-minute writing lessons which will focus on specific letter shapes, joins or reviews of previously learnt letter shapes and joins.
Handwriting lessons will take the following format:
- Children are given opportunities to develop their gross motor skills through: soft play, physical Friday with use of bouncy hoppers, bikes and balance boards, climbing in the woodlands, large scale construction, balancing, use of balsa and yoga. As well as developing their fine motor skills through: threading, funky fingers, playdough manipulation, cutting skills, drawing tutorials, use of tweezer and small-scale construction. This allows the children to prepare their muscles for the process of handwriting.
- The class teacher models how to write the letter shape ensuring that each letter has a cursive entry and exit.
- Children are given opportunities during phonics lessons, focussed writing sessions and through wider provision to develop and extend their handwriting skills.
KS1 and KS2
- Children will begin the lesson with short gross and fine motor exercises to prepare the children for writing.
- The teacher will model how to write the letter shape or join narrating the process as they write.
- The children will be given opportunity to practise on their own whilst the class teacher and teaching assistant take a smaller focus groups.
- The class comes back together to review strengths and struggles from the session.
At Betty Layward we set high expectations for handwriting and presentation which will be upheld across all curriculum subjects. Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 will write predominately with handwriting pencils. All children in Key Stage 2 will write using handwriting pens. Teachers and support staff will act as a model when writing on the board or marking work, using a cursive style with accurate letter and number formation, as appropriate to the pupils’ level of development. All text displayed throughout the school, whether written or typed, will also model high expectations for handwriting and presentation. Typed text should predominantly use the HfW Cursive or the XCCW Joined font.
Pupils who display specific difficulties with handwriting will have these addressed through such resources as slanted writing boards, rubber pencil grips, using alternative writing media, etc. Individual cases may be referred to the SENCo, where necessary.
Incorrect letter/number formation will be addressed through marking and feedback as appropriate to the developmental level of the pupil as well as through daily handwriting practise.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
Assessment for learning is used:
- daily within class, through next step marking, to identify children needing intervention support.
- teachers complete one deep mark per child each week, to identify and respond to children’s misconceptions.
- Children complete at least two Gold Book each half term to allow them to independently consolidate what they have learnt in their writing lessons.
- Each term children from Year 1 to Year 6 complete an independent writing task which is focussed on where the children should be at to ensure they are at least, working at the expected standard.
- by SLT and scrutinised through the National Curriculum Target Tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.
No Non-sense Spelling scheme of work-Teaching of spelling plan
English programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2 -please click here