At SMSG, we develop our writing skills as we progress from mark making in the EYFS, to using a range of sentence types in KS2. All teachers immerse children in the genre they are studying, through a wide variety of age-related texts and extra-curricular stimuli, then support children in the planning of their own writing. The writing process is clearly modelled by teaching staff and displayed on working walls in our classrooms.
As a school we endeavour to ensure that the writing genres chosen link to each classes project where appropriate. This cross-curricular creative approach ‘hooks’ children into their writing and ensures that they have opportunities to apply the knowledge gained in their project lessons within their writing. We follow the ‘Write Stuff’ framework, which enables teachers to model to pupils how to construct ambitious, highly effective sentences based on the skills (lenses from ‘The Writing Rainbow’) being taught within that lesson though sentence stacking. Pupils are then given the opportunity to have a go at using the skill before using their creativity to independently plan, write and draft their own piece of writing based on the same genre, in a similar style.
In EYFS, children have opportunities to practice their spelling as they learn a new phoneme-grapheme correspondence. They do this through spelling orally using segmenting and blending skills. In addition, as part of the programme, they are given daily opportunities to spell words containing learnt sounds. Once a week, they complete a consolidation lesson where they have to spell two or three other words containing sounds that they have been taught previously, this helps to ensure that their knowledge of each phoneme-grapheme correspondence is further embedded.
Children in Years 2-6, follow the Spelling Shed spelling programme with weekly dedicated spelling lessons. Each week, teachers select a spelling unit (based upon a spelling rule) which is introduced to the children. Children then complete tasks within the lesson, allowing them to apply newly learnt knowledge, with teachers regularly assessing the knowledge they have retained.
Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation
Teachers use the Writing progression grid and the grammar overview to help them plan their lessons ensuring the children develop the skills and knowledge needed within their year groups. As we use the Write Stuff approach within our writing lessons, many of the lenses focus on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation so children frequently have the knowledge to apply what they have learnt in context within their writing lessons.