At Coxheath, we are keen to develop a love for writing in our pupils. Through our curriculum, we aim to cultivate children’s creativity whilst also fostering the importance that writing has in expressing our thoughts and opinions. We want all our children to leave Coxheath Primary School feeling well-equipped and confident in being able to express themselves through the written language.
Currently, we are in a transition period where we are moving away from text driven outcomes to outcomes which have been chosen specifically because of the writing skills being taught. We firmly believe that teaching the children the purpose of those writing skills helps them to understand why they are used and when they are effective. This will enable them to be more proficient writers now and in the future.
In EYFS, where their writing journey begins, children focus predominantly on early reading so that they can make the connection between sounds, words and how these can be transferred onto paper. A range of strategies are incorporated to build strong fine motor skills to enable children to form the correct letter shapes and writing positioning. Mark making is encouraged and is made accessible for children throughout the provision using a variety of textures and tools. By the end of EYFS, children have begun to understand the process of building a sentence that has been modelled and scaffolded through teacher-led sessions and small group work.
When children transition into year 1, teachers build on the work from EYFS. Teachers focus on enabling children to be independent in building words as the curriculum states that ‘pupils’ writing during year 1 will generally develop at a slower pace than their reading. This is because they need to encode the sounds they hear in words (spelling skills), develop the physical skill needed for handwriting, and learn how to organise their ideas in writing.’ This provides them with the much needed skills for when they then focus on constructing sentences and longer pieces of writing.
In KS1 and KS2, the purpose of the outcome is shared at the beginning of the teaching sequence and then teachers use a range of materials as a stimulus. We try to incorporate books, short extracts, images, videos or real life scenarios to inspire and drive the writing process.
The teaching of writing is underpinned by high quality modelling of how we compose sentences and develop ideas. When children finish a piece, they will produce a final draft that is celebrated, which may include publishing their work for display.