Writing at West Grove

At West Grove, our writing curriculum aims to promote a love of writing that stems from exposure to a range of different genres and both fiction and non-fiction texts. This enables our pupils to become creative, independent and successful writers. Our writing curriculum provides opportunities for children to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas effectively. They learn how to use descriptive language, develop effective sentence structure and use grammar correctly in various writing outcomes. At West Grove, we have high expectations of punctuation, spelling and handwriting across all subject areas.

We pride ourselves in providing excellent opportunities for pupils to draw on their knowledge from the wider curriculum, including in history, geography and science. Through our writing curriculum, children learn how to effectively organise their ideas and present them coherently in a structured format. They learn how to write for different audiences and purposes and leave us as confident writers, well prepared for future success.

We follow the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach at West Grove. Children are exposed to three main phases which aim to develop effective writers: imitation, innovation and independent application. In the imitation phase, pupils are exposed to a model text and identify key language features, generating a writing toolkit for the text type. This gives the children an opportunity to explore elements of the genre and become fully immersed in the language and structure.  During the innovation phase, pupils engage in a range of targeted activities to guide their writing and develop their vocabulary and grammar. They work on using their understanding of the genre to adapt and explore changes and different events within writing – building their independence in writing. In the independent phase, pupils use their knowledge of the key language features in their own application which enables them to become confident, independent writers.

All pupils plan, draft and edit their writing and teachers provide specific feedback for children to edit and improve their writing before they produce a final piece they are proud of.  Pupils’ independent pieces are used to effectively assess their progress and attainment in writing at each stage of the curriculum.

Handwriting at West Grove

Early Years and Year 1 should be practising and learning the correct letter formations and sizing of upper case and lower case letters on a line. Children will learn to sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly. They will understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ (ie letters that are formed in similar ways) and to practise these.

As they move through to Year 2, children will practise letter formations by introducing joining tails to progress into cursive handwriting. They will practise the use of correct spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters. Letters written should be the correct size relative to one another and letters can be clearly identified as tall, short or long letters.

As they move up to Year 3 and throughout Key Stage 2, children will continue to practise joined letter formations ensuring they apply skills taught regarding tall, short and long letters on the line. Children should be using cursive handwriting with correct letter size, joins and legibility when writing. They will use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined.