Intent and Overview
At Stanford, our children will be young writers, becoming articulate and imaginative communicators, well-equipped with the basic skills they need to express themselves effectively. We want our children to view writing as a lifelong skill that continues to develop, whatever our age.
Our children develop a genuine love of language and the written word, through a text-based approach which links closely to our reading curriculum. Children master the knowledge and skills required to choose and use the appropriate genre, form and formality. Children will write for a purpose and a variety of audiences to ensure they see themselves as real writers. We encourage children to take ownership of their writing, from initial ideas through organising, planning and editing to final publication if appropriate, and to mirror this process throughout the wider curriculum.
Texts for Writing
Quality texts, films, artefacts and real purposes for writing feature at the heart of the writing curriculum. Texts are chosen for their stand-alone quality and will, on occasion match to the wider curriculum for the benefit of context and purpose.
Planning flows from the building blocks of securing spoken language, a rapidly developing vocabulary and short, purposeful written texts in the EYFS to developing and mastering a secure grasp of grammar through to Year 6. Planning supports the development of each genre for writing and identifies desired outcomes to ensure there is breadth and depth in writing opportunity.
Handwriting and Presentation
Children are taught to write in a fluent, cursive style. As they get older, speed and resilience are encouraged and practised, and are introduced where appropriate to different lettering e.g., print for maps and labels. All classes have a weekly handwriting lesson, following the Letter-Join programme.
The Importance of Building an Ambitious Vocabulary
For children at Stanford, the building of vocabulary in all English lessons is of paramount importance. Language development and vocabulary building begins in the Early Years and continues into Key Stage One and Two through thesaurus and dictionary work. We also use the PiXL Unlock programme that teaches the children to use words in context and to consider their suitability for effect through using ‘shades of meaning’ techniques. A study of prefixes, suffixes, antonyms, synonyms and etymology begins early to encourage a curiosity and love of words and their meanings. Children are encouraged and rewarded for experimenting with new vocabulary and are encouraged to use words in full sentences from the outset.
Talk For Writing
At Stanford, we plan and teach our lessons through the Talk for Writing approach.
Children start with a cold write which indicates their starting points and informs teacher planning for future lessons. The children then go through the process of orally rehearsing their ideas and planning in detail. Following this, children are taught using a mixture of modelled, shared and guided writing leading onto an independent write, showcasing the skills they have learnt.
This approach supports the children in becoming confident and motivated writers, and encourages them to recognise the importance of having a clear purpose, audience and structure when writing.