‘Trusting in God; Growing in Wisdom’

Becoming Writers

23 “I wish someone would write down everything I say.  I wish my words were written on a scroll.
24 I wish they were carved with an iron tool into lead or scratched on a rock so that they would last forever. (Job 19: 23-24)



At Whitegate CofE Primary School, we support children in developing a love of the English language that shines in their spoken and written words. We believe that literacy is not just an end in itself: it provides the key to unlock all other areas of learning and is the vehicle through which our children demonstrate their growing wisdom, thankfulness and understanding of the world.


Being able to express oneself clearly and succinctly is an empowering life skill which enables children to engage with life in all its fullness. From their first days at school, children will learn how to develop and hone their skills as a writer for a wide range of purposes. Our intent is to create engaged and enthusiastic writers who have faith and trust in their ability to express themselves creatively and imaginatively. Our writers will be able to re-read, edit and improve their own writing compositions through their confident use of the essential skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Children across the school are supported in their journey by adaptive teaching that ensures key gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills are identified and addressed so that they know more and remember more.




Writing across the school and curriculum follows the same pathway: 

  • Plan (pre-writing activities)
  • Draft
  • Edit (through proofreading for errors and revising to make improvements) 
  • Publish/Share (as appropriate for each task)

Each half term, teachers plan a detailed unit of work that is based on a carefully selected, vocabulary-rich vehicle text which is closely matched to the wider curriculum. 


These detailed units of work follow the same structure: 

  • Immerse 
  • Analyse
  • Plan
  • Write


Initial immersion in the vehicle text offers pupils the opportunity to enjoy, explore and respond to the language and concepts contained within the vehicle text. 

Central to our curriculum is our focus on the development of a rich vocabulary which is taught explicitly and modelled by adults in school. This approach to the acquisition of vocabulary supports the closing of the vocabulary gap for our most disadvantaged children and develops in all children a passion for the power and potential of language. Children are given opportunities to experiment with new vocabulary in both poetry and prose.


Children are taught to write with an increasing awareness of their audience and purpose through the analysis of both the vehicle text and the model text - an exemplar writing outcome which demonstrates the effective application of the key learning for the unit.


As well as analysing the model text through guided reading questions, the punctuation and grammatical features of the model text are also analysed to support children in developing their understanding of these skills. Structural features for particular types of texts are also analysed.


Teachers plan clear, sequential episodes of learning which align with the key skills and knowledge being learned in each unit. These episodes of learning allow the development of vocabulary and contextualised spelling, punctuation and grammar. Through working independently and collaboratively, in a range of writing opportunities, children are able to draw on their taught skills to plan and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.


Throughout the writing process, the teacher models writing and undertakes shared writing and guided writing to develop the children’s knowledge and skills.  The explicit teaching of editing (proofreading and revising) skills is incorporated into our sequence of lessons and pupils are encourage to work both independently and collaboratively with a peer to refine word and sentence level skills and to develop coherence within and across sentences, paragraphs and entire texts. 



Spelling rules and patterns are taught sequentially across year groups, along with National Curriculum year group spellings and vocabulary specific to a curriculum subject or project. Once children have completed the phonics programme, they are taught spelling through the Babcock No Nonsense Spelling Programme.  Children have lists of spellings to learn at home. Our children use a range of multi-sensory strategies to support their learning and, from Year 2, make use of spelling jotters to record key spellings and to ‘have a go’ at checking their spellings when proofreading their work.  



We aim to enable every child to develop a legible style of handwriting and to take pride in their presentation of work.

Children in Reception will learn to form letters without entry or exit strokes.  Children in Year 1 who are correctly forming letters will be taught to begin each letter from the line, or if ready, will be taught to join their writing. Children will be taught to use entry and exit strokes once they are ready to enable them to begin to join letters whilst still in Key Stage 1.  Handwriting skills are taught regularly across the school. Children who have not mastered correct formation in Foundation Stage will practise correct formation in handwriting books each day during handwriting sessions, beginning every letter from the top with the exception of d and e. They will learn to form letters in the following order:

c  a  d  o  g  q  

e   s   f

 i  l  t

u  y  j  k  

r  n  m  

h  b  p

v  w  x  z

Two terms are used to describe the joins between letters: diagonal joins and washing line joins.

Diagonal joins                                                                                                                                                                      

diagonal joins.JPG                                                   

Washing line joins

washing line joins image.JPG

Children will be encouraged to develop an increasingly mature style of handwriting during Key Stage 2 with increasing attention being paid to presentation of work, bearing in mind the purpose and audience of the writing. Handwriting is taught regularly acropss the school and may also incorporate a wider SPaG focus.



Every half term, our children produce high-quality, extended writing linked to the vehicle and model texts. These pieces are planned, drafted, redrafted through editing (proofreading and revising) and finally, when appropriate, shared or published as an opportunity for the children’s effort and pride in their work to shine.


A range of pupils’ writing from each class is on display in school each week as part of our Writer of the Week initiative. This gives children a further opportunity for their passion and engagement with writing to shine and be celebrated. 



Every term, pupils complete a ‘cold write’ task which enables teachers to identify any key gaps in pupils’ skills and knowledge. This assessment is further informed by the extended pieces of writing completed each half term linked to each class’s vehicle text. 


Writing and spelling analysis grids support teachers in their analyses and provide the starting point for how teachers plan to adapt their future teaching for all pupils, including  the lowest 20% of learners. 


Formal SPaG tests are completed in KS2 at the end of each year which provides additional information for monitoring pupils’ progress and attainment.


Pupils’ understanding, engagement and confidence in relation to their writing is also regularly ascertained through pupil voice which gives pupils the opportunity to demonstrate how they have grown in wisdom in relation to their writing.


Each half term, at the end of each stage of the phonics programme, children complete a phoneme recognition assessment. For further information on our Phonics programme, please see our Reading curriculum page: http://www.whitegate.cheshire.sch.uk/page/becoming-readers/26768 


If you have any questions about our writing curriculum, please contact Mr Thomas (subject lead) via the school office.


Thank you


What our pupils say about Writing:

“Writing is not just something we do, it’s an adventure!”

 “Writing is my favourite lesson!”

 “I feel proud when I finish my writing and excited that I might be Writer of the Week.”

“I like playdough to make letters. I like to walk my fingers in the letters and play cars in them.”

 “Writing makes my fingers strong and I like long sentences because it helps my mind get smarter.”

“I like writing about mythical creatures because it brings you into your own world.”

 “Writing makes my fingers strong and I like long sentences because it helps my mind get smarter.”

“I like planning before writing and going back to improve it when we proofread and revise it.”

“I like letting my mind wander and having the freedom to use my imagination. When I start, I can’t stop – I love it!”

 “I love learning new vocabulary and using it in my writing.”

“I like sharing my writing with other people, especially when it inspires them and gives them ideas.”

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