At Adswood Primary School our vision is that children will become confident, capable, enthusiastic writers who develop a genuine love for writing. They will use writing to express themselves and communicate to others and will write independently for a range of purposes. They will be become critical thinkers by reflecting on their own writing and their peers.
Writing begins with the physical development of fine and gross motor skills to enable children to pick up a pencil and begin to mark making leading to creative and confident writers through the primary years. Our children aspire to become ‘Adswood Authors’ and the chance to have their writing shared with and celebrated by the whole school.
In EYFS, these skills are developed through play based learning and activities such as ‘Jump start Jonny’ to develop core body strength and ‘Dough disco’ to strengthen the muscles in children’s hands. In both FS1 and FS2 we have a ‘Finger Gym’ where children can complete a variety of challenges that are all aimed at developing their fine motor skills. Across the EYFS we encourage children to write by firstly encouraging them to mark make. This might be with big chalks on the playground, with paint brushes dipped in water or experimenting with different textures e.g. sand/shaving foam. We are constantly modelling and exposing children to writing in continuous provision and taught sessions with the intention of encouraging children to form recognisable letters starting with those that are in their names.
We teach Literacy using ‘Talk for Writing’ in which we HOOK the children in with a story, then IMITATE the book, then INNOVATE it and then INVENT a completely brand new exciting piece of writing or drawings.
We also complement our Literacy teaching with ‘Tales Toolkit’ which the children’s imagination thrives on. ‘Tales Toolkit’ allows children to truly grasp the meaning of Characters, Settings, Problems and Solutions.
Motor skills are developed further through the whole school handwriting scheme, Penpals. This is taught daily from Reception through to Year 6. Children have their own handwriting books which demonstrates how their writing progresses from mark marking through to cursive script.
In our Phonics lessons we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme. This helps to support children to transfer sounds to print. Children are then encouraged to use their phonic knowledge in their writing. Letters and Sounds is a phased approach introduced in FS1 and continued through to Year 2. From Year 3 through to Year 6 children follow the No Nonsense Spelling scheme which covers spelling strategies and methods for learning commonly misspelt words for each year group.
From Year 1 – 6 we follow FOCUS Education’s Literacy scheme and use a recommended, age appropriate text to generate our own pieces of writing. Depending on the term’s Learning Challenge Curriculum focus, these texts are used to inspire the children to write a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry throughout the year. In the classroom, we have a Writing Toolkit and an English Working Wall which are constantly adapted to reflect learning within our classrooms. The Toolkit is also available for children to access using their ‘Booster Basket’ to support their learning. Our ‘Booster Baskets’ contain key information, such as spellings or key words to support children in their independent writing.
Furthermore, as a school we feel it is important to boost children’s confidence and self-esteem. Therefore, we showcase our best pieces of writing in our Writing Portfolios and use them to celebrate our progress in Writing. In addition to this, we select one child from each year group to become an Adswood Author. This gives the children something to strive for and we celebrate their writing in our Whole School Celebration assembly, the children are also awarded with their very own Adswood Author certificate and their work is showcased in our entrance hall!