Writing at Stalmine Primary School
Writing is a fundamental life skill. Alongside oracy, reading and numeracy, writing is key to allowing children to succeed not only in school but in life.
When teaching writing at Stalmine School, children will develop the skills allowing them to leave school with the ability to write to express themselves; to inform; to share and demonstrate knowledge and for enjoyment; to entertain through stories and narratives for a range of audiences. We teach children to select strategies to engage with, understand and appreciate what they are writing.
At Stalmine School, we use the Talk for Writing approach. Talk for Writing is a methodology created and developed by Pie Corbett and Julia Strong. A key feature of Talk for Writing is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.
Writing is supporting through our reading curriculum at Stalmine School, enabling children to draw upon a wide range of authors, writing styles and models. We want our children to leave experiencing examples of writing from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and cultures.
For more information about Talk for Writing view the website here.
Grammar: Fundamental building blocks to writing
Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. Grammar is most effective when taught in the context of reading and writing; either in the context of the linguistic demands of a particular genre or the writing needs of a child. We take a pragmatic approach to the teaching of grammar and believe effective grammar teaching takes place in meaningful contexts. Playing with words, investigations, puns, jokes, and rhymes can all enrich and inform grammatical knowledge and understanding and develop a genuine interest in how language works. Teachers encourage children to explore language based on children’s needs and also areas of the National Curriculum to be covered by the year group. Teachers use the appropriate grammatical meta-language when talking about writing ensuring children learn the appropriate terms. The teaching of grammar is carefully embedded within English lessons. It is coherently sequenced so that it revisits previous learning but in new contexts and develops new skills for each unit.
Spelling and Phonics
Accurate and competent spellers need to spend less time and energy in thinking about spelling to enable them to channel their time and energy into the skills of composition, sentence structure and precise word choice. By the end of year 1, pupils should be able to read a large number of different words containing the GPCs that they have learnt, whether or not they have seen these words before. Once pupils have learnt more than one way of spelling particular sounds, choosing the right letter or letters depends on their either having made a conscious effort to learn the words or having absorbed them less consciously through their reading. Younger pupils have not had enough time to learn or absorb the accurate spelling of all the words that they may want to write. Phonic knowledge continues to underpin spelling after key stage 1; teachers should still draw pupils’ attention to GPCs that do and do not fit in with what has been taught so far. Increasingly, however, pupils also need to understand the role of morphology and etymology.
Spelling strategies, linked to phonic knowledge, are taught explicitly following the No Nonsense Spelling scheme and applied to high-frequency words, cross-curricular words and individual pupils’ words.
Our writing curriculum is constantly reviewed and adapted to suit the needs of our pupils. Each half term pupils cover at least 1 non-fiction, 1 fiction and 1 poetry unit. Model texts for each unit are carefully chosen to ensure that the spelling, grammar and tools required reflect the requirements of the National Curriculum.