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Writing at Springwell Park


Our approach to writing lessons have been implemented based on extensive research and planning. Our curriculum has been planned with progression in mind, where children are constantly consolidating their skills by building on prior taught knowledge. Our writing sessions are high quality text focused, with the selection of texts being mapped out on our Long Term Plan in order of progression. 


Early Writing (EYFS) 

We understand that writing is an incredibly complex skill. Before children can hold a pencil, they need to be able to sit  up and move their arm independently of their body. They need to be able to isolate their fingers to hold their pencil. To write, they first need to visually understand the difference between letters. And, then they need to remember how to form the letters. Before this, they also need to have success with pre-writing shapes.


Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Our children in Early Years are given ample opportunity to develop their fine and gross motor skills – we completely recognise that this is the start of the writing journey. The children develop their upper body strength before developing their hand control. Our fine and gross motor skill activities are progressive across our EYFS years and are a mixture of adult led and within the provision, both indoor and outdoor. The quality activities are mapped out on our medium-term plans.


Letter Recognition and Formation 

The children in Early Years learn to recognise letters and read through our phonics programme, Read Write Inc (please read our Reading Bible for more information). Our children start this approach in summer term of nursery, ready for reception. The children begin this journey by learning the single sound rhyming phrases and begin to encounter letters. In reception, the children start begin doing whole class set 1
single sounds. The children learn to recognise the single sounds, with letter formation being conducted and taught in small, adult led groups. The children are then assessed and placed in progress groups. Within their new groups, the children will continue to practice their letter formation, before moving on to writing words, using their phonics knowledge. The children complete this work within their lined phonics books. Progress is closely monitored by the class teachers and Reading Leaders, with additional interventions in place for those on track.



Adult Led Writing Activities 

Our writing activities are high quality text focused. Our focus texts have been planned with progression in mind and are in order of challenge. The children are taught writing skills through adult-led activities and complete their independent writing in small, adult leg groups. The children commonly write CVC words, phrases, captions, speech bubbles, posters, and finally simple sentences. Within reception, the Pie Corbett ‘Talk for Writing’ model is used to develop pupils’ understanding and retelling of familiar stories. The children create story maps which they then use to recreate their own stories. The children in reception complete their writing activities within their literacy books and this is used to form the teacher’s judgement.


Continuous Provision

Writing opportunities are always planned for within our continuous provision, both indoors and outdoors.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our provision activities. The activities are planned within our medium-term plan to ensure they are relevant and of high quality. Our high-quality continuous provision activities enable our children to apply their skills independently.


Writing Curriculum 

Writing lessons are planned with our 'Springwell Writing Journey'. Our writing journey has been designed with metacognition in mind (it enables children to revisit prior taught learning). Proof-reading and editing is taught discretely at Springwell Park, so that the children can independently improve their own work throughout the whole of the writing journey. 


Our Springwell Writing Journey: 

  • Immersion -The children complete a 'book hook' so that they are immersed into the class text. The children then enjoy revisiting prior grammar learning, before embarking on new grammar activities linked to the class text. The children have ample opportunity to apply their taught grammar skills into small bursts of writing throughout the immersion process. 
  • Imitate - The children are then introduced to their intended piece of writing. They will have opportunity to explore the features of the piece of writing and complete a WAGOLL (what a good one looks like). 
  • Invent - The children will be able to use their taught knowledge, as well as their understanding of the features of writing, to complete an independent piece of writing. The children will have opportunity to proof read and edit their work before it is marked by the teacher. 



The ‘book hook’

The children will be introduced to the high-quality text. The children will be ‘hooked’ into the book via a high-quality activity and/or experience. The book hook does not necessarily have to be an activity in the writing books, but should be evidenced with the use of a learning receipt. The purpose of this is to engage the children and therefore utilise their interest to create quality pieces of writing.


Once the children have been ‘hooked’ into the book, they are then immersed into the text through a variety of activities, such as role play, comprehension work, investigating the text in depth and exploring author choice of wording and phrasing.


Texts have been carefully selected due to the high level of vocabulary. Vocabulary is a focus throughout the whole school, and this should be explored within the book. Children should be given the opportunity to explore the meaning of new words, including their definition and their effect. Key vocabulary should be added continually to the working wall.


Children should be given the opportunity to revisit previously learnt grammatical skills from a previous focus book/unit of work. This offers the children the chance to consolidate a previously learnt skill and enables them to recall it from their retained, long-term memory. Children should then be taught new grammar skills and year group objectives.


Children will be given the opportunity to complete short bursts of writing throughout the unit of work. This enables the children to apply their skills in writing (both retained skills taught previously and new skills).

Proof-reading and editing

Proof-reading and editing should not be limited to after a piece of independent writing, but instead taught discreetly and revisited often throughout a unit of work. After every piece of short writing, and prior to the teacher marking it, the children should be able to proof read and edit their work.


Children will be given the opportunity to explore the key features related to the particular piece of writing. This is essential before the writing process. For example, the key features and purpose of instructions, of a letter, and so on. This is particularly important for children who will have no personal life experience of reading instructions or of writing and sending a letter. Teacher judgement to be used to deem if this is necessary – have your children previously completed this form of writing with you? Do they need to go back over the features?


There will be a big focus on modelling. The teacher will model each stage of the writing process for the children to use and alter to build their own text. The teacher will model high expectations of handwriting and how to effectively use the working wall.


The children will use their retained skills and skills taught in this unit of work to plan an effective piece of writing. Children will be using the school’s planning document and be able to plan a coherent piece of writing where they can apply all taught skills.


Children should complete a piece of independent writing. The children will know that a high level of expectations and presentation will be expected, and use their planning document and independently access available resources to complete an independent piece of writing.

Proof-reading and editing

As the unit of work progresses, the children’s independence with proof-reading and editing should increase. The children should, after every single piece of writing, have the opportunity to proof read.



Vocabulary is a priority for our children right across the school. There is an expectation for the teachers to continually model high expectations with standard English and use a range of vocabulary to ensure that the children encounter new words. All of the high-quality texts have been specifically chosen due to the fact that they lend themselves well to an exploration of vocabulary, progression of skills and strong themes. There is an expectation for the key vocabulary within the quality text to be explored with the children. The exploration of vocabulary features within our teaching of reading and writing. Within the immerse section of the writing process, the children are able to explore the vocabulary within the book through high quality activities planned by the teacher. The children explore the definition of the words, as well as the effect the words had within the text. Key vocabulary is also added to our working wall and incorporated into a word bank. Our teachers model using these resources during the imitate part of the writing process to model good practise.


Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar 


Our children in EYFS and year 1 learn to spell through their phonics sessions. Grammar and punctuation are taught within their writing session. Children between years 2 and years 6 have a dedicated and discrete SPaG session for 30 minutes every day. We follow Spelling Shed within these sessions as a scheme of work and for resources and activities. The spelling lessons follow a four-part lesson (the revisit, teach, practise and apply approach using spelling rules and patterns), with the lessons providing opportunities to consolidate and revise grammar and punctuation skills previously taught, with a focus on sentence structure, to reinforce the application of the spellings in context. We ensure that our SPaG sessions aren’t just about children memorising words. We have worked hard to ensure that our sessions are meaningful and, through effective teaching and assessment, the children are able to retain the information and apply it to their writing. We ensure that we take time to study and analyse words, including but not limited to, word families, synonyms, and etymology (the history of words, root words, and prefixes and suffixes). Examples of some of the questions we continually explore when investigating words are;
• How many syllables does the word have?
• How many sounds does the word have?
• What spelling rules are associated with this word?
• Does the word have a prefix or a suffix?
• Does it have any silent letters?
• Does it have a long or short vowel sound?
Our children have one weekly spelling test to assess the children’s understanding of the spelling rules that
have been taught. The children complete a spelling test containing ten words and three sentences, where they independently apply the word within a sentence that is dictated to them by their teacher.


Writing Assessment 

Children’s writing is assessed against the national curriculum objectives. What the assessment and marking looks like depends entirely on what section of the writing journey the children are up to it. Proof-reading and editing features throughout the writing process, and always before the teacher marks the work.

Immerse – When the children are within this part of the writing journey, they will complete incidental writes to apply prior taught knowledge and showcase their skills with the current grammar objective. These short bursts of writing form part of the teacher’s assessment of the children’s ability. After a teacher has marked a piece of short writing, there is an expectation that the pupil will understand how it can be improved next time so that they can apply those improvements during the invent section of the writing process.

Imitate - During this section of the writing process, the children would explore the features of the intended piece of writing – this is assessed by the teacher to ensure that the children are familiar before they begin the extended pieces of writing. The children would then complete a guided write – this is marked by the teacher, which will help the children with their independent write.

Invent – The invent section is where the children complete their own independent write. At Springwell
Park, teachers plot children on a whole-class summary sheet according to their assessment criteria. This

summary sheet will inform future planning and ensure that the children make progress. After a piece of independent writing created through the invent section of the writing process, teachers use the ‘Teacher Moderation Toolkit to support their judgements and inform moderation of work. Each teacher has a hard copy of this, as well as an electronic copy on the shared drive.

Internal Moderation – We regularly conduct internal moderation to ensure that judgements are agreed throughout the school and that standards are consistent.