In nursery we develop a love of writing by using different forms of media. We learn how to manipulate our finders though messy play and fine motor activities. We use large scale mark making opportunities to develop our gross motor skills. We use scarf dancing and physical activities to develop bilateral integration. The adults model the purpose of writing throughout the day from carpet time activities and also in the provision. When the children are able to, we use the Little Wandle rhymes to promote good habits in correct letter formation.
Children use the skills of printing and letter knowledge from their early writing to learn to form lower-case and capital letters correctly. They develop their skills of segmenting and blending through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. This scheme provides the foundations for children to access the entire curriculum. From here, the children can start to write with independence, using short sentences with familiar words and known sound-letter correspondences. They learn to use the capital letter and full stop to demarcate these ideas. As they progress, the children learn to re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense.
In Year 1, children learn to tell stories orally and write short sentences. They also check back what they have written with their peers and teachers. The process includes saying out loud what they are going to write about, and then composing sentences aloud. Children develop their work by putting sentences together into short narratives.
As they move into Year 2, children will learn to create a wider range different types of writing for a range of purposes. These include fictional stories, non-fiction texts, and poetry. They learn to plan their work by writing or orally laying out a simple plan and then editing work they have already written. Children are encouraged to make simple additions, revisions, and corrections to their own reading.
In Year 3, the planning process is developed and children plan in detail, so that they include imaginative ideas where they talk about similar pieces of writing, and using these to help them plan their own, writing with a particular purpose in mind. They learn how to create settings, develop characters, and plots for stories.
There is an emphasis on continuously developing a rich vocabulary and a range of sentence structures. Children start to use simple organisational devices such as headings and sub-headings.
In Year 4, the children refine the skills they acquired in Year 3. They continue to plan in detail and use imaginative ideas from the quality texts that inspire their writing. This enables them to talk about similar pieces of writing, and use ideas from these to help them plan their own.
By Year 5 the children will be writing with increased confidence and an ability to write imaginatively and cohesively, choosing the right structure and tone for any given piece of writing. They are able to change their use of grammar and choose precise vocabulary, depending on what they are writing.
In Year 6, the emphasis is on polishing and refining pieces of writing so that children build upon their learning. They learn to write cohesively and choose the right structure and tone for any given piece of writing. In narrative pieces they are aware of describing settings, characters and atmosphere and can integrate dialogue to convey character and advance the action. Children start to modify their use of grammar and vocabulary depending on what they are writing and maintain a consistent tense throughout.
Children studied the story of Ernest Shakleton's journey to Antarctica, to create a descriptive narrative which focused on the feelings of the crew of The Endurance as they neared their destination. Their primary focus was to focus on the use of precision vocabulary in order to draw the reader into the story. In subsequent editing, children were required to work collaboratively to ensure that work was carefully proofread, edited and redrafted.
Year 6 also greatly enjoyed the challenge of rewriting a text aimed for a younger audience, so that it appealed to an older age group. For this purpose we used a text called, 'The Egg'. Children worked with real enthusiasm and tenacity to ensure their final polished pieces reflected high standards.