"Writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers" Isaac Asimov
Our intent at Heartwood is that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn.
We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
We believe that all pupils should take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a neat, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
In EYFS, teachers have long term and medium term planning, ensuring that children progress in their pre-writing and writing skills, write for different purposes and reach their potential.
At Heartwood EYFS teachers plan in the moment, taking the children’s interests, so that the writing purpose is engaging, meaning and relevant to the children. The curriculum is unique for each child. Our classrooms act as the third teacher, ensuring that when an adult is not supporting learning, the children are learning and challenged through opportunities in the provision.
Teachers in Key Stages One and Two plan using the National Curriculum, paying particular attention to Appendix 2: vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.
Across the whole school, there are daily English inputs/lessons, which differ according to the age and year group of the children.
In EYFS, there is a focus on gross motor and fine motor skills, along with speaking and listening skills. Over time, the focus shifts to word reading, comprehension and writing.
In KS1 and KS2 teachers focus on sentence structure and construction.
RWI spellings are taught daily from Year 2, once children are in grey phonics group.
Handwriting is modelled daily and children practise frequently to ensure they have correct letter formation.
English lessons/inputs for the whole school always include explicit modelling from an adult and time given to orally rehearse. Children are taught to plan, write and edit their own work.
Children meet with authors (in person or virtually) to promote writing and a love of writing. Author Richard O'Neill recently visited Heartwood for some storytelling. Our children have enjoyed the experience of visiting Norwich theatre to see performances including 'Oi Frog' and 'The Gruffalo'.
Last year the children in Year 4 were part of the 'Imagine a Story' project, through the Southbank centre in London. They wrote a published short story, working alongside author Alexandra Sheppard and illustrator Allen Fatimaharan. We have been accepted again this year and so the children in Year 4 will be taking part and publishing their own book.
In response to the potential impact of the pandemic on writing we have additional grammar lessons and adults explicitly model throughout each lesson.
Making a Difference
By giving our children the tools and enthusiasm to be writers we are enabling them to flourish in life. By becoming independent writers who have a secure grasp of the purpose, grammar needed and audience of their writing they are able to unlock the wider world waiting for them.
We give our children the experiences of becoming published authors, meeting authors and visiting theatres - where writing has come to life, so that they can be immersed in the creative side of writing and love writing for pleasure.
We use the Read Write Inc approach to teaching spelling which compliments and works in succession with our approach to teaching early reading.
Click on the link below to find out more about how we teach spelling at Heartwood
At Heartwood, before we teach children to form letters correctly, we ensure that we develop their pre-writing skills: oral communication, developing an interest in reading, immersing in a print rich environment, being able to hold a pencil correctly and building strength in their hands. We follow the Read Write Inc approach to teaching handwriting.
Please see our policy below.