At Thomas Eaton Primary Academy we are passionate about developing writing across the school and the curriculum. It is important that all children are encouraged to write from an early age, starting with mark making using chalks, paints and crayons for example.
Writing is planned for within English lessons as well as in other curricular subjects using a range of writing resources: The Power of Reading, Talk for Writing and Mrs Wordsmith. This is to provide the children with vast opportunities to produce different forms of writing, considering the audience, and to give purpose and meaning to writing. Writing is modelled, shared and supported by the class teacher. This is vital in assisting the children with their own ideas as well as developing the ability to draft, proof read and edit their writing.
Following the National Curriculum, the children are taught writing skills which include Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG).
In EYFS and KS1, spellings are linked to the children’s phonics focus as well and the common exception words.
As oracy is a key skill we are developing, it is important that the children have opportunities to orally rehearse their sentences and read their writing aloud. This helps them to also ensure that their writing is grammatically accurate.
There are many SPaG terminologies which the children learn throughout their educational journey. For parents this can be quite challenging. The BBCBitesize has articles and games which are supportive and informative https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/primary .
It is important that children’s handwriting is legible. It is vital that each child learns to form letters correctly to be able to develop a fluent and joined handwriting style. Handwriting is modelled during daily sessions. We also encourage the children to take pride in the presentation of their work.
Alan Peat Exciting Sentences
Throughout the school we are using a system for teaching writing developed by the educational specialist Alan Peat. We teach children how to use particular types of sentences, which have a handy name, so that children understand what is meant whichever class they are in in the school. The sentence types are designed to help children to write exciting, sophisticated pieces of writing that use the right tone for their purpose. Some sentence types are more appropriate to non-fiction, and others, to fiction writing. See click here for examples.
Across KS1 and KS2 the children have been introduced to Mrs Wordsmith to help develop oral and written vocabulary. It encourages children to become adventurous word learners in an engaging approach. Three times a week the children learn a new word and its meaning. There are some interesting characters to meet along the way while learning the new words. Each word is grouped into a category: character, settings, taste and smell, action, emotion, and weather. In each session, the children participate using actions and orally rehearsing of the word. They are challenged to form sentences using word pairs, including the word of the day. When writing, the children have access to Mrs Wordsmith dictionaries and cards.
How you can support your child at home
First and foremost, talking to your child is key to developing confident writers. Children need to be able to explain and express themselves orally. Encourage your child to talk about their interests, likes/dislikes, the world around them. Support them in selecting adjectives to describe what they see, hear, smell, taste, touch and how they feel. Help them identify nouns (and be specific), e.g. tree, what type of tree? Horse Chestnut, Willow, Birch -it’s also fun to research together. Talking will also help develop their vocabulary and ability to add detail in their writing for the reader.
Dictionaries and Thesaurus’ are a fantastic resource to help with spelling and finding more adventurous words.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/primary BBC Bitesize Primary contains a wealth of subject specific information and games. Play and learn together.
https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/welcome-back/for-home/reading-owl/english--1 Oxford Owl has a ‘Jargon Buster’ section - a fantastic go to when your child tells you they have been learning about subordinate clauses, fronted adverbials and determiners.