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Writing logo 2
Writing logo 2


Subject Leader: Mrs Sharon Champneys

Link Governor: Mrs Julia Herridge


At St. Mary’s, our Writing curriculum aims to provide all children regardless of background or potential difficulty with the experiences, knowledge and skills so that they develop into confident writers who are able to write across a range of genres or text types and for a range of audiences and purposes.  

Writing is based on high quality books within our Reading Spine. These books are carefully chosen to appeal to children and to enable demonstrations of key writing skills. Wherever possible, we link our books to other curriculum subject areas as this deepens the children’s knowledge of the whole curriculum. 



In our EYFS classroom we use Drawing Club to inspire the children to want to write. The process of writing is ambitious and aligned closely with how Writing is taught in the rest of the school so that they are ready to move up to the KS1 curriculum when they move into Y1. 

Children are given reasons for writing, and it is taught in a fun and short-burst way as well as opportunities being given for children to use and consolidate their skills within play. The acquisition of ambitious vocabulary is prioritised in planning, alongside the teaching of fine motor control and mark making for a purpose. In the EYFS, teaching focuses heavily on creating a language rich environment to develop speaking and listening skills, listening to and responding to a range of stories and non-fiction texts and starting to make the links between phonics and writing for a purpose. 
Spelling is taught using Little Wandle and the expectations are ambitious for our children. 

KS1 & KS2 

From KS1 upwards, each year group completes a number of writing units. The journey of units has been mapped out carefully so that the children experience a broad range of genres, text types and themes as they move through school. As each unit is specific to the year group, this ensures that we also have a clear progression of skills and knowledge.  

A unit comprise of 3 types of lesson: experience lessons, short burst practise lessons, and independent writing:  

Experience lessons provide children with a stimulus that builds excitement about, and ideas to apply, to writing and helps to build quality vocabulary. Research shows that children with a wide vocabulary are more likely to be successful. 

Short burst writing lessons are based around a key plot point or grammatical device in the story. It builds up in small steps called learning chunks – within each chuck, time is made for discussion and collation of vocabulary and ideas, quality instruction around knowledge and skills and time for the children to apply those ideas, vocabulary and skills independently within sentences. The focus of these lessons is very much on quality rather than quantity and we encourage children to ‘deepen the moment’ rather than push on with the plot. 

Finally, the independent sequence of lessons, gives children time to consolidate what they have learnt and apply it to their own piece of writing. In this part of the sequence, children have time to edit their writing using the learning wall and other materials independently. They may also get to publish their writing for a specific purpose and audience, however, we do not make the children write up every piece of writing ‘into best’ as we want to maintain their pleasure in writing. 

At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, writing is taught 4x per week across the whole school.  We passionately believe that reading and writing are inextricably linked therefore studying the text in both reading and writing sessions encourages children to make links and become empathetic and ambitious writers. Long, medium and short term planning and the use of progression maps ensure that a variety of genres are progressively taught and built upon both throughout the year and throughout the school. 

Within each unit of work, sequenced lessons ensure that prior learning is checked and built upon and that National Curriculum objectives are taught through a combination of approaches/opportunities e.g. 

  • Opportunities to participate in drama & spoken language activities 
  • Exploring the features of different text types and modelled examples (e.g.) Spotting features in a WAGOLL – What a good one looks like)
  • Handwriting practise 
  • Vocabulary practise 
  • Shared writing (modelled expectations)
  • Discrete Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar lessons 
  • Independent writing 
  • Planning, drafting, editing, up-levelling and presenting 
  • Performing 

Writing is also a key focus in the wider curriculum. Children are given the opportunity to transfer and build upon their knowledge of a genre studied during English lessons and apply this learning to a topic focus. 


It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. During the foundation stage, children are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. In KS1, handwriting is taught in a systematic and progressive way which is adapted to support children of all ability levels. Teachers are expected to model the school’s handwriting style when marking children’s work, writing on the board and on displays around the school. 

Useful Documents



Spelling is a part of writing, and we want our children to be confident spellers to enable them to independently use ambitious vocabulary for whatever purpose they are writing. Through a rigorous and progressive spelling scheme we have developed based on the National Curriculum, we aim to teach children to use a variety of multi-sensory spelling strategies to be successful spellers (see spelling menus for more ideas). We recognise that children need to recognise and read words before learning to spell them but understand that the teaching of reading and spelling are linked.  

Children are also taught to  

  •  Spell accurately and identify reasons for misspellings. 
  •  Proof-read their spellings  
  •  Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills  
  • Use dictionaries and thesauruses.   


Spelling is taught through spelling patterns to enable children to recognise the likelihood of a spelling being correct through ‘Best Bets.’ Teachers plan the use of Common Exception Words linked to topics, as well as through the spelling patterns that are taught.  

Children are given time to explore the spelling patterns in the teaching input and then are given practise time to familiarise themselves with the spellings (using Look, Cover, Write, Check and other strategies from the spelling menu). Teachers highlight spellings throughout the week to draw the children’s attention to them and words are displayed in the classroom for children to refer to wither on walls or on resources that they can access independently. 

EYFS & KS1  

We do not test children in KS1 although the teachers do focus on spelling patterns and the children have word lists that they are working on in class.  

Reception and Year 1 children focus on the words within Little Wandle, our Phonics scheme.  

Year 2 children focus on 5 words per week, for 5 weeks per term on average. Lists will be sent out at the end of the previous term via email. Children will be grouped into two groups according to attainment, although this may vary for SEND children.  


Children in KS2 take words home to learn and are tested weekly; teachers plan for 5 weeks of spelling per term on average. We do not routinely report test scores to parents, but they may be discussed during parent/carer/teacher conferences. Parents/carers are very welcome to talk to teachers if they have any questions.  


Children will be split into two groups according to attainment. 5 weeks of lists will be sent out at the end of each term via email – the children will be given the next week’s words on the Friday. This may vary for SEND children.  

Y3  6 words per week until Term 3, then 10 words  

Y4  10 words per week  


Children will be split into two groups according to attainment: Group A will work on the current Year Group’s Spellings and Group B will work on the previous Year Group’s Spellings to consolidate them. All spellings will be given at the start of the year. Spellings may vary for SEND children.  

Y5  20 words, 12 tested  

Y6  20 words, 12 tested   


At St. Mary’s, we want to provide opportunities for all learners to achieve success in spelling. Some children will continue to find these spelling strategies difficult to use effectively and will need additional support beyond differentiated classroom activities. Support staff may lead additional multi-sensory spelling activities involving small groups or with individuals. Class teachers will liaise with the SENCO when considering the specific needs of some children. Where necessary, Individual Education Plans will include targets relating to spelling to help these children progress further. Some children will be assessed to see if the Nessy programme would benefit them; those that would benefit are given an individual login so that they can practise at home as well as at school.  

SEND children may work from a previous year group’s spelling, if these are deemed to be inappropriate by the class teacher, they may work on learning the First 100 or Next 200 Spelling lists. When testing some children will have extra needs.  This might be supported with extra time, a different space or no testing.   

All children will have an equal opportunity to work within this policy area. Account will be taken of specific needs and where appropriate support will be accessed through the SEND policy.  

Useful Documents

The following documents give you some ideas for helping your child.


Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps.  

  • Formative assessment grids (in line with the Bath Maintained Cluster Hub and Integra). These grids ensure that teachers know exactly where progress is made. 
  • Constructive marking with ‘next steps’ and ‘modelling’ in green where appropriate. Teachers leave next steps in books when marking to ensure that children know exactly what they need to do next to make progress in their writing and children are encouraged to respond to this in purple pen.  
  • As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards will improve and skills taught in the English lessons will be transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific spelling patterns.  

Senior Leaders monitor attainment and progress in Pupil Progress meetings 3 times a year, triangulating this information with the data on Target Tracker.  

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