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Eastgate Academy Writing Curriculum

Jackie Rutter

At Eastgate Academy we believe that writing is the ability to communicate our thoughts and feelings. It touches all areas of the curriculum and, if you do it well, you can change the world.

“You can make anything by writing.” - C.S. Lewis

From their first days at school, it is important that children understand that writing is a means of expression and a communication tool. We recognise the foundations for teaching the English National Curriculum begins in Early Years with the development of a high-quality programme planned within Communication, Language and Literacy.  

Our writing process begins in EYFS with exploring mark making and early self-expression. It then develops, through our phonetic programme ‘Sounds Write’, into discovering the wonderful world of word building.

Good writing is always rooted in reading. Confident writers read often and experience high quality texts across a range of genres which reflect a range of writing styles. From EYFS to Y6 our writing programme is delivered through ‘The Power of Reading’. These carefully chosen texts are rich in vocabulary and enable children to comprehend beyond their own reading fluency level. They provide a language model and structure from which children can learn how writing works and the effect it can have on a reader. Our children particularly enjoy exploring whole books and we believe this sparks their imagination and inspires them to write. Above all, they enjoy them!

Our writing process carefully models the planning, drafting, editing and proof-reading process in writing. Texts are explored and deconstructed so that children can see how an author crafts their writing. Children are then able to acquire the knowledge of relevant text features to plan their own write. After drafting, our children spend time discussing and editing their writes for improvement. In Key Stage One this may be evidenced by a change of vocabulary developing to re-arranging sentence structure or re-scripting in Key Stage Two. Editing is a vital process where we believe children are given the opportunity to craft their own writing, apply their knowledge of grammar and punctuation and refine how they express themselves. Our children then proof-read their work and ensure that spelling, grammar and punctuation are corrected. Finally, our children apply their handwriting skills and write out their work in their ‘best books’. These hard-worked pieces of writing are passed up from each year group so that children and families are able to celebrate their authored work.

Children are supported in their writing development through a carefully planned programme of spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG). We recognise that children best learn these lessons when they are relevant to their writing purpose.  We have therefore mapped out the National Curriculum SPaG requirements and matched them to writing opportunities within each Power of Reading writing unit. We also recognise that it is not always possible to match all the required SPaG learning in this way and SPaG is also taught as discreet lessons. Our spelling programme ‘No-Nonsense Spelling’ also carefully develops spelling progression from Y2 to Y6.

We believe that developing a neat, cursive handwriting style is important. Despite living in a digital age, good penmanship is an important skill which has many cognitive benefits. Handwriting reinforces our reading and language processing skills. Writing by hand allows time to slow down the thought process enabling the writer to think about the words, how they are spelt and the structure of the writing; all making the writer more adept at the language they are using.

Handwriting can also improve our memory. Whilst it has been argued that typing notes at the time may allow us to focus more on what we are actually listening to, research has found that handwriting creates unique pathways in the brain causing those who write their notes by hand to remember the content more than those who type them.

Please see attachment for our Handwriting Procedure.