Writing at St Peter's
At Beacon Education we believe that every child is a writer.
Writing equips us with communication and thinking skills. Writing expresses who we are as people. Writing makes our thinking and learning visible and permanent. Writing fosters our ability to explain and refine our ideas to others and ourselves.
We strive to create the right conditions for young writers to thrive and seek to embed the following within every classroom:
The Writing Process
“With extensive practice, explicit instruction, and encouragement pupils can become more adept at using these three overarching elements of writing and coordinating them in working memory can become less effortful.”
Writing is a complex skill. The Simple View of Writing highlights the different skills that work together as children write. Working memory is at the centre. This the process where pupils hold and process information at the same time. Working memory has a limited capacity and writing places a significant cognitive load on it.
At St Peter’s First School, we follow guidance outlined by The Education Endowment Foundation Reports “Improving Literacy in Key Stage 1” and “Improving Literacy in Key Stage 2” to support the teaching of writing.
All our teaching sequences at St Peter’s First School follow the stages recommended by The Education Endowment Foundation.
We invite pupils to practice that process or technique through “deliberate practice.” (Anders Ericsson)
Pupils have multiple opportunities across different subjects to hone their techniques until it is part of their writing toolkit.
“Developing a culture of consolidation – in which prior learning is routinely reviewed – is crucial if we are to take the majority of children with us as we address the demands of our primary curriculum.”
(Mike Cain, 2018)
We break down content into a clear series of sequential steps and ensure that each is pursued until learners show that they are ready to move on. This means that we give pupils every opportunity to develop flexible knowledge that can be applied across multiple contexts.
At St Peter’s First School we follow the BEACON EDUCATION Writing Progression. These milestones are designed to build coherently as each child moves through their learning journey as a writer. They have been carefully sequenced so that knowledge and techniques develop in a manner which builds on prior learning and paves the way for what is to come. Techniques are continually revisited and deepened.
Grammar for Writing
“If we want children to write effectively for purpose, we need to firstly focus their attention on what effects they can create and then on how they can create them.”
(Mike Cain, 2018)
At St Peter’s First School, we have followed guidance from the CLPE report “Writing in Primary Schools – What we know works” and teach grammar in context. This begins with:
From this guidance we have built a book based curriculum. This is a conscious curriculum that is coherently planned, with a sharp focus on technique development. We use the BEACON EDUCATION writing progression as a long term planning tool and pinpoint what the next step in learning is before deciding upon the text that helps us teach the pupils in context. This ensures that pupils accumulate knowledge and techniques in a logical progression so they can more easily use what they already know to make sense of a new concept.
“Due to the close relationship between phonics and spelling, writing as well as reading skills stand to benefit considerably from the power of systematic phonics teaching.”
(Hanna et all, 1966)
In EYFS and KS1, pupils learn to read and spell as part of their daily phonics lessons, following the RWInc Phonic Programme. Pupils learn to read sounds and blend them into words. They apply this phonic knowledge to read and comprehend. Pupils are also taught how to form letters using mnemonics to help them and they learn to spell using ‘Fred fingers’. As part of this programme, pupils also learn to compose their own writing - drawing upon ideas from stories they have read. In all other areas of the curriculum, pupils are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge when writing independently.
When pupils exit the RWinc Phonic Programme in Year 2, they begin the RWInc Spelling Programme. Using an approach underpinned by phonics, it develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings.
Follow the link below to find out more about Phonics at St Peter's.
Long term plan
TEXT FOCUS FOR WRITING - Overview – 2022/23