The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these 2 dimensions. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation (SPAG) is also taught explicitly on a daily basis across the year groups. As vocabulary increases, teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. Teachers also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than 1 meaning. Extending and enhancing pupils vocabulary is a high priority at St Kew and features in the planning and delivery of all areas of the curriculum on a daily basis.
Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They are taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed as specified in the National Curriclum.
The Literary Curriculum
At St Kew we teach writing in a range of exciting and inspiring ways. We teach and practise handwriting daily alongside our phonics or SPAG sessions depending on the ages and abilities of the children.
The award-winning Literary Curriculum is a complete, book-based approach designed to help teachers access high quality resources and network through training. The Teach Through a Text approach was created so that there was a consistent, cohesive pedagogy used across a school.
Developed by The Literacy Tree, a group of English specialists who have all been teachers, school leaders and moderators, the Literary Curriculum immerses children in a literary world, creating strong levels of engagement to provide meaningful and authentic contexts for learning.
Children become critical readers and acquire an authorial writing style as they encounter a wide-range of significant authors and a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.