At Branfil we view the acquisition of writing skills to be of the utmost importance and so the teaching of all aspects of English is given key priority. We believe that developing writing skills is one of the core purposes of primary education: literacy skills empower individuals to unlock their potential as independent lifelong learners. How is writing taught at Branfil?
The use of engaging, relevant and high quality texts is central to our writing curriculum. These act as stimuli for children to develop and explore their writing skills. When pupils enjoy what they are writing about, they write more and they write with increased skill and enthusiasm to succeed. Each year group has a list of text types to be produced by the children across the year (including a mixture of fiction, non-fiction and poetry). The teachers build these into their planning- both into their English units, and also across the wider curriculum.
Teachers regularly plan cross-curricular pieces of writing to be completed as part of the children’s work in other subjects. The purpose of this is to develop children’s enjoyment of writing and, furthermore, enjoy writing for a variety of contexts and purposes.
We offer the children a vocabulary rich environment where they are encouraged to explore and use new vocabulary. Children record new words in their own personal dictionaries which they can then use in their own writing.
There is planned progression in the teaching of writing, including exploring features, planning, drafting, assessing and editing through the familiarisation of the text type, the identification of structure and language features, modelled writing, shared writing, supported composition, guided writing and independent writing. Grammar is taught regularly in school, in context where possible, and is often embedded within the English units that we teach.Handwriting
Presentation is important at Branfil. We are committed to providing the children with the skills necessary to write their work fluently, legibly and eventually with good pace, following the Nelson handwriting scheme, with the exception of the letters k and q. We establish high expectations and pride in everything we do – both of ourselves and of the children. Children of all abilities are expected, and able, to present their work to their highest possible standard, increasing their confidence and self-esteem. Star Writer
High quality work is celebrated in the classroom with weekly Star Writers. One Star Writer is selected from each class every half term to have their work displayed in the main corridor.
Ideas to help your children to become a writer
- Let them see your writing
- Encourage them to think of messages that they can help you to write down
- Get them to think of something that you need to buy at the supermarket and add it to your shopping list
- Provide them with different kinds of paper and a variety of pencils, paints, crayons and chalks for them to explore
- Make sure they hold a pencil correctly, lightly between their thumb and first finger about 2cm from the point
- Encourage them to trace letters following the correct formation
- Help them to recognise, trace and copy their name, using only a capital letter at the beginning
- Encourage your child to have a go and do play writing, by filling in their own forms, writing shopping lists, catalogue orders, greeting cards and letters
- Hold your child's hand to start with and write it together, talking about letter formations and directions
- Write letters on their back using your finger and get them to guess what they are
- Encourage your child to point out letters in print around them, discussing their associated sounds
- Involve them in writing for real and interesting purposes, such as signing their name on a birthday card, writing a postcard, writing a list of friends to invite to a party or a letter to a relative
- Create a place for them to write where there are notepads, labels, paper cheques, a chalkboard, little writing books or a register
- Encourage them to say what they want to write and write it down for them to trace initially then copy underneath
- Encourage them to play at writing and have a go independently; write it out correctly next to their attempt for them to see
- Find out what practice activities your child enjoys (tracing, copying, drawing, using chalks or felt tips)
- Always encourage your child to form letters properly as this saves having to break bad habits at a later date!