Writing and English
Learning God's Way
At St Mary’s Primary School, we strive for excellence in English achievement throughout the school. We hope to develop children’s abilities within a cross curricular programme of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening. Across all classes, pupils are given opportunities to develop their knowledge, understanding and use of spoken and written English, within a balanced and exciting curriculum. There are lots of opportunities for children to consolidate and reinforce taught English skills and to apply them in a range of contexts.
Children at St Mary’s Primary School will;
• Learn how to read and write with fluency, understanding and confidence, developing a range of independent strategies to take responsibility for their own
• Develop their ever-growing vocabulary, through an interest in words and their
• Experience a range of text/media types and genres, across a range of contexts, to
develop their understanding
• Learn to write in a variety of styles and be able to apply characteristic features of
texts to their own writing
• Develop a technical vocabulary with understanding of grammatical terminology
• Learn how to apply grammatical terminology in their own writing
• Have the opportunity to write for pleasure; to explore and develop their own ideas
Most importantly, children will have the opportunity to develop their creativity and imagination.
Please read our Writing and English Policy for an indepth description of our approach to writing.
Talk for Writing
One of the approaches we use across the school to teaching writing is called Talk for Writing. It is an engaging teaching framework developed by Pie Corbett, supported by Julia Strong. It is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn. It enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version. You can find out more about this approach by clicking on the website below.
Some examples of how Talk for Writing is used at St Mary's
Examples of writing using the Talk for Writing technique
A Year 6 video using a poem written and performed by Callum
At St Mary's we use Read, Write Inc and Spelling Shed to structure and teach spelling. Children are encouraged to practise their spellings weekly and can play the online games to help them learn. All children from years 1-6 have a spelling shed login and alongside regular teaching of spelling we encourage them to build their use of spelling and vocabulary through daily direct input and through reading sessions. Children and parents are given vocabulary lists half termly that they are asked to learn in preparation for the topics that they will be studying.
Please see a link to Spelling Shed below and speak to your class teacher if you do not have a login for your child. Congratulations to Year 6 who became one of the top 100 classes in the country in Spelling Shed in the Spring Term!!
At St Mary’s we put a high value on teaching and sustaining good handwriting.
The skill of handwriting needs to be taught explicitly, across all year groups. It is not a natural skill that will grow and develop like speaking or walking. Handwriting is a motor activity, a movement stored in the body rather than in the conscious memory. Through consistent and cumulative teaching and learning, over time pupils should develop the ability to produce letters without thinking. An automatic, cursive (i.e. “joined up”) style releases the brain to concentrate on other ideas i.e. spelling, grammar, syntax, style and content.
At St Mary’s we use Penpals to support our teaching of handwriting and it is taught alongside phonic and spelling knowledge at all stages. Please read our Handwriting policy to gain a clear understanding of how handwriting is taught in school.