We intend our Hook Norton children to leave us being able to express themselves independently and clearly in written form. We provide them with fundamental and essential knowledge and skills of Standard English, spelling, punctuation, grammar and clear handwriting to create the confidence to record, communicate and create. We aim for our children to understand the structure and forms of writing and support them to adapt their writing to different audiences and purposes across the curriculum.
At Hook Norton writing is important from the beginning. Children in Early Years learn how to hold a pencil correctly and how to form their letters. In a language rich environment children are given a purpose for writing in their play. Children begin the Read Write Inc phonics scheme from the nursery. Letter formation is practised and they learn to segment to spell and to choose the correct grapheme phoneme correspondence for words as they progress into Key Stage 1. Grammar and punctuation is taught through these sessions and there is an emphasis on transcription and dictation initially, teaching children fundamental basic skills and building their confidence to write.
Writing skills continue to develop through a high quality text-based and genre-based approach that link to our termly curriculum themes. Pupils are immersed in a text or genre and explore a text to build an understanding of writer’s craft and the components and processes involved in writing – planning, drafting, sharing, evaluating, revising, editing and publishing. Our curriculum plans for exciting and interesting stimuli for writing that encourages high engagement from our children. We role play, read aloud, take part in drama, discussions and visualisation. We allow pupils the time to explore the text, introduce new writing skills and apply with greater levels of independence. Our texts and genres are chosen to deepen knowledge of the wider curriculum and immerse them into enjoyable literary texts providing meaningful context for writing. The teaching of spelling, grammar and punctuation is woven into our English lessons to provide children with an understanding of these key skills in context and to give them the confidence to apply in their own writing.
The teaching of spelling additionally takes place through discrete spelling teaching using the Read Write Inc spelling scheme through Year 2 and Lower Key Stage 2. Sessions take place teaching grammar and punctuation throughout the school, so that children understand the fundamental structure of sentences and can apply this to their own compositions.
Handwriting is an essential skill in building fluency and stamina in children’s writing. We aim for all children to join their handwriting during their time in Key Stage 1, helping them to write neatly and fluently. Sessions are tailored to the needs of the individual child – those who need additional early support and practise are given the time to improve their fine motor skills and hone their handwriting skills more frequently.
Our children develop a love of writing and are confident to write for a variety of purposes and to different audiences. They make excellent progress from their starting points and leave our school being able to effectively communicate in grammatically correct and accurately spelled pieces of writing. They will acquire knowledge of literary techniques and styles and a respect for the writers who produce them.