We know reading is fundamental to the writing process. From blending phonics to build words and sentences, to using a text as an inspiration for structure, theme and atmosphere, reading is recognised as the essential starting point of any writing journey here at Preston Hedges School.
Once children have the building blocks for the piece of writing they are aiming for, teaching staff actively encourage them to develop their own style of writing, guided by stimulating experiences. Throughout the school, visual stimulus, exciting contexts and drama are used to inspire children’s imaginations to write. Through interactive and collaborative learning opportunities we support children to build rich language banks, draft and shape strong and engaging writing. Teachers share examples of effective writing with their class, demonstrating how to use language, punctuation and sentence structures to create impact and build textual pieces that are fit for purpose and appropriate for the audience.
Through individual and peer evaluation, children develop capacity to critically assess and improve their own writing and techniques, so they can become highly skilled writers. Children are also encouraged to read elements of their writing aloud, or create a piece to present, such as in debate, to support them in their verbal communication skill development.
Punctuation and Grammar
A clear understanding of the mechanics of sentence structure and grammar is an important feature of writing. We teach punctuation and grammar discretely in dedicated 15 minute fast paced and interactive sessions. These skills are then embedded into English sessions, to give children further opportunities to refine and enhance their ability in this critical area.
Weekly spellings are a consistent feature of school life and focus initially on securing common year group spellings, before moving on to understanding core spelling rules and patterns that are required to enable pupils to work out more adventurous spellings.
Below are the common exception spellings that children are expected to know by the end of the respective years at school, and to use correctly in their writing:
Y1 Common Exception Spellings
Y2 Common Exception Spellings
Y3-6 Common Exception Spellings
Neat presentation is also an important skill and we embrace a whole school approach to handwriting at Preston Hedges, which is the cursive script. Learning this style of handwriting begins as soon as children start in Reception when they begin to form and shape letters, and the children build on this learning progressively until their writing is joined and fluent at pace. Support is provided for parents, so they can actively encourage their child with this at home.