writing and spelling
How we teach writing in our school
A child’s ability to communicate is vital to all aspects of their learning, so English learning cuts across all areas of the curriculum. We also plan for literacy-specific learning every day in school, in line with the expectations of the National Curriculum.
The aim is for all Holme children to be confident and enthusiastic speakers, readers and writers, so we provide a broad range of daily activities for children to develop and apply their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Included in this provision are opportunities for public-speaking and drama activities and reading and writing in different styles and for different purposes.
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. Children write for purpose wherever possible, on a theme linked to the half termly topic.
The teaching of writing follows 5 phases.
Phase 1) Cold Write: The children write a piece based on the genre they will be learning about. This is unaided and without input. This allows the teacher to plan the learning from the children’s starting points.
Phase 2) Immersion and ‘Have a go’ writing opportunities: This phase is about immersion in the text type. This is a crucial phase in the teaching of writing. The idea is to let the children see what a good one looks like. They need to pull this apart (not just language features but also thinking about text level objectives too). The learning wall will be used to display key learning from this stage. This phase may involve drama opportunities and short ‘Have a go’ writing opportunities (note taking, diary entries, character profiles etc).
Phase 3) Writing opportunities – building towards a writing outcome: Phase 3 will offer more ‘Have a go’ writing, but will also be preparing the children for their final written outcome. There may be a mixture of short writing outcomes and extended writing outcomes.
Phase 4) The final written outcome: Throughout this phase, the writing journey is scaffolded by modelling and shared writing.
Phase 5) Hot write: The children now write their own, independent version of the genre you have been studying
Grammar is not taught as a discrete subject, but is integrated into our English curriculum.
Our approach to spelling allows the children to learn spelling rules not lists of words. We use the no nonsense spelling scheme from Years 2 to 6. Children are grouped according to their spelling stage.
Following the appendix in the National Curriculum, activities are planned to allow children to learn and follow spelling rules. However, children are also actively encouraged to find words that break the rules!
At the beginning of each academic year, each child is given a list of High Frequency words they are expected to know how to spell by the end of their Phase e.g. (Year 2, Year 4, Year 6).
These words are referred to in all subject areas and children are encouraged to continue to learn these at home.
Each child in Year 1-6 has a word book.
Throughout the week, the children will fill in their word book using spellings from their learning that have been identified by the teacher/themselves/their peers.
Some words will follow a spelling rule – get children to explore these rules
For tricky words think about shape, size etc
Breaking words into sounds (c-a-t)
Breaking words into syllables (re-mem-ber)
Break it into affixes (dis +satisfy)
Use a mnemonic (necessary – one collar, two sleeves)
Refer to a word in the same family (muscle – muscular) or parts of the word they already know.
Say it as sounds/in a funny way (Wed-nes-day)
Words within words (Parliament – I AM parliament)
Refer to etymology (bi+cycle= 2 +wheels)
Learn by sight (look-cover-write-check)