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Writing at Hetton Primary School


At Hetton Primary we are passionate about all the skills of English because they are essential to participating fully as a member of a school and society. Writing provides children with a vehicle to express who they are as people and to actively engage in daily life. Writing makes children's thinking and learning visible and permanent.


At Hetton Primary School, the aim of our writing lessons are to ensure our children are exposed to a variety of literature to provide a rich context for learning, allowing our children to use writing to develop their own writing skills.  We use high quality texts to focus and guide our writing curriculum.  The writing opportunities we provide are meaningful with a clear audience and purpose. Our children are given real reasons to write, whether to explain, persuade, inform or instruct. They write using a range of genres with grammatical skills embedded throughout our teaching. We aim to deliver an inspiring and engaging English curriculum, starting from EYFS,  through high quality teaching and exciting lessons. Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum and all children from our youngest children to our oldest are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply writing skills across all areas of the curriculum.


At Hetton Primary School, after a review of our writing curriculum in Autumn 2022, we introduced and implemented  “The Literacy Tree” in Spring 2022.  The Literacy Tree is a text rich based approach to the teaching of writing which ensures a consistent and systematic approach to teaching the skills of writing across all cohorts. The Literary Curriculum maps the coverage of the entire English Writing Programme of Study for KS1 and KS2, as well as meeting the needs of the statutory Early Years Framework. In many cases objectives are covered more than once and children have opportunities to apply these several times over the course of a year, as well as to consolidate prior knowledge from previous years. We adapt, personalise and differentiate the Literacy Curriculum’s planning sequences, where needed, to ensure all children are supported and extended as appropriate to enable a sound understanding of grammar and punctuation is developed and applied to varied and appropriate writing outcomes with carefully considered audience and purpose.


Early writing is taught through a combination of Helicopter stories, The Literacy Tree planning along with topic lead learning.  This is all underpinned by the implementation of Read Write Inc phoics.  Our approach to writing within EYFS ensures mark making develops into the start of effective independent writing strategies. This begins with writing (whether with a writing tool or in the air) CVC words, then moving onto short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. EYFS children are encouraged to write independently during continuous provision.


Our aim, as our new approach to writing is embedded, is that the impact on our children will be clear and that progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills will be embedded across all year groups. Our aim , with the well establish implementation of the writing journey using ‘The Literacy Tree’, is that our children become more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and that teaching can focus on creativity, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.

Frequent moderation, within school and between schools (who are also using the same approach to writing)  will be used from Sept 2023 to validate our writing assessments using independent pieces of writing.  SPAG will be assessed termly using NFER tests. 

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

· Termly analysis of writing against year group objectives

· Termly NFER tests for reading and GAPS

· Moderation of English books and planning by the Senior Leadership Team

· Moderation staff meetings with opportunities for dialogue between teachers

· Cluster school moderation of writing across all year groups with schools who use the same approach to writing as we do

· Pupil discussions and interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice)

· Photographic evidence and images of the pupils’ practical learning.

Please find below the LTP which guide our teaching of writing from Reception to Year 6.