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Church of England Primary School

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Writing

We use the Talk for Writing approach which enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature of this approach is that, through the use of story maps, story strings and oral rehearsal,  the children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.

Here are the list of Common Exception Word children in Year 1 need to learn to read and write.

At Churchill School we teach handwriting steadily, grouping similarly shaped letters together into families. These are taught in handwriting sessions as well as referred to during Literacy and Phonics sessions.

 

It can be tricky learning how to form letters correctly and it takes muscle memory to retain the right way. Children often create their own ways to form letters which are incorrect and the brain needs to be retrained, using the whole body (gross motor skills) and tactile resources helps to embed the correct formation. It is also important for children to have good gross motor skills in order for them to have strong pencil control (fine motor skills). Over time it will become easier when they come to write with pencil and paper if they have already practised the letters using gross motor skills. 

Please note:
At Churchill we teach handwriting steadily, grouping similarly shaped letters together into families. These are taught in handwriting sessions as well as referred to during Literacy and Phonics sessions.

We appreciate that many children will journey through some families faster than others, and whilst some may appear super simple, formation is a cornerstone to writing and we need to be crystal clear that children are not taking 'wrong turns' (literally and figuratively!) as these will hinder their writing in later years. All letters begin from the top and work their way down (in a variety of ways). For example, how would you write an 's'? Would you start at the base line and squiggle upwards? No, you know to start at the top right and worm your way down - children do not know this automatically, and so it is our job to teach them and then check, check, check their formation until it is permanently set and natural.

Handwriting practice sessions at home should be short and SUPERVISED please. MANY MANY children are currently forming letters in the wrong direction (clockwise rather than anti) and through a series of touches to the page (rather than one smooth movement). To relearn now may be tricky and a little confusing at first (after all, children believe their existing script works and is good enough) however it will be painfully difficult to alter if left another two or three years.

It is very typical for children to learn a variation on letter formation, due to self-taught assumption when they first encounter words on a page - structured teaching and encouragement little and often should help them to redress any issues and show a marked improvement they themselves can be proud of.

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