When young children appreciate for the first time that they can communicate in written form, it is an extremely exciting discovery. We aim to harness this excitement, providing opportunities throughout the learning environment to encourage writing through play and writing for a purpose. Having initially been taught to form each letter in their phonics sessions, pupils will have a range of opportunities to practice handwriting movements, shapes and letters, until these become natural flowing movements.
Children will to supported to use their growing knowledge of sounds and the corresponding letters to encode words for others to read. Initially, their writing will be words, labels and captions, but rapidly they develop the ability to string whole phrases and sentences together. A particular favourite in our Lower School classrooms is a Story-telling chair, where children may sit as the author to share their writing with the class, reading it aloud for their peers to enjoy.
At Churchill the teaching of writing is based around a high quality text. Texts are carefully chosen to inspire and engage children, encouraging them to become critical thinkers, readers and writers. Often these texts cross over with Destination Reader and sometimes they are linked to the humanities topic children are learning about in the afternoons.
Whilst exploring a text, children will focus on particular genres in their writing. They will be explicitly taught the knowledge they need in order to write this particular genre with skill and precision. Children are taught to consider their audience, focusing on the needs of that audience and how to achieve the effect and impact they require.
Extended writing opportunities are also planned in weekly through our Friday BIG WRITE, to help teachers assess children's progress and build their stamina for writing at length. in addition, we aim to provide cross-curricular writing opportunities wherever possible.