Writing at Harrington Hill
Learning to write is one of the most important things that we can teach our children at primary school. Being able to write provides children with an important form of self-expression and creativity – it gives them a voice to share their ideas with the world!
- Every child will appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage.
- Every child will develop a rich vocabulary.
- Every child will write clearly, accurately, coherently and with purpose.
At Harrington Hill, we look for ways to inspire and motivate our children so that they see themselves as writers. We believe that a high-quality writing curriculum should foster a love of reading, analysing, discussion and writing in children. Children are taught to think and read as writers, working with audience, purpose and composition in mind. We have a rigorous writing curriculum which links with our foundation subjects, to provide cross curricular writing opportunities. We believe children write well when they are stimulated by the high-quality texts and genres they are exposed to by teachers. Rich texts have been selected and are used to fire interest and enthusiasm in our children and talk opportunities are embedded throughout every writing lesson as we recognise and value the link between talk and skilful writing.
Our English curriculum has been written to ensure that children have high quality models to draw on in their own writing.
From Year 1 upwards, the children have daily writing lessons. A typical unit of work lasts 2-3 weeks and after an initial period of immersion in the text, children produce a complex extended piece of writing. In order to do this they complete short writing opportunities and then plan, write, edit and rewrite over several weeks using models and detailed feedback from staff or peers.
Writing lessons provide a range of writing opportunities and levels of support including: shared, modelled, guided, paired and independent writing. Children are taught to write in a variety of genres and forms, such as narrative, persuasive, journalistic, recounts and reports, using a wide range of stimuli. The teaching of grammar and punctuation is an embedded part of every lesson, along with handwriting and spelling. Children learn how to vary sentences, select rich and ambitious vocabulary, and use grammar and punctuation correctly. Each piece of written work is carefully supported through success criteria to guide the child. Children are encouraged to review what is working well in their writing and identify, with support from their teacher, areas for development. Outcomes are recorded in English books and are then marked by highlighting real successes (green for “great”) and an area for improvement (pink for “think”).
To support your child with their writing at home, ensure you are giving them rich and varied life experiences and read to them from the earliest age. This will help to develop your child’s vocabulary and imagination, providing the perfect foundation for learning to write. Furthermore, encouraging children to record their experiences, thoughts and feelings through journaling can be an effective way to develop writing fluency, stamina and confidence as well as supporting their wellbeing.