Here at Dormers Wells Infant and Junior School we believe that through a foundation of reading, children develop their fluency to become competent, skillful writers, allowing children to become confident to write for a range of purposes to engage and excite their audience, as well as for their own enjoyment. The writing curriculum at Dormers encourages children to immerse themselves in different text types, understand the features and impact of these, and realise the importance of them beyond education. The teaching of writing starts as soon as the children join us in Nursery or Reception and builds on their skills throughout their time here at Dormers. Skills are further developed within the wider curriculum. At Dormers, we set high expectations for all our children to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style alongside allowing their imaginations to flourish.
In order to prepare children to write, children in Nursery and Reception first develop their fine and gross motor skills through a variety of activities. As children begin to explore using different tools for writing children will begin to ‘mark make’ and express themselves through marks and pictures. Children are encouraged to talk about their marks and pictures that they have made. Children then begin to write words and finally children are supported in forming sentences using colourful semantics questions and picture stimulus. Children are encouraged to verbally construct their sentence and they attempt to write it using their phonic sounds.
In Key Stage 1, children are introduced to our weekly writing structure: a text of the genre that is being studied is deconstructed to allow children to understand the layout and language which is appropriate for that specific genre. Great emphasis is placed on developing the children’s writing skills on the genre they are studying (such as conjunctions, punctuation, sentence structure) before they write their independent extended writing. This is assessed against the school’s writing assessment proforma and in the case of Year 2 against the KS1 Teacher Assessment Framework.
In Key Stage 2 the same weekly structure is followed building up on the children’s prior knowledge. There is a greater focus on children applying their writing skills of punctuation and grammar in a wider variety of genres as they reach Upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5 and 6). Children write an independent extended piece once a week, this is assessed against the school’s writing assessment proforma and in the case of Year 6 against the KS2 Teacher Assessment Framework.
Throughout the school, opportunities to develop pupil’s spoken language in a range of contexts underpins the development of reading and writing. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate their ideas and feelings. They are taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.
Reception to Year 6 at Dormers Wells follow the ‘PenPals’ Handwriting Scheme which promotes clearly joined handwriting. Teachers expect high quality presentation in written work.