At Hollymount, we want our children to be able to write at length for a range of audiences and purposes, with a positive attitude. We want them to take on the role of a writer and understand how to fulfil the role successfully using a variety of tools. The “thinking out loud” approach which drives our reading lessons, flows seamlessly into our writing lessons. Hollymount children can approach their writing as readers in order to carefully consider the authorial choices they are making. We believe that our children should be able to talk confidently about their writing in order to discuss their work reflectively and act upon feedback that they have received – as well as giving meaningful feedback to their peers.
Handwriting is a physical skill and in Early Years we provide activities for children which will strengthen their muscles and help to develop hand-eye co-ordination. We teach children the correct letter formation at the same time as they are learning the sounds of letters. Once in year 1, children will be taught pre-cursive formation in order to facilitate joined handwriting from Year 2 onwards.
Different spelling rules are taught in class each week but each year group also has a set of words they must know by the end of their key stage. If you would like to help your child practise these spellings at home, they can be found below.[embeddoc url=”https://www.hollymountschool.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Common-Exception-Words-Years-1-and-2-Word-Mat_ver_9.pdf”] [embeddoc url=”https://www.hollymountschool.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/statutory-spellings-year-5-and-6-word-mat-_ver_4.pdf”]
Writing at Hollymount Schools is taught by focusing upon a knowledge and skill-based curriculum. Unit plans start with breaking down the key knowledge and skills being taught within the unit and then teachers explore which audience and purpose is going to best showcase the knowledge and skills being taught. Our ‘progression of writing knowledge and skills’ allow children to continuously build upon their knowledge and skills so that they can approach written pieces of work with a variety of ‘writing tools’. Sequences of learning; opportunities and models for greater depth; and an age expected model are all thought through within the unit plan. Throughout the sequence of learning, teachers ensure that writers have plenty of opportunity for deliberate practise as well as opportunities to reflect and discuss their written work.
Within units of work and their sequences of learning, teachers employ a range of strategies to allow children to access their learning. The ‘Box Method’, use of Literacy and Language texts, Talk for Writing and ACE activities are all used within Hollymount classrooms and are expanded upon in the Writing Handbook.
In order to fully become ‘writers as readers’, the children use the expert tips from their reading lessons within their writing lessons. This helps them to make connections between authorial choices they have learnt about in their reading lessons and how they could use them within their writing to suit a range of purposes and audiences.
Grammar teaching largely takes place within written sequences of learning where it can be applied within context. However, there are some year groups where grammar is taught discretely, particularly when there is a large amount of knowledge to cover or there is a big jump in curriculum expectations, such as years 2 and 6.