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At BPS, we want every child to love writing and leave having developed a variety of writing styles for different purposes. Our writing curriculum is based on Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing principles. Children are encouraged to learn texts by heart using actions and story maps to develop their understanding of features of different genres. Then, specific skills-based lessons develop their compositional and transcription skills. Shared writing is central to our approach in developing children’s independent writing. Each unit begins with an assessment task (cold task) which will inform the skills and devices that will be taught for that genre. We complete the unit often by revisiting the same task or similar task so that the child can identify where and how they have made progress. We believe every child is a writer and that with targeted skills-based teaching all children can achieve this.


The National Curriculum requires pupils to write down ideas fluently which depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Our carefully planned sequence helps children to quickly identify areas to improve so that they can demonstrate their autonomy.


Examples of Model Texts, Story Mapping and Independent Writing

Talk for Writing Process Year 2 (Traditional Tales)

Model Text (Three Little Pigs)

3 Little Pigs

Story Map

Story Map

Hot Task- Story on The Three Little Pigs

Hot Task

Talk for Writing Process Year 5

Model Text Diary Entry from Henry Tudor

Model Text

Story Map

Story map 2

Hot Task - Diary written by Knight at the Battle of Bosworth

Hot Task 1

Handwriting and Spelling

From Year 2, we use the schemes Penpals for Handwriting and No Nonsense Spelling to teach these areas in a progressive manner to build on the skills from the previous year’s learning. Reception and Year 1 incorporate their handwriting and spellings skills through ‘Little Wandle’ phonics. As a school, we encourage the children to form their letters using dynamic cursive writing. An example of this is shown below. The expected National Curriculum spellings for each year group can be found on the spelling page on the website.

Supporting Your child with Writing at Home

Whilst children do lots of literacy based activities at school (writing, reading, handwriting, phonics), there are also lots of ways that you can support your child at home. It doesn’t have to be by doing pages and pages as there are lots of ways to make writing fun and meaningful! Here are a few ideas to help you:

Early Years and KS1

  • The basis of good writing is good talk. When you visit places encourage your child to talk about what has been seen, heard, smelt, tasted and touched. Encourage children to share their experiences in as much detail as possible.
  • Let children see you being a model writer! Let them see you writing notes, cards or letters to friends or relatives, a shopping list, an article for a magazine or maybe a story or poem for them to enjoy. Let your children see that you are not perfect! Making changes and editing what you write is a natural part of writing. 
  • Let your child write their own Christmas cards, thank you letters, cards or e-mails to friends or relatives, invitations to a party, a list of things they need to take on holiday, or a record of football results. 
  • Play word-building games like Boggle or Scrabble. Games like ‘Guess Who’ can also develop their descriptive vocabulary. 
  • Create silly sentences or tongue twisters using alliteration (a group of words that all begin with the same sound). For example: Silly Sarah slipped on Sam’s salmon sandwiches or Monty Mouse marched merrily to the magic mountain. 
  • Different types and colours of paper, a variety of ‘special’ pens and pencils, envelopes, stampers and various other stationary items can all help to motivate your child to write. Maybe you could even create a special writing corner or area. 
  • Cut out words from a newspaper or magazine. Can they use the words to write a sentence?  Encourage your child to rehearse their sentence out loud before they write it down. 
  • Always encourage children to punctuate their sentences with a full-stop and capital letter. 
  • Handwriting does not have to be boring! Let children practise writing letters in sand, water or paint, or use white boards or blackboards. Pattern books can be fun to do and allow children to practise mark-making. Children can also make letters using playdough, pastry or shaving foam. 
  • Let children write a small part of your shopping list. Let them be responsible for carrying their list and finding those items when you go to the supermarket. 
  • Use magnetic letters on the fridge to spell out a message. Encourage your child to write their name, spell words and organise the letters into alphabetical order.

Engage with their writing through:

– saying what you liked about it

– asking where their ideas have come from

– asking them to show you where a sentence begins and ends

Help them to organise and sequence their writing by asking them to talk about their ideas or to draw a sequence of simple pictures to show how the main events in a story might be organised.

KS1 & KS2

  • Help your child write a letter to their favourite author. Correspondence can often be sent to an author’s publisher (whose details can be obtained on the internet) who will pass it on. 
  • When you go on holiday, encourage children to write postcards to friends or relatives. They could record things that you do in a holiday diary which they can share with friends or relatives when they get home. 
  • After making a cake or doing a craft activity, challenge children to write the recipe or instructions for someone else to use. 
  • Write an information page or booklet about something they find interesting e.g. spiders, Dr Who, dinosaurs, cats, etc. Draw a picture and label it or write a caption to go with it. 
  • Encourage your child to learn termly spellings. Write the spellings in sentences with accurate punctuation and practise high frequency words and handwriting.
  • Provide your child with a comfortable place to work and exciting writing materials. A dictionary and thesaurus would also be useful.  Ask your child what his/her writing targets are from time to time and help them work specifically on these. 
  • Talk through their ideas with them before they start to write, for example, prompt them to think about how they intend to tackle a subject. 
  • Help them to reflect on their writing, particularly the effect they hoped to have on the reader. For example, is the reader sufficiently prepared for the ending? Have they introduced all the characters? 
  • Encourage them to read through their work, shaping their sentences for clarity and impact and checking their accuracy.

All ages:

  • Share letters and cards from friends and treat their arrival as special events.
  • Show children that you value something that has been written especially for you.
  • Read books to, and with, them that are at a higher level than their own reading to expose them to ambitious vocabulary and complex sentence structure.
  • Read the beginning of a story and make up the ending together, verbally or in writing.
  • Praise your child’s efforts at writing – it’s not an easy thing to do! Focus on a word they spelt correctly, neat handwriting, a good describing word or good use of punctuation. Remember, it is difficult to get everything right when you are learning.
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