English - Writing


We believe that the ability to write with confidence and accuracy is an essential life skill. We want our pupils to be effective and creative writers, who enjoy the writing process, and are resilient and confident communicators.  

To do this, we aim to give pupils the skills (below) to be able to articulate their ideas in writing. Our school and classrooms are places where we encourage a rich and varied access to language to support reading and writing skills. We aim to create a culture where pupils are enthusiastic to create pieces of text for different audiences and purposes, and where writing is celebrated and enjoyed.

What does an effective and creative writer look like?

What does an effective and creative writer look like

In order to achieve this, we aim to:

  • Use high quality texts and models to enable pupils to accurately choose grammar, vocabulary and punctuation which is effective for both audience and purpose
  • Make the planning, drafting, writing and editing stages of writing explicit so that children experience ‘live’ the choices a writer makes
  • Provide children with the ideas, tools and  techniques for writing so that they are able to communicate their own ideas
  • Make links across the curriculum with our writing units so that pupils are able to write knowledgeably and effectively across all subject areas
  • Ensure that pupils are taught a range of genres across the school which means they can communicate their learning appropriately
  • Develop a consistent approach to teaching writing in order to close gaps and ensure that all children leave in year 6 being able to write effectively 

Implementation (Nursery & EYFS)

Writing in the Early Years

Throughout the Early Years we recognise that communication and language is the prerequisite to future successful writing. The children regularly have writing modelled to them through an approach to storytelling, known as Helicopter Stories. They develop an understanding that print carries meaning and writing has a purpose. The children are taught the author’s intentions as we read stories and begin to notice things of interest in illustrations and in the print. There are plenty of everyday opportunities to teach and consolidate the key principles of writing in order to lay a solid foundation for developing their skills as they move into KS1. Most importantly, we want children to have the passion and motivation to become creative writers. Child initiated writing is valued from the start with each child having their own mark making book that is unique to them.


In Nursery, we encourage and develop a love of writing through a combination of oral storytelling, nursery rhymes, and high quality texts. Children are introduced to Helicopter Stories where they orally tell their story to an adult who then scribes their story word for word in front of the child, modelling the writing process. Adults also tell their own stories giving children an understanding of the structure of a story. Children are encouraged to write their own stories in premade books, telling their stories through their drawings. As part of the provision, a range of tools are provided to support children with developing both their gross and fine motor skills in preparation for writing. The malleable area is particularly important for developing dexterity in children’s hands and fingers to allow them to successfully manipulate tools such as pencils and scissors. The children are exposed to a print rich environment where they are able to engage with familiar signs and words, such as their names and familiar greetings in their home languages.  Children are able to see print in all areas of the classroom, such as phone books in the home corner and ‘Work in Progress’ signs in the construction area. Opportunities for mark making are also provided, with children making tickets to watch shows and writing shopping lists.  When children are ready, they learn to form the letters in their name.


In Reception, we continue to build a love of writing through Helicopter Stories, poetry, and high-quality texts. When reading stories, time is given to exploring the author’s intentions in the written print. Children are encouraged to notice the size of the words and to question how the author intends us to read it. We further develop children’s storytelling language through our Talk for Writing units that give opportunities to introduce specific language such as time connectives. Children also learn to internalise the structure of a story, understanding there is a clear beginning, middle, and end. As children become more confident with applying their phonic knowledge, they learn to be creative with their writing, showing a greater awareness of their audience. They engage in many purposeful writing opportunities through play, such as taking written orders in their restaurant, writing their own ‘do not touch’ signs for their models, and writing short books of different genres, often using a combination of words and drawings.


Implementation (KS1 & KS2)

How We Teach Writing at The Avenue: KS1 and KS2

We believe that having ideas, understanding how to use grammatical constructs to turn these ideas into meaning, and bringing this meaning to life through authorial language choice are essential in enabling children to communicate effectively.  We ensure children are immersed in a flourishing environment that values speaking, listening and the development of language as a vital part of the writing process. We use Jane Considine’s The Write Stuff methodology to ensure pupils are explicitly taught the craft of writing.

Learning to Write

Teaching sequences include experience days and sentence stacking lessons, that have modelling at the heart of them.

Sentences are taught under the structural framework of The Writing Rainbow. Teachers prepare children for writing by modelling for the ideas, grammar and  techniques of writing

The Ideas of Writing: Feeling, Asking, Noticing, Touching, Action, Smelling, Tasting, Imagining, Checking

The Grammar of Writing: Adverbials and adverbial forms, Basics (word classes), Complex sentences, Dialogue and contracted forms, Structure and style, Purpose, Paragraphs, Passive or Active voice, Past and present tense, Punctuation

The Techniques of Writing:  Simile*, Alliteration*, Rhyme*, Onomatopoeia*, Repetition*, Personification, Pun, Symbolism, Pathetic Fallacy, Metaphor (*KS1 are introduced to these; KS2 are taught all)

Explicit teaching: 

  • Experience lessons stimulate ideas, and are used thoughtfully to further generate ideas and vocabulary for writing
  • Each Sentence Stacking lesson is organised into three learning chunks to stimulate, model and enable pupils to build clear and progressively rich language alongside contextualised application of specific writing objectives
  • Each sentence stacking lesson is based around another ‘plot point’ for narrative, or part of the ‘shape’ for non-fiction genres

Lesson structure

Initiate: teacher shares a stimulus e.g. Film clip picture, drama; word gathering and discussion; ‘chotting’ – pupils chat and jot words they want to use in their exercise books/whiteboards

Modelling: the teacher does demonstration writing, explicitly explaining choices of words etc, using 2-3 lenses from the Writing Rainbow, modelling thesaurus thinking – to write three sentences, using vocabulary gathered in the initiate stage

Enable: Being clear about the sentence idea, the children are then asked to write their sentences sticking to the clear criteria. The children have their ‘chottings’ to support their word choices.

For every sentence written: children need to think about the IDEA of writing and the INTENT – e.g. positive or negative – that will affect word choice.


Writing Independently

Independent Writing

Pupils apply their learning from the sentence stacking lessons to a new task based around the text/genre. They plan, choose lenses from the writing rainbow and write independently, using the vocabulary they have gathered, and examples of sentences structures and generic features they have learnt. Pupils are given the opportunity to practice writing in a range of styles and genres.


During the Independent Write it is crucial that children’s errors or amendments are highlighted directly but in a way that expects the children to use their knowledge and understanding to address. The final part of the writing process looks at revision of what has been crafted.

The suggested approach is to interrogate the writing in three ways. Teachers introduce and use this code to encourage pupils to edit their work:

  • E1 = Revise - spelling, punctuation
  • E2= Rewrite i.e. a *sentence is re-written by the child (no guidance is given regarding why it needs a rewrite)
  • E3= Re-imagine ...tell me more- write additional sentences or sentences

Pupils have to check their work and make decisions about what needs to be revised, rewritten or reimagined.

Support and Challenge

The use of a visual narrative or shape map in the classroom for sentence stacking lessons, the structured explicit nature of those lessons, and the writing rainbow supports weaker writers. More able writers are encouraged to ‘deepen the moment’, and to extend detail or make independent choices in the sentence stacking lessons  and in independent work, using their knowledge of the writing rainbow.

Choice of text

The fiction books used as stimulus for may be linked to history, geography or science. For non-fiction pieces, the stimulus is also used as a model.  Some units are chosen for exposure to a range of genres.

Cross curricular opportunities

By the end of KS2, most genres of writing are familiar to pupils and teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills when writing in other areas of the curriculum.

Monitoring progress in writing

We carefully monitor children’s writing progress regularly; during the sentence stacking lessons, and after each independent write,  so we can ensure they are supported and challenged in the right way. This information is used to help teachers plan learning that will meet the needs of all children, helping them make the best possible progress.

We use No More Marking as part of the Acorn Trust assessment schedule, which allows us to use comparative judgement, another way to inform our understanding about how pupils are progressing in their writing.


Implementation: Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar And Handwriting

The 'Basics'

We want to ensure that all pupils can transcribe their ideas fluently and accurately. Pupils have discrete spelling, punctuation and grammar and  handwriting sessions three times each during the week. The first session is a teaching session, with the subsequent sessions for practice and time for the teacher to check on progress. The skills and learning from these sessions is then consolidated and applied in the writing lessons and other curricular areas.


Year 2: Pupils start the Little Wandle Bridge to Spellings scheme once they have completed the main phonics programme. This supports them in reinforcing phonics knowledge and introduces year 2 spelling rules and patterns.

Year 3 and up: The Spelling Shed progression and scheme is used to teach pupils the spelling objectives from the National Curriculum.

Punctuation and Grammar

Discrete lessons are used to teach pupils new learning, which is then quickly applied and practised in writing lessons. Subsequent practice sessions may be used as a way to reinforce or practice specific aspects that teachers may have noticed in pupils' writing.


In Nursery we encourage mark making opportunities for all children in a virety of ways.

From EYFS pupils are taught how to hold a pencil and to use the Little Wandle letter formation to be able to print words.

From Year 1 upwards, the Letterjoin scheme is used to teach and practice handwriting three times a week. Pupils will be encouraged to take care with presentation in all subjects.



We will know we have achieved our intent if:

  • Pupils can write effectively to engage with the reader and apply their learning from exposure to a range of high quality models.
  • Pupils are accurate and creative writers who have increasing stamina for writing.
  • Children can draw on a range of ideas, tools and techniques for writing so that they are able to communicate their own ideas AND apply these in reading.
  • Pupils can effectively articulate their knowledge in other subject areas through the accurate use of writing skills.
  • Pupils can confidently write using the features, vocabulary and structure of each genre.
  • Pupils achieve the age-related expectations for writing, and those that find writing challenging are given focused support to help them catch up.
  • At the end of each year, pupils are ready for the next step of their education.

Through our rigorous and highly effective teaching of systematic phonics and approach to teaching writing, our children transitioning into secondary school will leave us as a fluent, confident and able writers across all areas of the curriculum.

Our children will make at least good progress during their time with us and this is monitored closely as they journey through the school. The quantitative impact of our writing curriculum will be measured by assessment procedures, which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally:


  • EYFS % of pupils achieving a ‘Good level of development’ (GLD)
  • End of KS1 % of children working towards the Expected Standard, at the Expected Standard or at Greater Depth in writing
  • End of KS2 % of children working towards the Expected Standard, at the Expected Standard or at Greater Depth in writing

We also subscribe as part of the Acorn Trust to the No More Marking Project, which is a national project to assess and moderate pupils’ writing within the Trust, and against a number of other schools.


Page Downloads Date  
Spelling and PAG Progression 10th Oct 2023 Download