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At Oldway Primary School, our aim is to ensure that all of our children are successful writers, who enjoy writing and can write confidently and effectively for a range of purposes and audiences. Our aim is for our children to develop a secure understanding of the writing process, and of grammar and punctuation, whilst developing fluency in spelling and handwriting. Our intention is to develop children’s love of language, and awareness of language choices and their effects, and to help them to apply this to their writing.



At Oldway Primary School, our primary approach to teaching writing in the Early Years is through the use of the Talk for Writing (TfW) approach. TfW uses multi-sensory and interactive teaching methods to support children to develop their writing ability through:


  • listening to and learning texts and stories; 
  • taking part in drama and role-play; 
  • drawing and story mapping; 
  • collecting words and language strategies; 
  • building their working knowledge of grammar.



Talk for Writing has three key phases which work together to develop knowledge, confidence and independence in writing:


1. Imitation 
We start our Talk for Writing units with a ‘hook’ starter, which fires up the creativity and imagination of the children before they immerse themselves in the model text. During this phase, the children learn a model text using actions and story maps. The key to success for the children is that they internalise the text type through repetition and rehearsal. They explore the structure of the narrative and investigate the different characters, settings and events. 


2. Innovation 
During this phase, the teacher and the children begin to change aspects of the model text using their own ideas. They explore the text using different characters, settings or events and new ideas for descriptive language whilst sticking closely to the underlying structure. 


3. Invention 
During the invent sessions, the children plan and write their own story based on the text they have been learning. They experiment with ideas and begin to explore their own writing using words, sentence types and language patterns from the model text.



At Oldway Primary School, our primary approach to teaching writing in years 1 to 6 is through the use of BookWrites teaching sequences. Teachers plan teaching and learning activities which address all stages of the writing process.  Each teaching sequence is based on carefully selected and inspirational 'texts that teach'.


BookWrites has three key stages which work together to develop knowledge, confidence and independence in writing:


1. Learning the text
The purpose of this stage is to capture the children’s interest and help them get to know the text really well. This is through both ‘reading as a reader’ (exploring and sharing personal responses to what they read) and through ‘reading as a writer’ (recognising and investigating the features the writer uses to engage and manipulate the reader). It will often involve some form of learning and remembering of trickier or interesting sections to be used as an initial model for writing.

Each sequence will contain some or all of:

  • a hook into the text
  • reading and responding to the text
  • comprehension activities
  • retelling the text
  • talking about the text
  • in role in the text/drama
  • vocabulary work
  • analysing the text
  • grammar in context
  • identifying the structure of the text


2.  Practising writing
During this stage, children try out the elements of writing they are less sure of so that they can use this experience when writing independently. Pupils have opportunities to play around with the language and structures they’ve been learning about and will be supported by their teacher.

In teaching sequences, this section usually includes:

  • generating ideas to write about and one idea chosen
  • a shared activity to generate content for the chosen content
  • recording key ideas alongside the structure of the text
  • telling and talk to generate the text
  • story mapping the text where necessary
  • Shared writing supports:
  • Teacher modelling writing the text, usually in sections, applying learning from the first phase
  • children writing their own version of the text using the class idea
  • editing writing
  • proof-reading writing


3. Independent writing
Pupils plan and create an independent version of the text. 

Each sequence is designed to build on children’s previous knowledge, as demonstrated through an elicitation task. Children are exposed to a range of genres and text types across the year so that they are able to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Previously taught literary techniques are revisited and embedded.



We understand the importance of editing and improving in the writing process. We aim to develop pupils’ independence in being able to identify their own errors and areas for improvement, in all pieces of writing. We use ‘feedback footsteps’ to support pupils in editing and improving their work effectively, both during and after the writing process: independently, with a peer or under the guidance of an adult.









In their early years, the children learn to spell through their phonics lessons (through the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme).  Once they have completed the RWI Phonics programme, they will have dedicated spelling lessons each week where they are taught the statutory spellings for each year group as well as the spelling rules and patterns as set out in the National Curriculum.

 Children in Years 1 - 6 have a login for Spelling Shed. On the Spelling Shed site, children access spelling games at home to consolidate their in-class learning. Supporting your child to access these spelling games at home will be incredibly beneficial and this forms part of our expectations of home learning.  






Statutory Spelling Lists from the National Curriculum


Years 1 and 2 Spelling Lists


Years 3 and 4 Spelling List


Years 5 and 6 Spelling List


The school follows the Nelson handwriting scheme and pupils have dedicated taught and practice sessions each week. Through regular practice sessions, we aim to practise handwriting to fluency to free up children to focus on the compositional aspects of writing. In the early years, there is a focus on developing correct posture and grip for handwriting.


Our ‘Funky Fingers’ activities support the development of the fine motor skills needed to aid accurate letter formation. Handwriting lessons teach the movements of handwriting. Throughout their time at Oldway, we encourage pupils to take pride in the presentation of their written work and to develop a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.