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Children have so many elements to think about when they write. With this in mind, we endeavour to frame our teaching of writing around things the children already know so as not to overload their working memory. Genres have been mapped across the year groups to ensure our children get the opportunity to write for a wide range of purposes and audiences. Teaching is focused by initial assessment. Generally, teachers use what is known as a ‘cold’ task or a ‘have a go’ task. The aim of this is to see what the children can do independently at the start of a unit, drawing on their prior learning.

The teaching begins with some sort of creative ‘hook’ which engages the pupils, often with a sense of enjoyment, audience and purpose. Writing challenges, such as informing Dr Who about how the Tardis works or producing leaflets for younger children about healthy eating, provide a sense of purpose. The teacher also shares a model text. This is learned using a ‘text map’ and actions to strengthen memory and help students internalise the text. Activities such as drama are used to deepen understanding of the text.

Once students can ‘talk like the text’, the model, and other examples, are then read for vocabulary and comprehension, before being analysed for the basic text and language patterns, as well as writing techniques or toolkits. Once students are familiar with the model text, then the teacher leads them into creating their own versions. A new subject is presented and the teacher leads students through planning. Shared and guided writing is then used to stage writing over a number of days so that students are writing texts bit by bit, concentrating on bringing all the elements together, writing effectively and accurately.

Eventually, students move on to the third phase, which is when they apply independently what has been taught and practised. Students are guided through planning, drafting and revising their work independently. It is essential to provide a rich starting point that taps into what students know and what matters so that their writing is purposeful. This final piece is used as the ‘hot’ task, which clearly shows progress across the unit.

Throughout each stage of the writing process, the teachers expertly model to ensure the children understand. At the end of their study of a genre, children have the opportunity to bring all of their learning together to create a full piece of writing. Whenever possible, after publication the children are encouraged to ‘perform’ their writing to an audience.


Our spelling programme, Superhero Spelling, links directly with our phonics programme, Monster Phonics, so that children are always building on their previous learning. Each week, children in Key Stage 2 are taught a new spelling rule in school, which may be linked to a sound (building on their phonic knowledge) or a spelling rule (e.g. a prefix or suffix, etc.), or is designed to expand their word knowledge (e.g. homophones). The children then have the opportunity to explore their weekly spellings through an application acitivity. They then practise these spellings during the week at home to be tested on them at the end of the week. 

In Year 3, children build on the spelling and phonemic patterns they learn in Key Stage 1, and are introduced to broader spelling rules, homophones, and irregular spellings. In Year 4, children begin to explore prefixes, suffixes, and root words. They refine their strategies for irregular spellings and homophones. In Year 5, children explore irregular spellings further, developing their independence in exploring new spellings and integrating these into their writing. In Year 6, children continue developing their knowledge of complex and irregular spellings, explore homophones, near-homophones, synonyms, and antonyms, and learn to explore words contextually and historically.

Please click on the picture below to learn more about Superhero Spelling. 

Superhero Spelling
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