At Hillbrook we believe that language is a powerful tool for learning and social development and are committed to developing children’s spoken and written form. We understand that reading and writing go hand in hand; children need to be capable and fluent readers in order to become capable and fluent writers.
We recognise that writing is a complicated process and therefore, in order for children to succeed, our planning provides a range of scaffolds to support their success. These scaffolds include: talk for writing, drama and role play, ICT, writing for a range of purposes and audiences, explicit grammar teaching in context, exposure to high quality texts, visual and language models as well as the systematic teaching of spelling and handwriting.
All year groups have regular opportunities to write at length across a range of subjects, topics and genres. In addition to this, ‘Big Writes’ occur on a fortnightly basis to encourage children to become independent and reflective leaners. These also provide opportunities for teachers to assess the child’s writing when less support is given.
Parents can support children’s writing by encouraging them to write for a range of real-life purposes and audiences at home. For example:
- Shopping lists/ to do lists
- Story writing
- Captions for photographs
Handwriting is an essential skill for both children and adults. At Hillbrook we believe it is important to support children to develop neat, attractive and consistent handwriting and have pride in their written work. Teaching staff have consistently high expectations of handwriting and presentation across all subjects and encourage children to apply handwriting skills taught across the curriculum.
Spelling is taught daily in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 as part of phonics lessons. It continues to be taught frequently in Key Stage 2 where spelling rules and patterns are investigated, taught and practiced. Common ‘exception’ words are also taught. Please click here to see a list of 100 common high frequency words. A secondary list of 200 words can be found by clicking here.
Lists of words are sent home each week for children to learn. These might be common ‘exception’ words, words relating to the class’ theme or lists of words that fit a particular pattern or rule.