Parental Support: readers become writers
Wherever you can, please support your child to help them meet the heightened expectation in literacy with confidence. Please see your child's teacher (or Miss Haji or Mrs Emery) if you would like specific advice as to how you could help your child at home to meet these writing targets, or with any other area of literacy. Reading - anything and often - remains the crucial skill that is essential when developing literacy and is fundamental in developing writing skills. Knowledge of the world is crucial to understanding what is being read, so whilst fiction is very enjoyable and often the 'go to' when providing reading material for children, non-fiction topic-related reading should not be overlooked. As with all learning, writing should be fun and playing games is an excellent way to approach this with your child whilst also helping them to acquire new vocabulary and skills.
Nursery and Foundation Stage children are always busy learning nursery rhymes. Perhaps you could ask at home if your child can sing these to you - to help promote this life skill and love of learning. If you need access to resources, rhymes and songs are available in the Spoken Language section of our page.
Pie Corbett is an English educational trainer, writer, author and poet who has written a number of books about the teaching of writing. He is best known within the teaching profession for creating the Talk for Writing approach to learning; an approach we support in all year groups. A lack of skill when constructing sentences is too often a frustrating stumbling block for children. The tips and advice within Corbett's sentence and writing games promotes an oral, short-burst and repetitive approach that appeals to learners of all ages. Creativity games aims to link children's spoken language with writing. Making links between strands of English learning and repetition are effective in engaging children in their own learning and helping them to master the basic essential skills necessary to support their creativity, this is especially important for emerging learners.
Writing Targets: age-related expectation
Writing Wall of Fame
Pupils in Y5/6 have had a lot of fun reciting and also composing their own Ottava Rima poems. After learning published poems for recital, they used their pupil voice to choose their own content and wrote poems based around their own interests using the correct syllable count and even the rhyming sequence ABABABCC which is a real credit to their creativity and talent. Reciting and performing Ottava Rima poetry in assemblies, to parents and to other year-groups gave children an audience for their efforts which they found motivating and rewarding. Every child should feel proud of their effort in response to what was a challenging learning ambition. Olivia and Aria smiling and laughing, certainly captures the thrill and excitement that performing to an audience provides all of our aspiring writers.
Handwriting: Letter Join
The primary aim of handwriting is to help children develop a fluent, legible style of their own that will serve them efficiently as they mature and enable them to write comfortably at pace. We live in a digital era, but this has not removed the need to be able to expediently handwrite in many areas of every-day life. Children also need to be able to recognise letters in order to learn to read. We follow a cursive (joined) handwriting style at our school. Cursive handwriting does not begin on the line and allows for joining breaks to be taken. Children in EYFS begin by learning to form their upper and lower case letters correctly and then in KS1 move on to a cursive style as their bodies mature and once they have mastered their alphabet. We follow Letter Join to model and teach handwriting that builds on the skills children progressively master each year as they move through school. If you would like to support your child at home, look out for a link to this programme that will be shared soon. The whole school font we have chosen is Letter Join No Lead. To avoid discomfort and muscle strain, it is essential that children have shoulder stability and sit with the correct body posture when writing. Writing uses the whole body, not just fingers and wrists, which requires a combination of gross and fine motor skill. Children also need to be taught how to hold a pencil and to experiment with a range of utensils before settling into a style to which they are most suited. Children of all ages benefit from being given a range of play; drawing; painting; colouring; threading; sewing; tearing, cutting, sticking and scrunching; building; doodling and other hands-on opportunities to help strengthen their motor skills which is something we actively encourage at school and at home.