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St Marie’s Catholic Primary School Curriculum Guide Writing

‘Exercise the writing muscle every day.Writers are like dancers and athletes. Without exercise, the muscles seize up.’ Jane Yolen ‘Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light of broken glass.’ Anton Chekhov

AIMSAt St Marie’s we work as writing. Link to National Curriculum ENGLISH
  • At St Marie’s it is our intention to provide pupils of all abilities with a high quality education in English by mastering basic skills in reading, spelling and writing to enable them to speak, read and write with great fluency and confidence and communicate effectively. Our English curriculum is progressive and sequenced to develop the acquisition of knowledge and skills. The aims of teaching writing in our school are to develop pupils who: show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards writing;
  • are competent, confident and independent in the use of language in their writing;
  • write for a variety of purposes and audiences, clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style as required.
  • develop an understanding of grammar and punctuation and acquire a wide range of vocabulary and apply these in their own writing;
  •  apply their phonetical and spelling knowledge in their writing;
  • take pride in their writing using St Marie’s handwriting scheme and presenting their work to a high standard.
  • acquire strategies to enable them to become independent learners in English (spelling patterns, spelling logs, redrafting lessons).
  •  apply the English language in all areas of the curriculum. We ensure that all our pupils are equipped with the necessary reading, writing, speaking and listening skills which will enable them to be effective communicators in the next step of their education and the wider world.

Writing is a fundamental part of our curriculum. From foundation stage to year 6, children are provided with a variety of opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills in English and across the curriculum. Spelling In EYFS and KS1 daily phonics sessions are taught following the Letters and Sounds programme . KS2 teach spelling daily using the Revise, Teach, Practice and Apply approach. Using spelling patterns from the National Curriculum, divided into year groups, children explore and are taught spelling rules; practice spelling using a variety of creative methods; apply these spelling patterns in sentences and revise the spelling patterns and rules before being introduced to a new spelling pattern. In the revision part of the process, children are informally tested on whiteboards.


Discrete grammar lessons are taught weekly and the children are given the opportunity to practise these skills at other times during the week. Grammar objectives are linked to writing lessons wherever possible to ensure that the children apply these skills in their writing.


Using the school handwriting scheme, handwriting is modelled by the teacher once per week and children are given the opportunity to practise at other times during the week.

Reading for Writing

During reading week, children are provided with inspiration, a purpose and an audience for their writing. Through the reading of high quality texts, children are provided with a model from which they can identify: interesting vocabulary, writing skills and features of the genre studied. Subsequently, pupils can apply all of this in their own writing.

Teaching of Writing

Planning of regular shared writing sessions provide opportunities to model and scaffold writing skills and give pupils access to high level vocabulary and figurative language. Following this input, the children will apply the skills gained in the shared write, in their own independent writing (opportunities to write in continuous provision in Reception). Each day, the children complete a section of writing e.g. the beginning of a story, one day of a diary extract, one section of a report; building up to an extended write. In Reception and Year 1, guided writing take place throughout the week. Each week, children will be given an opportunity to redraft their work; this is modelled by the teacher (Year 1-Year 6). Children then address their target in the context of the genre they are studying and attempt to improve/address this writing skill. Using writing objectives from the National Curriculum and writing skills, teachers devise differentiated success criteria relevant to the genre being taught (Reception, towards the end of the year). This is used to inform the focus of shared writes and enables the teachers and children to evaluate their writing.


Next steps marking provides positive support and directs the pupil to their next steps in order to improve their writing. When children’s work is marked, they will be given two stars (strengths) and a wish (target) taken from the success critera. Similarly, children self-assess and peer assess according to their success criteria (verbal in Reception). Throughout the teaching of each genre, the teacher will formatively assess children’s writing by dating a pre-prepared success criteria based on writing skills. The children will regularly self-assess using the same success criteria.

IMPACTAssessment for learning strategies are used on a daily basis to assess children and inform future planning. Formative assessment is undertaken by dating a pre-prepared success criteria based on age-related expectations for writing. Teachers assess children’s writing half-termly based on age-related expectations. Formal writing assessment takes place termly (every half term in Year 6). Children complete an independent piece of writing, based on the genre being studied; this is then assessed against age-related expectations. In Reception, children are formatively assessed throughout the year, this forms evidence towards the EYFSP. Analysis of results impacts upon teacher’s planning so pupils’ needs can be addressed. Follow up lessons ensure that children are aware of their strengths and targets and are given time to address these. Internal and external moderation of teacher assessment is completed regularly to ensure that judgements are accurate. Results are entered into SIMS and children who are not making expected progress are monitored by subject leaders and SLT. Children who are not on track are identified for intervention/target teaching. Half-termly assessment of grammar in Year 6 takes place using past and practice SAT papers. There are weekly spelling tests in all year groups (Year 1-6). At the end of KS1 and KS2 teachers use the Teacher Assessment Framework to report Teacher assessment (Reception use EYFSP).

What makes a good writer at Saint Marie’s?

A good writer:


Uses a wide range of punctuation and connecting devices to convey meaning.






Can plan and redraft their work.


Has a strong command of spoken language that underpins the development of vocabulary, grammar and the understanding needed for effective writing.


Uses knowledge of adapting their style, flair and language choices.



The ability to be imaginative, listen carefully, think creatively and express themselves clearly though the conventions of discussion and debate.


Has the stamina and good understanding of purpose and audience. 





Has neat, legible, joined (KS2) handwriting and can spell common exception words and letter patterns according to their year group.