At St Antony’s we put great emphasis on writing as a skill for life. Enabling our children to develop into confident writers, who can adapt their writing to fit any genre or need, is at the forefront of our teaching. We aim to inspire our children to write through: creative teaching, which allows the children to express themselves and respond through writing in all subject areas; thorough coverage of grammar teaching across all Year groups and detailed teaching of spelling rules and patterns, which builds upon a solid basis of phonics teaching in Foundation and Key Stage 1.
In this manner, we aim to give our children all the tools and skills they require to be able writers who, above all, love to write!
Handwriting at St Antony's
We promote and encourage the use of a cursive script for handwriting, from Reception class upwards, through a weekly taught session linked to our spellings.
The cursive style that we use, requires children to begin each letter on the line. This is because it helps children to know where letter formation begins for each letter. The lead-in join also enables a smooth transition to completely ‘joined-up’ script as they progress in their handwriting.
The lower-case letters of the alphabet are taught in families, where the letter formation has only slight variations. All lower-case letters are uniform in size with only the ascenders (tall backs i.e. b, d, h, l, t) and descenders (long tails i.e. p, y, g, q) falling above or below the height of other letters. Upper case letters are never joined. Here is an example of our handwriting.
Spelling at St Antony's
Children have a weekly spelling lesson focusing on one particular spelling strategy, pattern or rule. Their weekly homework includes a group of words to learn, which fit the pattern that they have learned. Parents can help at home by:
- Encouraging them to look closely at words and talking to them about words
- Encouraging them to try new words
- Playing word games with them, such as:
- Encouraging effective memorising strategies
- Breaking words into syllables
- Using LOOK-THINK-COVER-WRITE-CHECK
- Encouraging good reading/writing posture
- Sitting up - eyes 12 to 18 inches away from the work
- Encouraging spare time reading
- Pointing out interesting newspaper items
- Encouraging visits to the library
- Buying comics, magazines and books as treats
- Respecting "good mistakes" : those which use letter patterns which do make the right sound, even though they are not right for that particular word. So, for "purpose":
"prupose" would be a less good guess
- Making sure a dictionary is on hand for homework.
Children are taught to write 'narrative' from Reception upwards. Story writing and the ability to develop their imaginative ideas are an essential skill in any writer's toolkit. Along with fiction genres such as traditional tales; adventure stories; fantasy writing and poetry, children are also taught how to tackle non-fiction writing such as: explanation texts (explaining how and why things work); information texts (giving the reader information about a topic or species); instructional texts (instructing the reader on how to do something through a series of numbered steps i.e. recipes, game instructions etc.); autobiographies and biographies (stories and anecdotes of their own or someone else's life) and persuasive texts (e.g leaflets, advertising brochures and letters of complaint.)
Have a look at how we progress in our writing as we move through the Year groups:
Grammar and Punctuation at St Antony's
A weekly grammar lesson is taught in each Year group. Wherever possible, this fits in with the writing genre that is being covered within the class that particular week to enable children to have opportunities to utilise their learning in each lesson. Have a look at what the children are learning in each Year group:
We are extremely proud of the progress our children are making in their understanding and creativity with regards to their written work. As always, we constantly strive to improve our teaching methods so that the children receive the very best and can enjoy learning whilst achieving success. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to drop in and speak to your child’s teacher at any time. Thank you for your ongoing support.