At Field Place Infant School, we believe reading is a catalyst for writing so ensure there are strong links in these two subjects throughout the year. We have a range of quality texts that can inspire and motivate children to write and become ‘authors’. We also believe children should be given opportunities to write in all areas of the curriculum where they have a range of stimuli which include film clips, visitors and real life experiences.
From the very beginning, we ensure children are given purposeful drawing and writing experiences. In nursery and reception, children are taught they are ‘the boss’ of their writing. Children are encouraged to write in both the inside and outside learning environments and across all areas of the curriculum. There is a joint emphasis on teaching children that writing carries meaning alongside a focus of developing children’s understanding and use of phonic skills. In all foundation stage classes children are given many opportunities to draw and write for different purposes. Children are also given opportunities to self initiate writing to develop confidence in their early skills. As children develop their understanding of letter sounds (phonemes) and letter shapes (graphemes) they begin to write phonetically. By the end of the foundation stage children are confident early writers who use their phonic skills well. Children also use an increasing number of core words when communicating through print; this helps others to read what they have written.
When children move into Year 1 and 2, we give children the opportunity to plan their writing. Talk is integral to writing, we spend time building up the vocabulary children would want to use to add description and extend details. We also plan lessons which allow children to have quality conversations with adults to discuss what they have written; celebrating successes and looking at how to make their writing even better. The children are then given time to edit and improve their work.
While we promote children to write freely, independently and with a love of composition, we also teach the transcription of writing; looking at spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting. During each genre of writing, we teach the grammar or punctuation that supports that specific style of writing and focus on high frequency words or spelling patterns that the children may include. We believe it’s important for the children to see the links between all aspects of writing so choose key texts which will support the teaching of this. Gross and fine motor skills are developed in EYFS through a range of activities with targeted intervention for children who struggle with these areas. This then moves into Year 1 and 2 using the PenPals handwriting scheme. In writing sessions, teachers model the whole writing process, displaying the high standards expected of all children. We also enjoy celebrating children’s writing by sharing it with other children, staff and parents.