Writing at Portway Infant School
At Portway Infant School, we are determined that every child will learn to write. Every child is an author, and we want our children to see themselves as creative writers and believe it is our job to ignite their wonder. Writing at Portway begins with the children being immersed within creative and exciting topics taught by staff who capture the children’s imagination from the very start. We believe that learning to write is a journey that should be full of excitement, curiosity, intrigue and knowledge. We encourage children to make links in their learning to build on the knowledge they have developed during their time at Portway.
We believe to create enthusiastic writers children need to write for a purpose which underpins the ethos of our writing curriculum. In Year R, children begin to write for an audience, i.e. the reader. They learn that marks have meaning. Children are taught a correct pencil grip and subsequently effective pencil control through handwriting patterns and shapes. Children progress to being taught letter shapes using a precursive handwriting model with exit strokes but not ‘lead in’s’. As their phonetic knowledge increases children learn to articulate their ideas and structure them in speech before using their sound knowledge to form the corresponding letters.
We believe that reading plays a key role in the writing curriculum and from the very start of their journey children will experience creative and rich texts through a variety of different platforms such as role play, group reading and story time, which helps build and develop a strong vocabulary. Children are inspired to apply their ever growing vocabulary through purposeful writing activities that are found throughout the curriculum. So whether they are inviting Cinderella to the ball or filling in a Police Incident form, our children are taking their first steps to becoming writers.
As the children’s journey continues into Year 1 they start by developing their existing skills and begin to learn that writing can have lots of different purposes. They start by learning that writing can be informative and learn how to write instructions, including how to set up a guinea pig cage for the class guinea pig as well as steps for dressing a pirate. As the year progresses, they develop the different aspects of being an author by writing stories and taking the first steps of thinking about their audience and who will be reading their creative writing. They learn that readers need to be entertained as well as informed and learn that adjectives can be used to add more detail to their story. Through topics such as Space, Titanic, Deadly 60 and Dinosaurs the children are given opportunities to consolidate their learning by applying their ever growing vocabulary and Phonetic knowledge into their writing. By the time the children leave Year 1 they are equipped with a strong understanding of writing for a purpose and are ready to strengthen this when they move to Year 2.
In Year 2, the children develop a deeper knowledge and understanding by building upon what they have learnt in previous years. Children are given regular extended writing opportunities allowing them to flourish as authors by creating their own personal writing style. Each topic starts with an engaging and exciting hook such as, going on a hunt for real snails or discovering the equipment of an Antarctic explorer in their classroom. Children become immersed in their learning which brings out their inquisitive side and enthusiasm for research to become experts in their topics. Through the use of rich texts, short film clips and unique experiences children are exposed to wide range of vocabulary which they use to strengthen their writing. Whether it be experiencing every emotion of Scott’s tragic journey to Antarctica or helping Badger create a truly revolting sandwich, the children learn that their word choices can be used as a way of bringing their writing to life.