“If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

Stephen King

Our vision for writing

By the time children leave our Early Years they will be a ‘Wow Writer’, able to “Fred Talk” words, label drawings and write short captions.

By the time children leave Key Stage 1, our children will be able to use their imagination, creativity and voice to share their ideas and express themselves on paper.

By the time children leave our school in Year 6, they will be able to use their imagination and creativity to plan, draft, compose and edit their own writing based on their experiences and literature that they read.

Above all, we aim for all children to be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

How we teach writing

To find out more about our approach to teaching writing, including more details about The Write Stuff, read our Writing at PSJ document.

Early Years

Before children can write, they need to develop physical core strength and dexterity by developing both fine and gross motor skills. We teach children how to grip their pencil and support this development through play and practise. This, alongside building language and supporting communication through stories and nursery rhymes, helps our youngest children develop and learn. However, writing is not just about the technical aspects of the process. As a writer, we encourage children to  engage with the act of writing, be motivated to communicate their ideas, and think about what those ideas might be and how to share them.

Year 1 – Year 6

At PSJ Primary,  we have adopted “The Write Stuff” by Jane Considine to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing. ”The Write Stuff” follows a method called “Sentence Stacking” which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing.  An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken into 3 learning chunks. Each learning chunk has three sections:

  • Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
  • Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques, thinking out loud to model the writing process.
  • Enable section – the children write their sentences, following the model. They then change aspects of the writing, drafting , editing and improving their own pieces of work.

Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ which requires them to independently draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk. “The Write Stuff”  uses three essential components to support children in becoming great writers

The three zones of writing :-

  • IDEAS –  The FANTASTICs uses a child friendly acronym to represent the nine idea lenses through which children can craft their ideas.
  • TOOLS – The GRAMMARISTICS. The grammar rules of our language system and an accessible way to target weaknesses in pupils’ grammatical and linguistic structures.
  • TECHNIQUES – The BOOMTASTICs which helps children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual.

Pencil Grip

We teach children how to hold their pencil, helping them to eventually be ready for a tripod grip (using their thumb, first finger and middle finger). Children are usually ready to adopt a tripod grip at 5 years old, however it is important to remember that children develop differently and that pencil grip develops in different stages.

Pencil Grip Video

What your child will learn in writing when we teach it

Our progression document below outlines the detailed learning journey your child will take in writing as they move through our school.

PSJ Writing Progression Document

Further Reading

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