In Reception, children are taught how to form letters from their first full week in school, during their Read Write Inc. phonics lessons. Children are taken in small adult-led groups to receive support with their letter formation.
From Year 1, children begin to follow the Literacy Tree units (see below):
By placing books at the core, we are allowing teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the
national curriculum. The national curriculum states that:
‘‘This guidance is not intended to constrain or restrict teachers’ creativity, simply to provide the
structure on which they can construct exciting lessons.’
This would suggest that a context for learning is vital – and this is where our chosen approach can support
teachers with ensuring that objectives for reading and writing, including those for grammar can have
We will always aim for our writing opportunities to be meaningful and to feel authentic - whether these are
short or long - and that the audience is clear. Books offer this opportunity: our aim would be that that children have
real reasons to write, whether to explain, persuade, inform or instruct and that where possible, this can be
embedded within text or linked to a curriculum area. Writing in role using a range of genres is key to our
approach and we would always model the tone and level of formality. This sits comfortably alongside the
following statement from the English national curriculum:
‘The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils write clearly, accurately and
coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.’
No Nonsense Grammar
The teaching and learning of grammar is embedded within each learning sequence and is supported by ‘No Nonsense Grammar’ resources and definitions for all year groups.
Spelling and Phonics Lessons
Read Write Inc. phonics lessons in EYFS & KS1 support the basis of good spelling
In Year 2 (after Read Write Inc.) and Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, Spelling Shed resources are used to support planning.
Discrete spelling lessons are taught each week and games and activities are used to reinforce children’s understanding.
Children are encouraged to apply their knowledge of accurate spelling across the curriculum and use a range of strategies, including word mats, ‘have a go’ spelling books (although not for the independent elicitation and invent tasks) and dictionaries.
In Reception, children learn how to form letters through the Read Write Inc. programme. In Years 1 and 2, this also involves learning to join letters. In Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 teachers use spelling sessions of spelling rules and/or common exception words to model joins, consistent with the joins introduced in RWInc – this could also include children in Year Two who have completed the Read Write Inc. programme.
Children in Key Stage two are expected to form and join all their letters correctly in order to receive a handwriting pen. In Years 3 and 4, this is provisional, meaning the child is practising with a pen; if quality is maintained, the child will keep their pen. Handwriting pens given in Year 5 are permanent, while children in Year 6 are all given a handwriting pen in order to prepare them for their secondary education – although children may choose to write in pencil if appropriate.