Writing at Eastfield

Reading lies at the heart of the English curriculum at Eastfield and we endeavour to foster a lifelong love of the written word and English language. The National Curriculum English objectives are delivered through a bespoke, carefully planned and sequenced progression of high – quality texts and written genres. By the time pupils leave us at the end of Key Sage 2, pupils have received purposeful exposure to at least twenty high quality texts, which include picture books, classics and a variety of poetry. Our genre studies are carefully crafted to ensure children are equipped with the necessary skills to be confident and competent readers, who can express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through written work. Additionally, the curriculum places a strong emphasis on promoting a love of books and reading for pleasure. The English skills of reading, writing and oracy are also intertwined into the wider curriculum. At Eastfield, we take every opportunity possible to enhance the cultural capital of our learners and equip them with the knowledge and experiences needed in the wider world. Texts are chosen to introduce children to cultural diversities, develop empathy and promote curiosity. We spend time learning about a different modern or classic author each half term. Pupil led learning generously provides opportunities for children to apply their skills through activities such as scientific enquiries, debates, speeches, presentations and creative outcomes.

Writing

Our English curriculum is organised into units of work, which may be taught over several weeks or up to half a term depending on the text being studied, and the opportunities it gives for teaching certain writing genres, audiences and purposes.
The texts are carefully chosen to provide the progression in challenge, length and technical skills over each academic year and build well on prior learning. The length of our genre studies vary depending on the age and stage of the children, the skills being taught and the particular needs of the cohort. Each genre study is typically structured to include: unpicking of features specific to the genre, word level and language work, application to sentences, grammar skills specific to the writing genre and the opportunity for children to independently write and redraft their work focussing their edits on ensuring their writing meets the intended formality, audience and purpose.

Whilst our genre studies incorporate many reading skills, explicit teaching of reading comes through daily phonics sessions in EYFS and KS1 and Guided Reading sessions in KS2.

Spellings

All children in years 1-6 have a weekly spelling test and receive a list of  10 spellings to practise at home each week. In year 1 these spellings will directly correspond with the GPC’s (Letters and sounds) they children have been learning in that weeks phonics lessons. This is to help them to consolidate and apply their learning.

From years 2 -6, spellings are taught as word families, by exploring the impact of suffixes and prefixes on a root word, and learning strategies such as mnemonics to remember silent letters and trickier spellings. Our weekly spelling lists are a combination of spelling patterns/ word families, prefixes and suffixes, topic specific vocabulary or words from the statutory spelling lists, which don’t always follow specific spelling rules. Statutory spelling lists can be found below.
We recognise that good spelling is crucial to being a great writer and thank you for supporting your child to develop their reading and writing skills by supporting them to learn their spellings each week.

Please visit your child’s class page for a copy of this week’s spelling list.

In years 2 and 6,  pupils will sit a statutory 20 word spelling test as part of their end of Key Stage assessments.  Example copies of these tests can be found below:

End of Key Stage 1 (Year 2 ) Statutory spelling test example

End of Key Stage 2 (Year 6 ) Statutory spelling test example

Handwriting

At Eastfield, we recognise the importance of neat, legible and speedy handwriting as a basic skill that goes beyond primary education. We are very proud of our pupil’s handwriting and take particular care in our cursive handwriting style. Throughout the school setting, we use Letter-join’s on-line handwriting resource as the basis of our handwriting policy.

From EYFS, pupils are taught to form letters that are the correct shape and size. In year one, pupils will continue their letter formation journey. Once they have mastered forming each letter  we will begin to introduce a pre-cursive style where each letter starts from the line. As pupils enter year 2, pupils will be encouraged to use a pre-cursive or cursive style depending on their pencil control and writing fluency. In Key Stage1, handwriting is taught through explicit, short mini lessons focussing or one letter or join at a time.

As pupils transition into Key Stage 2, handwriting is taught as part of our daily Guided Reading rotations. Pupils will practise and refine their cursive handwriting style until it becomes an automatic process that does not interfere with their creative thinking. By the end of their time at Eastfield, pupils will understand the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.

Our ‘Perfect Presentation’ display celebrates the quality of presentation in our written work of pupils from Foundation stage to Year 6.

Pupils who consistently demonstrate a neat, legible cursive handwriting style will be award a Pen Licence and handwriting pen to record their work.

To ensure our pupils get frequent opportunities to practise, online handwriting home is set weekly by each teacher, via the Letter-join online platform. Where possible, teachers will combine spelling and handwriting practise for our pupils.

Letter -Join home log-in information

Writing for pleasure

Pupils at Eastfield are provided with many experiences that enrich their learning in English.

Each term we have a whole school writing morning where pupils are encouraged to write freely and creatively about a theme or image stimulus. Examples of these in the past have been ‘choice’ themed poetry and writing about our character counts bravery and courage.

During our school holidays we host writing competitions which aim to foster a love of writing whilst linking with real world purposes such as: postcards during the summer holidays and  journalistic writing about Black History Month significant events in October half term.

Further examples of enrichment activities include trips to the journalism club, PR club, theatre, visiting theatre groups, poetry workshops, creative writing workshops, Author visits, World Book Day events, the Scholastic book fair and more.

Subject Leader:

Lauren Newson