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At Shaw Cross, writing is an integral part of all the curriculum.  Children are involved in writing for many purposes and for different audiences.  Writing includes many different elements – handwriting, spelling and planning and shaping texts and for this reason is a complex combination of many skills.

Physical development is at the forefront of good handwriting. In the early years we have worked hard to provide many opportunities to develop strong gross and fine motor skills. Resources have been carefully chosen specifically to strengthening core muscles, along with shoulder, arm and hand strength, including the use of a pincer grip. As children move through school they have access to discrete handwriting lessons where they are taught the formation and position of letters, along with the introduction of joined handwriting through the schools adopted ‘Penpals’ scheme.

The ability to use and apply phonics to link letters and sounds, and to recognise and use common irregular words is embedded in teaching and learning throughout school.  Initially this stems from our focus on good speaking, on sound talk, and is also supported by the extensive blending work that is undertaken within phonics. Children work on spelling patterns and rules within discrete phonics lessons, but also have the opportunity to apply this across the curriculum in all areas of learning. Children are encouraged to make phonically plausible attempts at spelling, but also to work on spelling irregular common words through strategies such as look, cover, write, check. As children move though school there is an increasing emphasis on SPaG (spelling, grammar and punctuation). By focussing of the structure of language and punctuation within sentences we are able to empower our children with the tools for enhancing their own writing.

The ability to use “book” language is essential if children are to develop into successful writers.  To develop compositional skills we place a heavy emphasis on Talk for Writing where children have lots of opportunities to explore language, rehearse their writing orally and draw storyboards to help sequence and develop ideas. This is supported by the high quality reading materials that we provide within school which inspire and motivate our children to become writers across a range of genre, such as stories, instructions, poetry, newspaper reports, persuasive adverts, and non-fiction texts. We are continuously enhancing our provision, including the use of ICT facilities to immersing children in scenarios that go beyond that of their own experiences, e.g. space, the Fire of London.

We ensure all children have access to the content of the EYFS curriculum and the National Curriculum for writing.

Click here for the EYFS curriculum.

Click here for the Year 1 curriculum.

Click here for the Year 2 curriculum.

Speaking and Listening

At Shaw Cross we have a strong emphasis on developing speaking and listening as this is the foundation to good reading and writing.

From the onset we encourage children to enhance their vocabulary through the provision of a language rich environment. We develop language initially within contexts that are familiar to children, but also extending to new experiences. Children are provided with the opportunities to tell stories, engage in role play and discussions, and present viewpoints and opinions. 

Children are taught how they can develop good listening skills and are provided with many opportunities to demonstrate this within their learning. As a good listener, there is an expectation that they will be focussed and attentive, and respond appropriately to what they have heard.

We ensure all children have access to the content of the EYFS curriculum and the National Curriculum for speaking and listening.

Click here for the EYFS curriculum.

Click here for the Key Stage 1 curriculum (Year 1 & 2).

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