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East Hanningfield

Church of England Primary School

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Writing inc Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG)

East Hanningfield CE Primary School

How do we teach Writing?




At East Hanningfield Primary School our intent is for all children to develop proficiency in the fundamentals of writing and therefore become effective and efficient writers. Our curriculum focusses on transcription and composition in writing for a variety of audiences, acquiring the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively for a range of purposes. Writing is taught through the use of a range of high-quality texts, which exposes the children to inference, high-level vocabulary, a range of punctuation and characterisation. Children will leave East Hanningfield with the key life skill of being able to confidently and competently write effectively in a range of different styles for a variety of different audiences.


Within Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) our intent is for all children to develop proficiency in the fundamentals of writing and therefore become effective and efficient writers. Our curriculum enables children to increase their vocabulary and develop their skills in grammar, punctuation and spelling. Children will leave East Hanningfield having developed proficiency in spelling and use of punctuation and grammar.


The aims of teaching writing in our school are to develop pupils who:


  • show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards writing;
  • use and understand language as speakers, readers and writers.
  • are competent, confident and independent in the use of language in their writing.
  • have an awareness of different audiences and purposes for writing.
  • apply their grammatical knowledge in their writing
  • apply their phonetic and spelling knowledge in their writing
  • apply the English language in all areas of the curriculum.



A broad and balanced English programme, using objectives from the National Curriculum 2014 and planning, determines the skills that each year group and Key Stage must cover. A range of genres are studied and promoted and we use Jonathan Bond to map progression and coverage of these across the school. A variety of resources are used to promote a positive reading and writing culture.


Children are given a range of writing opportunities including the use of paired, group and independent writing tasks. A culture of learning from each other is promoted through use of co-operative learning structures. This is developed across all key stages, so that the children learn to respond appropriately and supportively to each other regardless of gender, age, cultural or ethnic background.


Our school provides daily English lessons that are progressive and support skill development. The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is followed to ensure continuity & progression from entering Reception Class through to the National Curriculum in KS1 & KS2.


The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into prime & specific areas of learning and development. Communication & Language is one of 3 prime areas that are fundamental to supporting their language development. Communication & Language is made up of the following aspects: listening and attention and understanding and speaking. ‘English' is one of 4 specific areas which include the development of essential skills and knowledge and is made up of the 2 aspects: reading & writing. Pupil provision is related to attainment, not age. Children learn through play, speaking and listening activities, teacher modelling, group work and self-direction.


At East Hanningfield CE Primary we teach specific Grammar sessions which are then applied in children’s writing. As part of our enriched curriculum, English opportunities are planned through a variety of ways including through our termly/ half termly topics and via other subjects.


In English lessons across all Key Stages, teachers plan a sequence of lessons that explore quality texts and give pupils the opportunity to practice writing and reading skills through the use of co-operative learning structures. Teachers model these skills on a regular basis and planning, editing, publishing and ICT based tasks can be seen as part of the teaching sequence.  Handwriting sessions are taught regularly to the children and follow a cursive programme. The children have separate handwriting books and are expected to apply this cursive script into their daily writing.


Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling (SPAG OR GPS)

The grammar of our first language is learnt naturally and implicitly through interactions with other speakers and from reading. Explicit knowledge of grammar is, however, very important, as it gives us a more conscious control and choice in our language. Building this knowledge is best achieved through a focus on grammar within the teaching of reading, writing and speaking. At East Hanningfield CE Primary we make the teaching of SPAG an intrinsic part of our lessons.


Once pupils are familiar with a grammatical concept we encourage them to apply and explore this concept in the grammar of their own speech and writing and to note where it is used by others. To achieve this, we do the following:

  • Introduce, teach and model an objective for the week. This is often linked to the text being explored.
  • For the rest of the week SPAG objectives are explicitly embedded in shared writing in all areas across the curriculum.
  • SPAG objectives are explored in texts
  • In KS2 we use Grammar Hammer mini tests to get children used to the analytical questions that they would get in a SATs assessment.

Here Year 5 can be seen using books from the library to help them create their own success criteria for a new genre of writing they are beginning.

Year 6 used freeze frames to help them understand the story of Macbeth

Kingfishers class can be seen working in small groups to sequence a text.