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English - writing

Statement of Intent 

Our aim is that children at Horfield are inspired by the power of language. We ensure that the curriculum expectations and progression of skills are met through delivering a broad, balanced, meaningful and memorable curriculum so that each child enjoys developing their knowledge, skills and understanding as a reader, writer, speaker and listener.

We want children to know more, understand more and remember more about writing so they can write creatively and with enjoyment. We use high-quality, engaging texts and immerse children in vocabulary-rich learning environments. We are passionate about teaching children to speak and write fluently and confidently so that they can communicate with others, and we provide many opportunities for the children to practice their literacy skills to develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful discussion. 

Our writing curriculum adheres to the National Curriculum and is organised into the strands of spelling, grammar & punctuation, handwriting and presentation and composition. Although these strands are taught explicitly at times, it is our intention that children intertwine their knowledge to become creative fluent writers who are enthusiastic about themselves as writers. Through our teaching, children have the opportunity to talk about what they want to write and then understand the importance of the drafting and editing process before producing a finished piece. Through our choice of genres, we give children the opportunity to write for a real purpose so they have the opportunity to see the impact of their writing on others.


Writing has been an improvement focus for the school this year and our English Lead had led a comprehensive programme of professional development to strengthen teachers understanding and skills when teaching writing. Writing is clearly linked to Reading and the children 'Inhale reading to exhale writing'. High quality texts are used as models for children to experience writing by a range of authors. Thought has been given to the choice of text so that each text has 'earned' its place in our curriculum. 

Writing is taught daily across the school with children having the opportunity to write for a range of purposes and audiences. In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1 (KS1), there is a strong focus on developing the foundations of writing through the use of phonics for spelling and the explicit teaching of correct punctuation and sentence structure. As children's skills develop, writing has a clear link with high-quality texts which are used as models to inspire the children's own creative writing. Through other areas of the curriculum, children are given opportunities for cross-curricular writing such as reports in Science or persuasive letters in History.  

Writing units are structured to allow children the opportunity to produce regular writing which teachers then assess and set targets for improvement. Each unit ends with a 'big write' which allows children to demonstrate what they have learnt throughout the unit. In each unit there are a clear set of objectives that the teachers teach explicitly through modelled and shared writing. By the end of the unit children are clear on what they need to do to produce an effective piece of writing and this shared understanding gives them confidence to produce writing of a high standard.


Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

We have in place a rigorous and structured programme for teaching phonics, spelling, handwriting, punctuation and grammar which is firmly embedded across the school.   The school has a wide range of strategies for the teaching of spelling across all year groups.

Spoken Language

As a Platinum Artsmark school, we place a heavy emphasis on the importance of spoken language through performance; in English, we focus on the dramatic performance. Children across the school are exposed to a wide range of performance opportunities either as participants or audience.   Year groups enjoy occasional visits to the theatre to see shows which are linked to their topics of work.  All children in Reception perform in their Christmas Nativity play.

We believe firmly in the small performance opportunities and not just the large, so children are encouraged to perform at every possible opportunity, in whatever setting they feel most comfortable whether this is to their class, in an assembly or to an outside audience.

Our Writing Curriculum by Strand

Our Writing Curriculum by Year Group