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Writing & Spelling

The teaching of spelling at Leyburn 


In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, spelling is taught alongside the phonic session, learning about the rules of language and making connections between the sounds (phonemes) and the different written representations of that sound (graphemes).


In Key Stage 2, we use ‘Read, Write Inc.’ to teach spelling. This is a scheme with proven results that allows spelling to be taught regularly (at least 3 times a week) in short slots of 15 minutes. Rather than learning a list of stand-alone words, the emphasis is placed on the morphology of words – learning the rules of our language. The children learn to apply these rules to groups of words and understand the way English is constructed. Prefixes, suffixes, word classes and more are all taught and the words being learnt will be recorded in individual log books which will come home for you to see what your child is learning about that week. Little and often is the best way to learn spellings and this is the approach that ‘Read, Write Inc.’ takes. It is important that your child has their spelling logbook with them at school each day.

The lessons are interactive, including online videos and activities along with peer- teaching and teacher-led sessions. The focus is on teaching children spelling and not testing. There are opportunities throughout each unit for the pupils to apply their learning and see what they have remembered along with consolidating tricky words and writing dictation sentences. It is fully in line with the raised expectations of the school curriculum.

Approach to the teaching of writing at Leyburn Primary School

At Leyburn Primary School, we actively encourage children to enjoy communicating with those around them, through speaking, listening, reading and writing. Our approach to writing aims to engage the pupils and develop their love of communicating along with providing them with the necessary skills and techniques needed to develop into a confident and independent writer.

Opportunities are provided for daily writing in all classes and outcomes are often linked to the theme being studied. We ensure the pupils are clear about the purpose for their writing and use a variety of stimuli for this.  Robust monitoring ensures that, where pupils are not making the expected progress, support is provided through same-day intervention or a more regular programme of study specific to their needs.


Early Years Foundation Stage.

Providing opportunities for early mark-making allows children to make the connection that these marks can communicate meaning. The children begin this in nursery.

  • Role-play areas allow shopping lists, postcards and doctors’ prescriptions to be written and shared with their peers.
  • Chalks, sand, paint and other media provide more creative (and messy!) ways to mark-make.
  • An early exposure to books and the written word in EYFS also supports the culture of communication along with stories read by adults, labels around the learning environment and daily phonics sessions.
  • Learning phonics is the beginning of the writing journey; recognizing sounds and then placing a meaningful image to that sound. Letters & Sounds is delivered to small groups on a daily basis by a teacher or teaching assistant, trained to deliver phonics effectively.  Phase 1 begins in the Lower Foundation Stage and is taught across the six areas of learning with activities which encourage general sound discrimination, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and oral blending and segmenting. 
  • In the Upper Foundation Stage the phase 1 skills are built upon during phases 2 and 3.  The children are taught at least 19 letters and move on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters.  This enables children to read some words and to write and spell them. 
  • Handwriting begins in EYFS, beginning to form the letters that they learn through their phonics.








Key Stage 1

  • Phonics continues and children become more able to write words using this knowledge. They make plausible attempts to spell those sounds that they are yet to learn.
  • Daily opportunities for writing continues, often linked to their own experiences and topic of learning. Visits and visitors give the children experiences which they are keen to write about!
  • English teaching includes both the aspects of transcription (spelling & handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
  • The pupils are taught the basics of punctuation to add clarity to their work.
  • Areas for writing are provided in classrooms, including role-play and writing corners, and children often choose to visit these.

Key Stage 2

  • Children continue to have daily opportunities to show their skill as authors through a range of carefully-planned activities, teaching sessions and learning experiences. These cover a range of styles of writing, both fiction and non-fiction, and use spoken language as an essential part of the planning process.
  • The classrooms are literacy-rich and language is embraced through reading, writing, speaking and listening. Debates, hot-seating and drama allow children to experiment with language before committing it to paper.
  • Phonics continues and leads onto more formal spelling sessions.
  • Pupils are taught how to add style and purpose to their writing through more complex punctuation sentence structure. The implementation of neat, joined handwriting continues as we expect our children to take pride in all of their work. Most work is written in a Writing Book, allowing progress to be seen and monitored more clearly and, where pupils may need extra support, this can be given in a timely manner.
  • Pupils begin to write for real purposes: a letter to a local MP, thank you letters to helpers of school events and trips, writing minutes of meetings they have held in their Family Forums, creating stories for other classes.
  • Libraries attached to classrooms encourage independent research for projects.
  • Use of computers and Ipads enables pupils to find, record and present information.


We believe in the value of the spoken and written word. We aim to provide a literacy-rich environment which is supportive and confidence-building whilst giving children the freedom to experiment and be curious. We want children to gain a love of writing and become confident, independent and curious learners.

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