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 Approach to the teaching of writing at Leyburn Primary School

We choose a good piece of writing from each year group to display in the hall every fortnight.We choose a good piece of writing from each year group to display in the hall every fortnight.


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. More information on these themes can be found here. 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 StageThe children begin by mark making in Nursery.The children begin by mark making in Nursery.

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

  • 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.They start to use writing for meaning.They start to use writing for meaning.
  • 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.
  • Mantle of the Expert begins to be used in Key Stage 1 as a way to offer a multitude of wonderful learning experiences which then encourage enthusiasm in writing. We have had children visiting Greece, working with Willy Wonka on his chocolate factory and exploring a potential Jurassic Park from the safety of our classrooms! Find more detail about Mantle here.
  • In 2016 we have begun to use 'Talk for Writing' as a way of further developing our written recording of stories and other types of writing. 


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. We use Alan Peat sentence types to introduce these in a structured but fun and meaningful way.
  • The teaching of handwriting continues and we expect our children to take pride in all of their work. Most work is written in a Topic 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.
  • Mantle of the Expert continues.
  • 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 for finding, recording and presenting information.


For our approach to the teaching and learning of spelling, please click here.


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.

Talk for Writing

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