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Writing at St Anne's

High Quality Text Overview 23-24

Writing Policy


At St. Anne’s we aim to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing. Pupils will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach, become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations.

Aims and objectives:

  • To help children enjoy writing and recognise its value;
  • To enable children to write with accuracy and meaning in narrative and non-fiction;
  • To increase the children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work.

English planning

The 2014 English National Curriculum is used as the basis for planning.

We carry out the curriculum planning in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). The National Curriculum details what we teach in the long term. Our yearly teaching programme identifies the key objectives in English that we teach each year.

Our medium-term plans give details of the main teaching objectives for each term. These plans define what we teach and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term. The Writing subject leader is responsible for reviewing these plans.

Class teachers complete a weekly short-term plan for the teaching of Writing. This lists the specific learning objectives for each lesson and gives details of how the lessons are to be taught. It also includes details of differentiation. The class teacher saves them on the shared drive on a weekly basis. Teachers identify the children’s next steps for learning through regular in-depth marking and the use of  on-going assessment; these targets are then addressed, either through children completing individual wishes and up levelling work or are planned and taught in subsequent lesson time. Children also take responsibility for their own learning through identifying and regularly evaluating their progress against specific success criteria or child friendly assessment grids.

Teachers are encouraged to identify the children’s targets through regular assessment and these targets are taught and planned for in lesson time. Children should also be involved in identifying and regularly evaluating their progress towards their targets.


Teaching and learning methods

At St Anne’s School we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in English lessons. We do this through a daily lesson that incorporates whole-class and guided group teaching. Children have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts and use a range of resources such as dictionaries, thesauruses and key words to support their work. Children use ICT in literacy lessons where it enhances their learning, as in drafting their work and using multimedia to study how words and images are combined to convey meaning. Where possible, English lessons are incorporated into the Creative Curriculum.

There are children of differing ability at St Anne’s School. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies.

A list of non-negotiables have been agreed and displayed in classrooms which children should adhere to whenever they are writing. These are called English Essentials. Children who do not demonstrate the agreed standard should be asked to correct this immediately prior to the lesson.


There are a range of resources to support the teaching of English across the school, including big books and guided reading packs. All classrooms have dictionaries and a range of age appropriate small apparatus. Speaking and listening areas with a CD player and a range of audio texts are used where appropriate. All classrooms have a selection of texts and book corners. Children have access to the internet through ipads and laptops. Interactive whiteboards in every classroom are used extensively. The library contains a range of books to support children’s individual research.


The use of ICT enables children to use and apply their developing skills in English in a variety of ways. Younger children use ICT as a source of information and as a way of enabling them to present their completed work effectively. Older children use the Internet when searching for information about a different part of the world, or when using desktop publishing to design a class newspaper. Children use the planning and proofing tools in a word processor when checking their draft work. We encourage all children to use ICT as a resource for learning, whenever they feel it is appropriate. All teachers regularly use the ipads or laptops for English lessons.


After every writing session, teachers assess children’s progress against the taught learning objectives. The short-term assessments that teachers make as part of every lesson help teachers to adjust their daily plans. After each lesson, teachers are required to update the excel document, assessing whether a child is trying (1), using (2) or proving (3) each skill.  Annotated plans demonstrate the teachers’ daily assessment and they will adjust the work as appropriate.

We use medium-term assessments to measure progress against objectives, and to help them plan for the next unit of work. They use the ARE Writing grids four  times a year to assess where children are currently working and identify areas for development. Children should complete two pieces of work per week in their writing progress books, which are marked in line with the ‘Marking and Feedback Policy’ and allow the child and teacher to reflect on progress towards targets.

Teachers make long-term assessments towards the end of the school year, and they use these to assess progress against school and national targets. With the help of these long-term assessments, teachers are able to set targets for the next school year and summarise the progress of each child before discussing it with the child’s parents. The next teacher also uses these long-term assessments as the basis for planning work for the new school year. Children undertake the national Statutory Assessment Tests at the end of Year 2 and Year 6, plus optional SPAG tests throughout Years 3, 4 and 5.

Whole school targets, identified by the subject leaders and staff, provide the particular focus for the year and both year group targets and group targets within each class enable focussed work to raise achievement to be set. Regular, accurate assessment and pupil progress meetings are used to identify target children who are not making required progress. Specific intervention is then used to bridge any gaps in their learning and accelerate progress.

The subject leader keeps samples of children’s work in a portfolio. This demonstrates what the expected level of achievement is in English in each year of the school. Teachers meet regularly to review individual samples of work against any national exemplification and to moderate between classes and year groups.

Marking and Feedback

Marking and feedback should be completed in line with the ‘Marking and Feedback’ policy. All children’s work should be marked. Where learning objectives have been met, the WALT should be highlighted in green. Where WINS have been evidenced, these should also be highlighted in green. Each piece of work should be given two stars with positive comments against the learning objective. Each piece of work should also have spellings to edit and correct identified, and time incorporated into the next session for editing. A wish should give developmental feedback and these should be actioned in the next session so that improvements to the work can be made. Editing and revising should be taught and planned and constant opportunities for children to practise this should be evident.

The Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage profile, Literacy is one of four specific areas of learning. It is divided into two areas, Reading and Writing. Children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals for Reading and Writing. It is anticipated that children will achieve the expected level in Reading and Writing at the end of the year.

Children are given opportunities daily to develop their fine motor skills, pencil control and letter formation. Mark making and ‘finger gym’ activities are planned for to develop children’s strength and dexterity. Different genres of writing are introduced and modelled throughout the year (e.g. lists, cards, captions, poems, narratives, recounts, instructions) and children are supported and encouraged to write in these forms.

Writing in EYFS

Opportunities to apply and practice these skills are planned across a range of topics and areas of learning by the class teacher. Children also have opportunities to practice these skills in the writing area and during child initiated learning both inside and outside. Children are encouraged to use their phonetic knowledge in their writing.

In Reception, children learn to write each sound in a pre-cursive font. This will prepare them for joining their letters in the future. We use a phrase and a flashcard to help children visualise the way in which we form each letter.

Parental Involvement

Parents are kept up to date with their children’s progress in English through parents’ evening and reports. If a teacher has a particular concern with English then a meeting will be called with the parent to discuss possible actions.

Targets are shared with the parents to reinforce work that can be completed at home; this could be through homework that is sent home or through weekly spellings to be learnt at home.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Spelling, punctuation and grammar should be taught daily in discrete lessons as well as incorporated into regular English sessions. We follow the Spelling Shed scheme from years two to six. Where spelling, punctuation and grammar errors are made in extended pieces of writing, children should be encouraged to revise and edit these as part of the feedback and wish process. 

Monitoring and Review

Monitoring of the standards of the children’s work and of the quality of teaching in English is the responsibility of the Writing subject leader(s), Head Teacher and SLT. The work of the subject leader also involves supporting colleagues in their teaching, being informed about current developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction of the subject in the school. The subject leaders give the Head Teacher an annual summary report in which strengths and weaknesses in the subject are evaluated, and areas for further improvement indicated which are included in the English action plan. The leader has specially-allocated regular subject leader time in order to enable them to review samples of the children’s work and undertake lesson observations of teaching across the school. The named governor responsible for English meets with the subject leader in order to review progress.


  • In Reception and Key Stage One children will be taught correct letter formation in a kinaesthetic approach in line with the Foundation Stage.
  • A comfortable and appropriate pencil grip will be taught.
  • Triangular pencils or large pencils are used for those children experiencing difficulty with pencil grip.
  • Cursive letters are taught from Reception using trace over, copying, and rainbow join letters.
  • Once correct letter formation is learned, children are encouraged to begin to join letters.
  • From Reception, left-handed children are shown how to set the paper at an angle and to sit to the left of a right-handed child.
  • Children are encouraged to write on lines from Reception and to use ascenders and descenders correctly.
  • All teachers model joined, cursive handwriting on the board and in comments in children’s books.
  • From Year 1 joined handwriting is practiced regularly.
  • Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 will be encouraged to gain pen licenses awarded at the discretion of the class teacher after the child is consistently producing handwriting of a high standard.
  • Children who have gained their pen license will be awarded a certificate and a Berol handwriting pen.
  • Children in Key Stage 2 who have not yet achieved a joined, fluent style will be given opportunities to use a handwriting pen for best copy work.
  • Children’s writing is displayed around the school to reinforce and celebrate good practice.
  • Handwriting is taught weekly across the school with three opportunities to practise per week.
  • During handwriting practice, children should sit with their backs supported and both feet on the floor with their free hand holding the book/paper.

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

The teaching of literacy develops skills through which our children can give critical responses to the moral questions they meet in their work. Their understanding and appreciation of a range of texts brings them into contact with their own English heritage and texts from a range of other cultures. The organisation of lessons allows children to work together and gives them a chance to discuss ideas and results.

Handwriting policy

National Handwriting Day 2024

Everybody Writes Day 2023

Knowledge organisers for Writing - these documents will support subject knowledge and grammar expectations in each year group.