Writing at Castle Hill
Here are some examples of our displays, working walls and modelled writing.
At Castle Hill Primary School, we want the children to enjoy and appreciate Literacy. We believe writing is at the heart of all children’s learning of the curriculum and along with reading and speaking and listening, we feel it makes a significant contribution to the development of children intellectually, emotionally and socially and provides them with the necessary skills for later life.
Through the literacy curriculum, we will help children develop the relevant skills needed to empower them to unlock their potential as independent lifelong learners by teaching them to be able to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language for a range of purposes and examining their own and others’ experiences and ideas to give meaning.
Literacy skills, both spoken and written, have a significant impact on self-esteem, motivation and aspirations for the future. Being literate equips young people to be proactive in their own learning and to articulate their thoughts. In this way, they grow in an understanding of themselves as individuals and as members of society.
We, at Castle Hill, believe language and literature are vital, essential tools that allow children to access other subjects and become resilient communicators who can adapt their language for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
At Castle Hill Primary, we use the Write Stuff as the basis for teaching narratives and non-fiction.
Our long term curriculum plan has been mapped out to provide opportunities for progression in the writing skills and allows for progression and revisiting of genres across the year groups.
The Write Stuff
At Castle Hill Primary, we have based our English lessons on "The Write Stuff" approach by Jane Considine to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing and teach the children the skills of writing through vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar.
The Write Stuff uses three essential components to support children in becoming great writers. This is known as the Writing Rainbow. The three zones of writings are:
- IDEAS - The FANTASTICs uses a child friendly acronym to represent the nine idea lenses through which the children can craft their ideas.
- TOOLS - The GRAMMARISTICs. The grammar rules of our language system and an accessible way to target weaknesses in grammatical and linguistic structures shown by pupils.
- TECHNIQUES - The BOOMTASTICs which help children capture 9 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual and allow their writing to come alive on the page.
The Write Stuff lessons are based on two principles; teaching sequences that have experience days based on the narrative (plot points) or non-fiction (shapes) where vocabulary is generated through drama activities and sentence stacking lessons which is where sentences are stacked together chronologically and organised to engage children in short, intensive moments of learning that they can apply to their own writing.
Grammar is taught through the English lessons and we teach the skills of grammar using the GRAMMARISTICs lenses from the Writing Rainbow. These skills are taught progressively from KS1 to KS2 (See the progression grid below).
Every child has a writing rainbow in their English book so that they can use it as a focus for the piece of writing and "deepen the moment" by choosing their own grammar lens to showcase independently.
The grammar skills that are taught and used are seen in their sentence stacking lesson where "live marking" feedback is given and the children can self assess and revise these skills ready to implement them in their longer, independent writes.
Grammar is also taught in skills sessions where they are taught a particular grammar skill, they revise that skill and then apply it independently in their writing. These skills are consolidated and retrieved through early morning activities that follow the skills sessions.
Our aim is for all children to be able to write legibly, fluently and at reasonable speed using their own style of handwriting.
At Castle Hill Primary, we believe handwriting is a key component to writing. We begin with letter formation and then use the Nelson Scheme to support and develop the children's joining of handwriting in school.
How can I help at home?
Writing - Give your child plenty of opportunities to practise their writing skills and apply them to a variety of different styles of writing such as letters, diaries, shopping lists etc.
Handwriting - Help your child develop their gross motor skills (throwing and catching etc); fine motor skills (sewing, threading, using tweezers etc); and pen control.
Spelling - Practise and revisit phonic sounds by playing games, practise the high frequency words and revise the statutory word lists (see National Curriculum Spelling Appendix) by playing games.
Useful website links for parents: