Writing at Harefield Junior School
We develop the children’s writing skills from the stage that they are at when they start in Year 3 at Harefield Junior School. Each child is an individual and they will all develop at different rates.
The teaching of writing includes many aspects:
-Phonic sessions are used early on in Key Stage Two to follow up from the children’s work in the infant school;
-Letter formation is taught through handwriting sessions and children have the chance to earn the right to write in pen through handwriting licences;
-for variety of genres; for example: writing letters, imaginative stories, recounts, instructions, poetry, persuasive writing, reports, and arguments;
-SPaG sessions within English lessons are used to teach spelling, grammar and punctuation discretely to the children. Writing activities then follow up these skills to ensure children use spelling, punctuation and grammar properly in their writing;
-VCOP is also used in lessons to teach writing. The letters stand for: Vocabulary, Conjunctions, Openers and Punctuation. Children regularly take part in ‘Big Write’ sessions, where they are encouraged to write for sustained/extended periods of time ensuring that good examples of VCOP are used throughout their work.
We understand, as a school, the importance of parents, carers and other family members for a child’s education. When parents are actively involved in their children’s learning, it has a positive effect on attainment and achievement. One of the keys to becoming a better writer is to read, so encourage your child to read, read, read!
You can further support your child with their writing by providing opportunities for them to write any of the following at home; thank you letters, Christmas/birthday cards, shopping lists, supervised emails, writing a few sentences underneath a drawing and letter formation. The more practice a child gets, the quicker they will become a confident and fluent writer. We also understand the importance of speaking and listening to the writing process. Please download the following leaflet which details ways in which you could support your child with speaking and listening at home.
Within school, your child will have a writing target that they will be aware of. This will be shared with you at parents evenings along with suggestions of how you can help support your child achieve the next steps in their learning.
Please consult the following guide to understand ways that you can support your child with writing at home.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG)
The grammar of our first language is learnt naturally and absorbed through speaking with others, listening and reading. Explicit knowledge of grammar (knowing how words and sentences work) is, however, very important, as it gives us more control and choice in our language and greatly improves the quality of our writing. At Harefield we believe that building this knowledge is best achieved through a focus on grammar within the teaching of reading, writing and speaking. Once children are familiar with a grammatical concept, for example ‘verb’, they are encouraged to apply and explore the effect of deliberately using these in their own speech and writing. Young children and EAL learners, in particular, use more complex language in speech than in writing. We use a range of creative teaching and learning methods for all children to build vocabulary, grammar knowledge, spelling and punctuation, which are crucial to enable children develop high quality writing skills.
Other downloads to help:
A very clear and simple explanation of each grammar and punctuation term with examples from Oxford Publishers (especially useful, if like many of us you weren’t formally ‘taught grammar’ at school)
General Grammar support for parents and children:
This excellent website has loads of ideas for quick and easy ways to help your child with grammar, punctuation and spelling, plus games and activities you can play with your child to support their learning. It also has 250 free eBooks for you to share with your child as well as simple ideas, top tips, activities and games to help your child with their reading at home. Grammar, punctuation and spelling worksheets for practice.
This is a fantastic website with a huge range of resources and games to make SPaG and literacy learning fun.
- Adventure Island - online creative space
- BBC7 - Big Toe Books - listen to audiobooks
- BBC Gut Instinct - Literacy Games
- BBC Pinball - thoughts and ideas
- Bectan Sands - online writing website
- Big Bus - online literacy activities
- CBBC Inclusive Newsreader
- Charlie Bone website
- Comic Master - online comic maker
- Dragonsville - online creative space
- First News - childrens newspaper
- Harry Potter website
- Jaqueline Wilson website
- JK Rowling website
- KS2 Flash Dictionary
- Malorie Blackman website
- Michael Morpurgo website
- Myth and Legends - read and listen to stories
- Ology world - pirates, dragons, wizards, and more
- Puffin Books
- Roald Dahl website
- Scrabble - play online!
- Spiderwick website
- Storybooks - where did the river go?
- Weaving Tales - ideas for story writing
- Wordle - create images from text
Please click on the link below for ideas on how you can help support your child at home: