St Margaret'sC of E Primary School

Curriculum  »  English  »  Writing & Spelling

Writing & Spelling

At St. Margaret's we teach English based on the principles in 'Planning Through Quality Texts: Putting Literature at the heart of the curriculum' by Ros Ferrara.  This document supports teachers in their planning and delivery of English.  Through the use of a whole class text, we teach the required content for both Reading and Writing.
INTENT - Writing

The principles summarised are:

  • RESPONDING TO A TEXT- Book Talk & Writer Talk
  • WRITING PROCESS- Modelled, Shared, Guided, Independent



The Planning Process

Step 1

Teachers decide on the final written or oral outcome for the unit of work. They ensure that pupils have a reason to write and someone to write for: purpose and audience are central to effective writing.


There are four main purposes for writing:

1. To describe; 2. To narrate; 3. To inform; 4. To persuade.


Step 2

Based on the skills that the children will need to successfully achieve the outcome and formative assessment from the previous unit and cross-curricular work, we identify the objectives to be covered. In doing this, we bare in mind how they will need to be differentiated to meet different needs. These will include the grammatical features and structures that will need to be used in the final outcome.

Step 3

We think of additional incidental writing opportunities that can be built into the unit to make sure that pupils have enough opportunities to write.

Step 4

We identify books or reading material to be used. Start with a high-quality text, many of which will be picture books.

It is the expectation that teachers plan units of learning that are based around sustained pupil exposure – usually for a two or three week period – to a high quality text. A range of texts should be used throughout the year to support pupils’ literary development e.g. Traditional tales (such as The Seven Wise Princesses by Wafa Tarnowska) offer clear, patterned, predictable narrative structures. Texts containing ‘poeticised speech’ (such as ‘The Wedding Ghost’ by Leon Garfield) enable children to appreciate the use of figurative language and how writers choose creative ways to express themselves. Emotionally powerful texts (such as ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ by Michelle Magorian) draw pupils in, intriguing them and frequently moving them as they empathise with the plight of a character they care about.


Step 5

Staff plan in sentence games. These may be to introduce learning, reinforce prior-learning, consolidate prior-learning, experiment with sentence, punctuation or vocabulary choices and to develop creativity. We expect grammar and punctuation activities to be taught at least three times a week. (See additional information below regarding the teaching of grammar and year group content expectations).

Step 6

We plan activities to allow the children to become immersed in and respond to the text being used based on the objectives identified. These will include speaking and listening and drama activities and oral retelling.  Identify activities to support the children reading as writers and understanding how the writer has created impact. These may include looking at how a text is structured overall, how the writer has used sentences and grammatical features and how the writer has made word choices.

Step 7

Keeping in mind the identified objectives, we plan activities to develop children’s ideas for the outcome. This may also include speaking and listening activities and drama as well as research.

Step 8

Finally, we plan in opportunities for the teaching of the grammar needed. Opportunities for pupils to experiment with different structures and vocabulary are essential. All activities here should be contextualised and draw on ideas already developed so that the focus is on the grammar and not on the generating of ideas. We also plan in special opportunities for oral rehearsal of sentences and sequences of sentences.

The Writing Process


As part of the writing process we teach writing composition strategies through modelling and supported practice, which are explained below.


Writing is taught as a process that is made up of seven components. Pupils are taught each of these components and underlying strategies. Strategies are carefully modelled and practised. Over time, pupils take increasing responsibility for selecting and using strategies.


The 7 Components of Writing:

  1. Planning
  2. Drafting
  3. Sharing
  4. Evaluating
  5. Revising
  6. Editing
  7. Publishing


Modelled Writing

Teachers models the writing process aloud and the decisions that writers make about sentences, paragraphs etc to create impact on the reader. This can also include the modelling of planning and spelling strategies.

Shared Writing

Collaborative composition with discussions and suggestions about what to write and how to write it to create the intended effect. At this point the children may write a sentence/s, often in pairs, which are then discussed and utilised.

Guided Writing

Small group writing sessions based on specific needs of a specific group of children. The session may address misconceptions, bridge gaps or extend learning and can take place at any point in the unit.

IMPACT - Writing

Teachers assess throughout the year using FFT as well as selecting 2-3 pieces of writing a term to assess using FFT.  This information is then reported on the school’s assessment tracker sheets to compare to targets set by class teachers for the year.  This information is then analysed by subject leaders as well as SLT and discussed with the teacher during pupil progress meetings each term to determine next steps and adjust provision to ensure it continues to meet the needs of every child.



Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are taught Phonics on a daily basis.  This incorporates the teaching of spelling. During these sessions, children will also be introduced to the Common Exception Words. These words are always displayed within the learning environment of the relevant year groups.


In Years 2-6 spelling is also taught as discrete lessons following the approach of the  ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ programme.  Specific spellings are then given from Spelling Shed which children have a login for practise at home.  The lessons progress through the year and are presented in blocks. There are 6 blocks per year.  Error analysis should form a part of on-going assessments.

Skills Progression
Knowledge Maps & Plans
News & Announcements