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2023-24 Writing

Teaching and Learning Policy 


Policy last reviewed:  September 2023

Reviewed by: Matthew Ascroft  

Agreed by governors:  

Shared with staff:  

Frequency of review: Annually 

Date of next review:  

Head Teacher: Matthew Ascroft 

Leaders with responsibility for Teaching and Learning Policy 

Inclusion Leader : Lucy Pater

Curriculum : Ellen Parker 

Reading : Sarah Morris

Writing : Nicola Burns 

Maths : Callum Morrow

Early Years – Carla Lapworth 


Chair of Governors: Mr Bill Gallagher 


1 Vision 

Believe and Achieve! 

Stoke Primary School seeks to ensure that every member of the community can  

Believe and Achieve. 


The learning systems that are established within this policy place each and every child at the centre of their learning.  By empowering each child with skills, knowledge and learning systems, they can significantly impact on their own achievement and seek to be the best they can be. 


2 Aims and Objectives 

To engage children in all aspects of writing, so that they develop into confident and passionate learners who can be proud of writing that they create.’ 


We have moved on from using the Write Stuff programme and have adapted a new approach to teaching writing in KS1 and KS2 which incorporates some of the aspects of the Write Stuff but allows wider opportunity for the children to develop their creativity. 


The children are given individual targets linked to focused objectives. This then allows every lesson to become purposeful for each individual child. Lessons focused on these targets allow children to develop these skills and enable them to understand their own success criteria as a writer. The children are able to apply their understanding of the focus target throughout within different genres before applying both targets in the final independent piece. 


Experience days are included throughout the learning sequence to support the children in developing their own ideas and build of their imagination. This also ensures that the planning stage is clear and detailed. Regular feedback is given throughout by teachers and peers to support in the children's success at achieving their targets.


Spelling is taught discretely in KS2 in the afternoons using the Spelling Shed programme. Children are grouped accordingly for the stage of learning they are at. Phonics is taught in KS1 using the Super Sonic Phonic Friends scheme. Once the children have passed their phonics screening in Year 2, they access Super Sonic Phonic Friends to learn the spelling rules. 


3 Key Principles of Effective Learning at Stoke Primary 

Stoke understands the importance of lifelong learning skills for all our children to enable them the chance to fulfill their dreams.  To facilitate this, we have three key aspects of effective learning. 


  • Widening Horizons 


Stoke Primary School recognises that children are better equipped to develop and apply their skills in writing when the learning is immersive and linked to other subjects, giving them a context and clear purpose.  It is also acknowledged that some writing skills are better suited to discrete teaching which can then be applied across the curriculum.  


This is facilitated by the following: 


  • Contextualising learning with real experiences 
  • Vocabulary-rich learning landscape
  • Characteristics of Effective Learning


 These characteristics support effective learning in writing: 


Active Learning  

Children are involved in the development of writing, sharing their ideas and concentrating in order to achieve.  All children have the opportunity to succeed at and beyond their stage of writing development. 

Children share their writing and sometimes publish their work, showing satisfaction and being proud of what they have achieved. 


Playing and Exploring  

Children are encouraged make independent choices with their writing (vocabulary, grammar, composition and punctuation).  They are challenged to ‘have a go’ with new vocabulary and punctuation, experimenting with sentence structure and creativity in writing. 


Creating and Thinking Critically 

Children develop their own ideas and are able to choose a way to present their writing.  They develop their ability to ‘join the dots’, linking their writing to their learning in the wider curriculum. 


Stoke Primary School considers the Characteristics of Effective Learning, as defined in the EYFS, to be key components that lead to lifelong learning.  Stoke Primary School applies a progression of these throughout all year groups as a structure that underpins good learning.  The language and its application develop through school and our children learn to develop these characteristics throughout all their learning. 


  • Skill Sequences 


A key part of each writing teaching sequence is choosing the appropriate objectives to teach during the writing unit.  This is a process where teachers define a clear and focused skill progression for each sequence of learning, to ensure children understand both the skill area they are working towards but within a context of progression of steps. This is shared with and referred to by the children regularly.  This sequence runs alongside the ongoing application and development of writing skills as defined by the National Curriculum, selected appropriately for the writing genre which is being taught. 


This process supports enhanced learning rates as it provides clear scaffolding for children to engage in their own learning progression. 


  • Classroom Expectations


On displays in the classrooms, teachers show the lesson sequence including what the independent pieces of writing are and examples of the writing foci. Shared writing is displayed to support writing and showcase the expectation. Examples of children's sentences using the foci are displayed on sentence strips to motivate and encourage the class.


4 Planning and Assessment 

We believe that planning and assessment are inextricably linked and are fundamental to effective learning.  Teachers have the responsibility to assimilate core information to ensure that planned learning is tailored to meet the needs of the class and through effective assessment, progress can be clearly defined. 


Stoke Primary School has two approaches to curricular topic planning: 


  • Immersive topics seek to strengthen the quality of writing by using foundation subjects to widen and contextualise vocabulary.  Topic plans support sequences that build to high quality literary outcomes 

  • Discrete topics provide an opportunity to teach writing skills that require a specific foci 

  • Weekly Planning

Teachers plan in year groups and then tailor plans and resources for each class’s attainment and development needs.  Teachers plan each writing unit with the independent pieces of writing at the heart of all learning. Teachers carefully plan SPaG lessons that are differentiated to support children in achieving their targets. Incidental pieces of writing are modelled in shared writing to allow the children to practice targets individually before applying them together for their final piece of writing.

Where monitoring identifies planning as insufficient for effective learning or has limited impact on pupil progress, support is provided by subject leaders with the use of established formats and guidance. 


  • Writing Assessment  

Writing assessment grids are used to assess and record attainment. The grids contain key developmental skills and enable teachers to measure, track and share children’s attainment.  They are used to record formative and summative assessment and provide the supporting evidence necessary to make age-related judgements on children’s attainment. 

To aid writing assessment, moderation of samples of writing takes place within school in addition to external moderation within the school’s network.  This provides a clear and robust assessment procedure, enabling teachers to plan next steps.  


5 Policies that support the Teaching and Learning Policy 


  • Assessment 

  • Safeguarding and Inclusion 

  • SEND Policy 


6 Research to support policy approach


“Language provides the foundation of thinking and learning and should be prioritised. High quality adult-child interactions are important and sometimes described as talking with children rather than just talking to children. Use a wide range of explicit and implicit approaches including planning the teaching of vocabulary, modelling and extending children’s language and thinking during interactions and activities such as shared reading. Collaborative activities that provide opportunities to learn/hear language often also provide opportunities for wider learning through talk. Skills such as social awareness, relationship skills and problem solving are developed, as well as knowledge” EEF


This is the fundamental, key part of the teaching of writing at Stoke. Children are given a range of opportunities to discuss and share ideas with their peers before the writing begins. They are encouraged to role play to develop their understanding of the text and key vocabulary but also to develop their imagination and build on prior knowledge.


“Children need to be introduced to, then practise, planning, drafting, revising, and editing with feedback from the teacher and from their peers. The aim is for them to increase the fluency of these skills and techniques so that they become automatic. The teacher should provide appropriate support that models the process of writing which is gradually reduced over time so the child is ultimately capable of completing the activity independently” EEF


The writing unit lasts the half term and focuses on a specific text/stimulus linked to their curriculum topic. A lot of time in the lessons is spent exploring the ideas within the stimulus in order for the children to plan, draft and write independently. Children are given focused targets that are explicitly taught and these need to be used within independent writing pieces. The revising and editing process focuses on these as well as the non-negotiables of writing set out at the beginning of the writing unit.


“Pupils also need to learn about text structure, and how texts in different genres are formed. Studies show young children benefit from explicit teaching about the structure of narrative and information texts. Providing pupils with models of simple structures for different types of text can support this. Modelling is also important as pupils progress from constructing simple sentences to being able to combine sentences with more complex grammatical structures. Teachers could model these processes, for example, by explicitly demonstrating how to combine several related, simple sentences to make more complex ones. Teachers should encourage pupils to do this on their own as they write ” EEF


Throughout the writing unit, the children will produce 2-3 different writing genres. These text structures are explicitly taught with use of the story mountains/boxing up for narratives and the Write Stuff non-fiction shapes. Before the children write independently, the class produce a shared write of the writing genre which models the structure, non-negotiables and targets the children need to achieve.


“Writing is a complex task because it requires pupils to coordinate a number of different processes at once. The Simple View of Writing” EEF



The same stimulus is used throughout a half term linked to the curriculum topic, supporting the children’s working memory as the vocabulary foci is repeated in a range of contexts. The children therefore build and develop their knowledge whilst building on their writing skills.