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In order to provide pupils with the best educational experience, teachers’ practice should be based on both subject-specific and general pedagogical research. In the case of writing, this means high quality modelling of the writing process, including insights into the writer’s mind. Writing is a complex procedure: to aid cognition, it should be broken down into manageable chunks and specific steps. Research also tells us that grammar rules are best learnt contextually – within a piece of writing – as opposed to having separate lessons that use de-contextualised worksheets to apply them in a mechanical way. This also applies to the development of language and syntax, with nuances of meaning and effect developed as part of instructional modelling.

To embed such complex learning, opportunities are needed to practise word- and sentence-level skills repeatedly over time – but in different contexts. In addition, an understanding of the writing process should also include the planning, drafting, editing and revision of longer pieces. The development of metacognitive skills within such practice will put pupils in a strong position for their future schooling.

Our daily writing lessons follow an approach developed by the Literacy consultant, Jane Consadine (The Write Stuff). It aligns with the cognitive principles outlined above, and covers the requirements of the National Curriculum. We have structured units of work into a long-term plan that has strong links to the wider curriculum while also covering a range of genres within fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Each unit begins with a series of ‘sentence-stacking’ lessons that are used to develop pupils’ understanding of grammar, syntax and vocabulary. These provide a high level of cognitive support so that the complexity of learning at this stage is scaffolded for success. At appropriate times, ‘experience lessons’ are used to provide structured opportunities for vocabulary development, drama, experiential learning or research so that pupils’ understanding of the topic or fictional situation is deepened. Following this, a separate series of independent writing lessons takes pupils from the planning stage to the development of a final written piece. 

To align the approach with pupils’ phonic development, we have adapted it for KS1 so that the strategies used align with ‘Read Write Inc’ methodologies this is to ensure children only practice sounds that they know.


We follow the Nelson scheme for handwriting.