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Writing at Heyes Lane Primary School

Our Vision

Curriculum Content

English lessons contain three interlinking sections: reading (including phonics); reading into writing; and writing. In addition to this, our children are active learners, who know how to practise their core reading and writing skills in other contexts. This consolidation leads to fluency and a secure knowledge of skills that are then applied with confidence to independent writing. 

  • Reading

    During the reading part of the lesson, the children explore well-chosen class novels, extracts and model texts ‘as a reader’ to improve their reading skills in different ways. They develop: the skills to sound and blend words; knowledge of common exception words; the skills to retrieve and record facts; an ability to explore vocabulary within the context of a range of texts; and the skills to infer and support inferences with evidence. Texts are linked to wider themes and broaden the children’s knowledge of vocabulary. A love of reading is extended beyond English lessons: our teachers enjoy reading to their classes and the children continue reading for pleasure at home, developing a life-long love of reading.

  • Reading into writing

    In this part of the lesson, the children explore class texts ‘as a writer’. They investigate grammatical structures and practise sentence types within the context of reading and their wider theme. Through guided grammar work, the children are able to collaborate to rehearse sentences and collect ideas for the writing part of the lesson. They are empowered by gaining a secure understanding of grammar, punctuation and spelling and are then able to apply these skills independently.

  • Writing

    The writing part of the lesson provides children with the opportunity to apply their grammatical skills and communicate their ideas, knowledge and understanding of wider themes and subjects. This part of the lesson builds towards an outcome with a clear purpose and audience. We use talk for writing and drama skills to plan, rehearse and gather ideas. The children then produce a first draft and are given feedback from the teacher or their peers. They are then given the opportunity to edit and improve their writing. Their final step is to take pride in presenting a published piece.

Progression and Outcome

Our English lessons and sequences of learning are engaging, enjoyable and lead to learning that is remembered and lasts. This empowers our pupils to have the confidence and skills to communicate successfully with others.

Children develop a secure knowledge of core skills that they can apply to both their reading and their writing:

  • they are active readers who enjoy reading widely and frequently, outside of as well as in school
  • they have an enjoyment and understanding of language and vocabulary
  • they are able to innovate and make choices about their writing
  • they can discuss the impact of their word choices and sentence structures
  • they know how to edit and improve their writing and grow in independence as they progress through school
  • they take pride on publishing and showcasing their writing to a range of audiences
  • they end Key Stage 2 with the fluency to manage the demands of the Year 7 curriculum

The curriculum and sequences of lessons are planned to be progressive and build upon prior knowledge – supporting the layering of new knowledge on secure foundations. This approach to learning within English follows and embeds our core beliefs:

  • Promoting a culture of achievement

    Writing expectations are high for all and our children want their writing to be the best that it can be. They learn how to draft and edit their work and they develop the ability to do this independently. Their reading and writing skills are applied to the wider curriculum.

  • Championing individuality and personal growth

    The daily teaching of core skills empowers pupils to be able to make choices about their reading and writing and apply skills independently. Making choices about characters, viewpoints, levels of formality, word choices and sentence structures provides pupils with the opportunity to reach a higher standard. 

  • Designing a dynamic curriculum for today’s learners

    A range of hooks are used to generate enthusiasm, interest and excitement in English learning. The immersive links to wider themes and the use of mantle of the expert create meaningful and exciting contexts for writing. Pupils write for a range of purposes and audiences. This enables them to develop the writing skills required to prepare them for secondary education and beyond.

  • Teaching that inspires and leads to learning that lasts

    Writing outcomes are engaging and purposeful. Pupils enjoy using class texts as a reader and as a writer to gather ideas, collect words, research, explore sentence types and plan writing. Daily Grammar Time sessions are linked to our learning and are used to teach core writing skills. These sessions are active, collaborative and pacey, which leads to fluency and secure understanding.

  • Becoming active and ethical citizens

    As children progress through school, they are taught editing skills and become autonomous in checking their work. They take pride in publishing or sharing their work and are given the opportunity to showcase their writing skills and share their writing with the wider school community. As ethical citizens they write to persuade and to raise awareness of world issues such as the use of palm oil and working conditions in the past.


Teachers moderate and assess writing each half term using our ‘Writing Assessment Grids’ for each Year Group. Termly staff meetings ensure that there is consistency across year groups and also across phases. Teacher Assessment and GPS assessment data are then used to assess core skills, identify gaps and to aid teacher judgements. Assessment for learning strategies are used within our writing lessons and planning of ‘Grammar Time’ sessions is responsive to this.

Core Skills

Daily phonics teaching and ‘Grammar Time’ sessions will be used to teach children about words, spelling patterns or sentence types. Children will then have the opportunity to apply these skills during the writing part of the English lesson. Where possible, sentences will be taken from class novels and model texts. Grammar time will always be in the context of current themes or English. 

  • Phonics EYFS and KS1

    In Nursery children are introduced to Phase 1 where they learn to identify sounds and rhyming patterns.

    In Reception Little Wandle (Revised Letters and Sounds) is used to teach systematic synthetic phonics. Children learn new sounds each day and develop blending skills to read words. They read a fully decodable reading book linked to these sounds 3 times a week in their reading practice sessions. These sessions also develop prosody and comprehension skills.

    In Year 1 Little Wandle (Revised Letters and Sounds) continues and develops the children’s knowledge of systematic synthetic phonics. Reading practice sessions continue three times a week for each child and the fully decodable books progress through to Phase 5. Prosody and comprehension skills continue to be taught at each child’s phonic level.

    In Year 2-6 children read a book banded at their reading level. At Heyes Lane we acknowledge individual children’s reading ability will develop at a different pace, we promote fluency and consolidation by re-reading and re-visiting texts. Book bands are carefully mapped to year groups to provide progression as children develop in their reading skills.

  • Spellings Year 3-6

    Children will be taught phonics/spelling as discrete sessions using Little Wandle/No Nonsense Spelling according to individual needs. Children will learn a set of spellings at home each week. These will be set as an assignment on Spelling Shed. Spelling lists will contain a balance of the year group’s commonly misspelt words; spelling patterns and rules; and theme-based vocabulary. Children who are working significantly below age related expectations will be supported by additional adults and through differentiation to allow them to fill gaps identified from PIVATs assessments. They will receive more personalised SEND support including precision teaching and toe by toe. Children will become autonomous in checking spellings. They will use highlighters to identify words that they need to check. They are taught how to check spellings using a dictionary or an online spellchecker.

  • Handwriting

    Children will be taught discrete handwriting linked to weekly spelling patterns. As children progress through Key Stage 2 these sessions will be used to refine handwriting and address common errors.

    In KS1, children who have developed their fine motor skills will practise cursive handwriting on a daily basis. Identified children will continue to have the opportunity to develop fine motor skills and will use these on a weekly basis using the pre-handwriting patterns on teachhandwriting.co.uk. Children will transfer the skills from their taught sessions to written work across the curriculum.