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Holbrook C of E Primary School

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The Teaching of Writing at Holbrook


At Holbrook C of E Primary School, we intend to ensure that all children leave us as capable and confident readers and writers. We want our children to develop a love of language and literature alongside the skills required to continue to access both enjoyable and challenging texts and write beautifully and technically for a range of purposes, whilst achieving the requirements set out in the National Curriculum.

Our curriculum will give pupils the opportunities to develop their proficiency in:

  • Transcription – spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting
  • Composition – showing creativity and organisation when constructing meaningful, coherent and successful texts.

To achieve this, we ensure our pupils have:

  • Knowledge for transcription and composition, including vocabulary
  • Time to practice with models, scaffolds and the opportunity to build fluency with repeated practise
  • Prior knowledge to be secure so that they can build complexity incrementally.

At Holbrook, we use our own Writing Routine. Our routine is grounded in the process of shared writing with lots of opportunities for collaborative and supportive working. Each writing genre is taught through a six part process: Immerse, Share, Plan, Draft, Edit, Publish. There are opportunities for the development of both transcription and composition. This approach ensures children develop the knowledge of how to write as well as a deep understanding of writing any genre or text type. Our teaching is tightly focused to engineer success in the foundations of early writing.  

At the heart of our writing curriculum, each unit is built around high-quality texts. Over time, children gradually build their bank of well-known texts and text-type features, supplemented by high quality picture books, novels, poems and non-fiction books.  Gradually, this living library of language begins to equip the children with the words they need to express themselves. In the same way, the ability to manipulate a bank of texts increasingly skilfully enables children to independently create their own versions, inspired by incredible models.


Take a look at how we map out our curriculum:


What writing looks like at Holbrook:

Children write every day. In our writing lessons, we use consistent pronunciation, terminology, lesson structure and routines. The lesson structure is as follows:

-  Handwriting 

- Spellings 

- Main Learning – either grammar where prior learning in grammar and punctuation is revisited, precise grammar and punctuation is taught, or composition where pupils plan, draft, edit, publish, depending on the stage of the writing routine.

- Review key learning.


Writing Routine

We follow our own Writing Routine:

Each writing genre is taught through a six part process: Immerse, Share, Plan, Draft, Edit, Publish.


See our Writing Routine here:


In all writing portfolios, the children have a Writing Assessment Grid that lists the termly checkpoints from the National Curriculum at ARE. For EYFS the writing grid lists termly expectations devised from the Holbrook EYFS Curriculum and in conjunction with the EYFS Statutory Framework and Development Matters. This grid is used to set targets, track progress and diagnose next steps. It also enables teachers to know who is “on track” and who needs additional support in order to be successful. Teachers work across year groups and phases to mark and moderate writing using Writing Grids to assess whether our children are at ARE, above, below or working towards.


See an example of our checkpoints here:


At Holbrook, we have high presentation expectations. Children have discrete handwriting sessions in EYFS and KS1. All year groups have regular, short burst handwriting sessions as part of their Writing lessons where prior formation is revisited (Look Back, Move Forwards) and new formation is introduced. This follows the ‘I do’, ‘We do,’ ‘You do’ format, using the Martin Harvey POS, outlined in our curriculum overview and below. Children are expected to sit properly and hold their pen/pencil using a tri grip. Click below to see our letter formation guide and an overview of our handwriting approach.


To develop and sustain children’s ability to spell, they need direct systematic instruction. Spelling, as a key transcription skill, must be explicitly taught, rather than simply tested. Therefore, we have a structured, progressive spelling programme in school and teachers encourage the children to use a range of strategies and techniques, which are examined carefully in writing lessons, to assist them in memorising spellings and attempting to spell new words that they encounter. After achieving the expected Phonic standard, children in Year 2 to 6 learn spellings through regular weekly sessions following the Spelling Shed scheme of learning, where they either focus on key words or spelling rules. Children are set targeted, focussed spellings each week to practise at home in order to further develop this skill. Furthermore, every child has a login for Spelling Shed where they can practise their spelling lists in fun and engaging ways. Click below to see out long term spelling overview.