The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate

The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:

  • transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).


It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.

Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.


Broadly speaking, the teaching of writing is most effective when a "journey" approach is taken. The diagram below makes this clear. Planning for each unit of work will follow this basic outline. Like all journeys, extra time may be needed if the conditions are rough, and some parts can be 'sailed through' when the going is smooth.

Units of work will begin with an INTRODUCTION. This may come from reading, a real life experience or some other stimulus. The work may be topic based or stand alone. The important thing is that the chidlren have access to good quality examples or "WAGOLL's" - This stands for "What A Good One Looks Like".

The most effective WAGOLL is often one that has been written by the teacher to include all of the relevant teaching points - although a range is often better as it can be beneficial to see which parts a writer has included, or ommitted.

During lessons, the children will be encouraged to discuss the PURPOSE and AUDIENCE for the piece of writing and to develop a SUCCESS CRITERA / STEPS TO SUCCESS. In the early years this may be heavily influenced by the teacher but as children progress through school they will be encouraged to develop their own.

The teacher will plan a series of lessons that enable the children to become familiar with, and to develop their skills as writers in each particular genre. This will often involve providing a MODEL to writing and opportunities to PLAN.

Writing may be SHARED, PAIRED, GROUP, GUIDED or INDIVIDUAL and pupils can expect to encouter all of these approaches during their time in school. To assist pupiils, teachers will provide DIFFERENTIATION that SCAFFOLDS and SUPPORTS the writers where they feel it is necessary or beneficial. 

Once children have written, they will be asked to evaluate their work in line with the school assessment policy. Sometimes this will be aided by comments from the teacher, but could also include SELF and PEER ASSESSMENT.

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The "JOURNEY" analogy is useful to consider when planning a unit of work. The questions below will form part of the planning process...

As a driver….


Do you know where you’re heading?


Could you give directions to someone else?


What landmarks would you pass along the way?


How will you know when you get there?


What about a comfort break?


What if you forget something?


Was it the best route? Would you change anything?

As a writing teacher...


Do you know what a text looks like?


Can you break this down into steps?


What features are you looking for?


How will you know when you finish?


What about support for LAP?


What if you need to go over a concept?


Is your writing the best it can be first time? Do you need to model redrafting?

Headteacher: Mrs. B. Baxter

Deputy: Mrs. D. Hudson 


St. Gerard's Catholic Primary School, Park Nook, Doncaster Road, Thrybergh, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S65 4AE

Telephone: 01709 850568

Email: office@stgerardsprimary.org

Twitter: @StGerards1928

 © St. Gerard's Primary MMXXII