At St Mary’s the teaching of writing is purposeful, exciting and shows clear progression for all ages in accordance with the National Curriculum. The explicit grammar, punctuation, and spelling goals necessary for each year group are clearly laid out in our curriculum maps and knowledge organisers. Teachers impart the writing skills necessary for success by giving concrete examples of good practise and having high expectations for all pupils as they meet their writing goals.
We follow a method called 'Sentence Stacking'. This refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. Sentence Stacking is based on two guiding principles; teaching sequences that slide between experience days and sentence stacking lessons. With modelling at the heart of them, the sentence stacking lessons are broken into bite-sized chunks and taught under a structural framework. At St Mary's, we prepare children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar or techniques of writing. This sharpens the teaching and learning of writing within classrooms.
Phonics is primarily used as the building blocks for spelling in our EYFS. This practice is built on further up the school as children explore more complex letter patterns. From Year 1 onwards, children are expected to practise spellings and letter patterns at home using the 'Look, Cover, Write, Check' method; these lists form the basis of weekly spelling tests in class. All children from Year 1 to Year 6 have access to a Spelling Frame account which allows them to practise their spellings online.