Writing and Oracy


We aim to inspire our pupils to write through using a wide range of age-appropriate engaging texts, to fuel their imaginations. We will offer a varied range of writing opportunities, so that children experience a range of genres for specific audiences, whilst practising the essential writing skills of the curriculum.

Discussion will be used throughout the writing curriculum to talk through their ideas and refine their spoken and written expression. Pupils will also develop a rich and varied vocabulary by direct vocabulary instruction. Our children will have opportunities to consider and experiment with words for effect and will learn how to plan, revise, edit and evaluate their work effectively.

The children will take pride in their writing, and be encouraged to write clearly and accurately, adapting their grammar, language, and style for a range of contexts. We want our children to be secure in the basics in spelling and grammar so that they are then well equipped for Secondary school.



English ~ Writing

At St Mawes Primary, we teach writing using a variety of strategies to inspire children's work. We take many principles from the Talk for Writing philosophy, as laid out by Pie Corbett, and combine these with other techniques and ideas.  Children use drama and text-interrogation techniques, as well as spending time unpicking the technical features of the text type and investigating language and structure. With all of these tools and techniques at their disposal, children are able to use high-level, quality literacy texts to inspire high quality writing.

Children are encouraged to edit and redraft their work, using a range of tools to support them in their work. We use a range of peer, teacher and self-marking where children use structured marking ladders and success to assess their work.

Assessment is both formative and summative, with children being given a combination of written and verbal feedback to inform their improvements and next steps. Teachers will assess children's writing against the objectives of the National Curriculum and use these to inform their planning for each written topic.

All aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum at St Mawes Primary, and we expect knowledge and skills taught explicitly in English lessons to transfer into other subjects, so improving cross curricular writing standards and consolidating and deepening skills.    



Spelling is taught discretely throughout the whole school, and is reinforced in all subjects too.  In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, the children’s spelling lists follow their phonic knowledge to reinforce and embed this. Moving on from phonics, children have lists based on spelling patterns following statutory word lists and patterns.  



We teach Grammar in a variety of ways.  Children experience whole-class Grammar sessions in-line with the National Curriculum. Furthermore, some English lessons will have a grammar focus when teaching writing skills, particularly when looking at advanced punctuation, which has an impact on the meaning of sentences.



Handwriting is part of our daily lives.  Time devoted to the teaching and learning of letter formation in the early years pays off as legible writing that can be produced comfortably, at speed and with little conscious effort allows children to attend to the higher-level aspects of writing composition and content.   It is also a movement skill and one which is best taught directly by demonstration, explanation and rehearsal.  We make sure that our children have lots of opportunities to develop their core strength, so supporting the development of gross, then fine, motor skills.  The principal aim is that handwriting becomes an automatic process, which frees pupils to focus on the content of their writing.

In the Early Years we follow schemes called Write Dance and Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle over the two years of Nursery and Reception which incorporates fine and gross motor movements into a story set to music. In KS1 and 2 we practise handwriting patterns throughout the work as part of the daily literacy sessions.

English - Oracy

At St Mawes Primary we aim to provide our children with the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. In school, oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching our children to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them. Through a high-quality oracy education, pupils learn through talk and to talk. This is when they develop and deepen their subject knowledge and understanding through talk in the classroom.  These oracy opportunities are planned, designed, modelled, scaffolded and structured to enable our children to learn the skills needed to talk and listen effectively.



Our writing curriculum will enable pupils to:

  • Confidently write for different purposes and audiences and use the features of different genres and styles
  • Sustain stamina for writing and adapt their writing style to suit the genre
  • Have a good grasp of grammar and punctuation skills and use these confidently and effectively in their writing
  • Develop a wide vocabulary that they use within their writing
  • Effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught
  • Reflect on their work and revise and edit to improve

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