At Sandilands, writing is at the heart of the curriculum. By the end of Year 6, we intend our children to be creative, independent writers who write confidently for a range of purposes and audiences. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We prioritise vocabulary within the whole curriculum, to enable children to develop their skills in spoken language, reading and writing.
We follow the Little Wandle SSP programme for phonics. Please see our Phonics and Reading section for further information.
Spelling rules are taught explicitly through the No Nonsense Spelling programme from year 2 - 6. This programme teaches spelling conventions, patterns and rules including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings. Within the sessions, a range of strategies for learning spellings are introduced and practised. This enables pupils to choose the strategies they find most effective for learning different words. There is also an expectation that children spend time at home learning spellings. Words are tested weekly and spelling successes are rewarded through spelling badges and certificates. Sandilands hold a Spelling Bee once a year where spelling is celebrated with partner schools in our cluster.
In order to develop creative, confident writers we use a range of high quality texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Long term overviews are used to ensure children have exposure to a range of writing genres. Writing tasks are meaningful and there is a strong emphasis on audience and purpose. Children are given opportunities to practise and apply their writing skills across the curriculum with high expectations. Teachers ensure that pupils embed key writing concepts in their long term memory through revisiting genres. This enables pupils to work towards clearly defined end points which build upon what has been taught before.
Opportunities to develop grammar and punctuation skills are selected through a text based approach and taught discreetly where necessary. This allows knowledge and understanding for application across the wider curriculum and within different writing genres.
We have high expectations for handwriting and presentation. Handwriting skills are taught through the Martin Harvey programme. This focuses on developing well formed, joined letters that are of the correct size. Handwriting and presentation is celebrated through weekly certificates.