Confident writers are able to present their ideas to an audience and require a number of skills; spelling, handwriting, composition and imagination. The essential successful characteristics of a writer are:
- The ability to write fluently and with interesting details on a number of topics throughout the curriculum
- A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing
- A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details and description
- Well organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures
- Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelt correctly and neat
- A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values
At Slimbridge we aim to develop all these skills through offering the children a variety of writing opportunities across the curriculum. We closely follow the ‘Talk for Writing’ programme developed by Pie Corbett (see www.talk4writing.co.uk for further information). The younger children learn texts orally (often with actions!), internalizing the language patterns of stories and non-fiction texts. This is followed by shared and independent writing where children put their skills into practice. The older children are provided with high quality models of writing which they analyse, explore and then use as a basis for their own writing. Many different forms of writing are undertaken by the children including stories, poetry, reports, newspaper articles and even blog posts!
Phonics/spelling sessions contribute to children’s developing writing skills, as do handwriting sessions. Children start in Reception by developing their fine motor skills, pencil grip and single letter formation. As they progress through the school children are taught to join letters, helping them to develop a clear, fluent script.