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Writing and SPaG at Ferham Primary School 

At Ferham Primary, we strongly believe that Writing is a significant life-skill that is essential to participating fully in society. We aim to develop the abilities of all children in our school to communicate their ideas effectively in speech and in writing.


Curriculum Intent


We aim to develop some important  traits in our young writers:

•a strong command of written and spoken English including grammar and punctuation conventions

•a strong awareness of audience and the ability to adapt their language and style for different purposes

•an interest in words and their meanings

•a good understanding of grammar and punctuation and how to apply these in their own writing

•a fluent handwriting style

•the confidence and stamina to produce high-quality writing

•the powers of imagination and creativity.

We have a PaG progression document for KS1 and 2 which is used as a planning tool to ensure that learning is sequential and cumulative across school.

Curriculum Implementation


In the EYFS equal emphasis is put on 'composition' as much as 'transcription' in writing. This is demonstrated in our progression grid starting from our 2-year-old provision to the end of F2 and making continuing links into KS1.

In EYFS, children are encouraged to talk throughout the day through provision which forms the foundations for language and cognitive development. Children are always encouraged to speak in full sentences within provision and during focus times, for example during our welcome session the children are encouraged to say 'The weather is cloudy', 'Today is Monday'. Adults always model this and use Makaton to support.

We provide a language rich environment where children are encouraged to build sentences through back-and-forth interactions. Vocabulary has been carefully planned for within each area of the provision and allows it to be pitched appropriately to suit the needs of the individual child.

Vocabulary has also been planned for and is explicitly taught within focus sessions. This is reviewed, revisited and applied in different contexts.

If complex sentences can be formed through talk, and events described in detail, children are more likely to form written sentences easier.

Books are at the heart of our curriculum. We believe the retelling of stories and rhymes is key to language development and particularly supports children with EAL and SEND. Books have been carefully selected and include an emphasis on using repetitive language alongside Makaton.

At Ferham, we celebrate the fact that our children speak different languages at home, and we encourage talk in home language as well as English. If children are proficient in their home language, evidence shows that they will acquire a second language with more ease.

Children in F1 who are ready are introduced to the RWI programme in the Summer Term. They are introduced to letter formation by writing the letters in the air. If children are ready, they are introduced to writing the letters. Good habits are established from the onset, for example sitting appropriately at a table, holding the paper. Name writing in F1 is also encouraged if the children have demonstrated that their fine motor skills are developed sufficiently.

Children will continue their writing journey by being taught GPC and common exceptions words.

Daily Literacy sessions in F2 ensure a range of genres are modelled in writing to the children. Throughout the week children will work in a small focus group with an adult developing their writing skills. It is always tailored so that children are expected to apply the phonic knowledge they have been taught already. Dictating sentences to the children to write plays an important part of our curriculum.

Writing opportunities are promoted where possible through the Continuous Provision and modelled by adults. For example, writing a label for their construction model, making cards for Eid, writing an invitation to Cinderella’s ball.

KS 1&2


Talk for Writing (TfW) is the main driver used to teach the Writing process from F1 to Y6.

In KS1 and KS2, the teaching of Writing follows a consistent sequence which is:

  • imitate

  • innovate

  • invention

Imitation - Retelling a text

A text is introduced and read to the children; together the class learn the text off by heart thus internalising language, vocabulary and grammar structures.  To help the children remember the text a multi-sensory approach is used:

  • a visual story map

  • actions 

  • a focus on lively, animated expression  

As children learn the text verbatim, they develop the use of specific sentence structures, which they can then use in their own writing. The principle is that if a child can retell, they will be able to write.


Innovation – Changing a text

In this stage the original text is adapted by the children. This could start with a simple change of character or for the older children it may involve telling the text from a different viewpoint or moving the plot to a different setting. Children will plan and rehearse retelling their innovated version orally. Children then write out the innovated text in manageable sections.

Invention - Writing my own text

The final stage is the invention stage where the children apply all the skills they have learnt to write an independent piece which is not the same as what they have just imitated and innovated. This is an opportunity for independent skills application. There is the freedom to draw upon their own ideas and experiences, or they can ‘hug closely’ to previously-learned text should they need to which is ideal for KS1 pupils and pupils in KS2 who are new to English.

Writing Working Walls support pupils in lessons as they are added to as part of lessons and provide models of vocabulary and definitions, punctuation, sentence openers and text structure. See example below.







Model texts link to our curriculum and are written by teachers with the support of the English leaders.

We have a writing progression document which is used alongside the SPaG progression document to ensure that learning is sequential and cumulative across school as both are used as planning and assessment tools.

TfW is fully-inclusive for all our children; we do have some children who need extra support to achieve. Writing lessons are adapted to support pupils with SEND and EAL such as word mats, sequencing cards, pictorial representations and other tailored help sheets, pre-teaching of key vocabulary and working in mixed ability pairs.


SPaG is taught explicitly during Writing lessons as we use the text type being learned as a context for what would otherwise be rather abstract learning. Each week, pupils practice applying the rules and conventions in isolation as well as in the context of the focus text type. For example, learning about modal verbs complements persuasive writing and speech punctuation practice improves narratives.


In addition to our supportive TfW cycle, pupils – and staff -  enjoy Free Writing Friday slots in KS1 and 2. Like the real writers we see on our screen via Zoom each month, we want our children to enjoy being writers. Free Writing Friday provides our pupils with agency and volition. 






Curriculum Impact

We ascertain impact using assessment in three forms: assessment for learning; assessment as learning; and assessment of learning.

In Writing and SPaG, assessment for learning is continuous as teachers adapt their teaching according to learners’ needs. This may include remodelling, additional scaffolding such as word mats or sentences starters to use or extra challenge such as varying sentence structure and vocabulary.

In Writing and SPaG, assessment as learning is the start of every lesson as pupils revise new vocabulary and definitions. Dictation also forms part of assessment in Writing and SPaG.

In Writing and SPaG, assessment of learning is based on invent week outcomes as we track pupils’ independent writing skills. Assessment of writing is also moderated half-termly by the staff teams. Assessment also informs the teacher’s planning for the next cycle of writing. There are usually 2 or 3 assessed pieces of writing each half term. We assess against our Progression Document which is also used as a planning tool for teachers when devising model texts and as a toolkit for our young writers in class.

The Birmingham Toolkit is used as a planning and assessment tools for our SEND pupils thus allowing teachers to support and track small steps of progress.

Summative Writing attainment data is collected bi-annually in line with the JMAT arrangements.

English books are scrutinised by the Senior Leadership Team.

Progress and attainment in Writing is reported to parents and carers in end of year reports.

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Writing Progression

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