Fir Bank Primary School




At Fir Bank, we foster a rich and ambitious writing curriculum to ensure that our children can write effectively for a range of purposes. Our intent is for our children to develop their ability to write fluently and with purpose across a range of genres, nurturing creativity, critical thinking and a deep understanding of the writing process. We want our children to be accurate spellers who can use a range of strategies to spell new and unfamiliar words. We also want them to have a high level of grammatical knowledge so that they can make informed choices in their speech and writing. Most important of all, we want our children to have a life-long love of writing that allows them to express themselves eloquently and creatively.


  • In EYFS, our children are exposed to a ‘language-rich’ environment providing all children with lots of opportunities for mark-marking and writing for pleasure. Letter formation is taught explicitly and physical play supports children’s gross and fine motor control.


  • We recognise the importance of children’s transcription development and tailor our curriculum, particularly in EYFS and Keys Stage One. This research-proven focus, ensures consolidation of children’s automaticity for spelling and handwriting which is fundamental to early writing.


  • In Key Stage One and Two, all children receive a 1 hour writing lesson every day. Children are exposed to a carefully chosen selection of quality texts that support children in exceeding expectations for writing. Teachers provide all children with the opportunities for quality writing everyday in English lessons.


  • Oracy development plays a key part in the children’s proficiency for writing. A fundamental part of our teaching is providing children with repeated opportunities to speak and rehearse what it is that they are writing.


  • Our writing learning journey has a progression of writing genres for each year group, as required by the National Curriculum. We ensure that children begin their primary school journey with a well-planned writing curriculum focussing on the development of transcription skills. As children move through year groups, new genres are introduced in-depth and previously taught genres are revisited.


  • All classes follow a two-week writing structure to teach a genre that is appropriate for their year group. These are revisited and retaught throughout the year. This two-week structure contains ten lessons beginning with an experience day/hook to capture the moment and make meaning to the genre in which they are learning about. Following on from this, children are exposed to a rich ‘model text’ that has been chosen to model explicit skills and knowledge that the children need to be successful in their own writing. Children are encouraged to use this as a structure but also innovate their writing to make it their own. Teachers ensure that the model text reflects the age-related outcomes for each specific year group and ‘aims high’. Children then follow a series of lessons that ‘chunk’ their writing into focussed lessons. Grammar is always taught explicitly but in a meaningful manner appropriate to the genre.


  • As part of our writing learning journey, children receive scaffolded lessons during the Autumn term to meet the needs of every child. These scaffolds are reduced during the Spring term and further more by Summer term. Adults plan for children’s individual needs, including the class needs and all children are expected and encouraged to access and write independently.


  • Our expert, highly-skilled teachers, demonstrate high-quality modelling and editing skills within each writing lesson. This begins in EYFS as part of the systematic Little Wandle programme and develops across the school, addressing the grammar, transcription and spelling skills in line with the National Curriculum.


  • We explicitly teach and expose our children a ‘language-rich’, diverse and accessible vocabulary curriculum based upon quality texts, that ensures expert eloquence. Children are then encouraged to include this taught key vocabulary – including grammar - in their writing.


  • In Early Years and Year 1, spelling is taught during the phonics using Little Wandle. Once children leave the phonics programme in Year 2, we deliver the Spelling Shed curriculum. Spelling Shed focuses on spelling patterns and children recognise the link between their previously taught phonics and spelling. Weekly spelling rules are sent home and children then have a weekly spelling test.


  • A high standard of handwriting is taught and practised regularly in separate books across the school but is expected to be evidenced throughout all work produced. In EYFS and Year One, children are taught to form letters correctly using a formation phrase, as directed by Little Wandle. From then on, children are taught pre-cursive handwriting shortly followed by cursive handwriting. Only when children are secure with each level of handwriting do they move onto their next journey. If children are moved on too quickly, we know that transcription can hinder their progression.


  • During lessons, teachers provide immediate 1:1 feedback to children that is personal and clearly focussed on the success of each child. Teachers follow a consistent marking policy across the school. Children are taught that our writing journey is on-going and we continue to develop and improve by editing their writing, the children use green pen to identify their improvements.


  • Children are encouraged to assess their own and peers writing during the editing process. Whole-class feedback encourages independence and ownership of their writing journey. This goes alongside teacher’s rigorous and on-going assessment that enables them to deliver a curriculum that meets the needs of our children.
  • From Year One upwards, we use Writing Warrior to encourage children to write outside of their lessons and at home. Once children have produced a piece of writing eight times, they receive a privilege and there is one prize per class each half term for the child that has put in the most effort with their Writing for Pleasure.



At Fir Bank Primary School, the impact of our writing provision is evident in the children’s attitudes, outcomes and progress. Our pupils demonstrate a clear improvement in their writing skills over time, with a focus on the technicalities of writing, alongside the creativity and expression of ideas. Pupils’ attitudes to writing are positive with high levels of engagement, motivation and enjoyment in their purpose-built opportunities for writing. Pupils are confident in expressing themselves and showcasing their published final pieces as a result of fostering a culture where writing is celebrated. Our provision ensures that our children leave Fir Bank with proficiency in high quality writing, excelling in confidence and enthusiasm to write effectively and independently.