Gilberdyke Primary

Intent: Writing


At Gilberdyke Primary School, we believe that equipping our pupils with the correct writing skills will contribute to the wide repertoire of tools they need to participate fully as a member of society within a literate world.

Our aim is to inspire pupils so that they are motivated and enjoy writing for a range of different purposes, understanding how widely writing is used in everyday life. Across the whole curriculum, reading and writing links are made to ensure that the children’s learning is relevant and meaningful; this also allows them to continually make connections and develop schema across our curriculum.

Helping pupils to understand the power of language is crucial in our role as educators. Spoken language underpins the writing curriculum at Gilberdyke and is crucial in developing children cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and breadth of language that pupils hear and speak is vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and therefore their understanding of reading and writing. We ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills, whilst growing an ambitious repertoire of language and vocabulary. Our aim is to enable pupils to write creatively, diversifying texts for audience and purpose, as well as articulate their ideas, thoughts and emotions effectively.

Children are motivated by engaging in high quality texts which act as a model for their learning sequence. Inspiring them to be curious and excited about a wide range of literature enables them to write as a reader. Through the use of adventurous vocabulary, varied sentence structure, careful planning and imaginative flair, pupils’ writing will aim to engross and enthral the reader.

Our writing curriculum consists of two dimensions:

Transcription: enabling pupils to become fluent in handwriting and spelling

Composition: enabling pupils to be able to articulate their ideas and structure them in speech and writing.

At Gilberdyke Primary School, we believe that children need to develop competency in both these skills in order to become confident writers. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children feel confident to write and take pride in their writing in both the content and presentation, adapting their language and style to suit the context and audience.


The Gilberdyke Primary School writing curriculum follows the EYFS Framework and the National Curriculum Programme of Study. To ensure that children have a good understanding of the purpose of their writing and the audience it is aimed at, our curriculum has been explicitly designed under four genre, these are:

1. To Entertain

2. To Inform

3. To Persuade

4. To Discuss

Initially, a context is set for writing that builds excitement and anticipation. Model texts are shared and explored with pupils, establishing the features of the genre and text type, clear success criteria and authorial techniques. Children’s vocabulary acquisition is supported by teaching and exposing them to new words in the context of the genre and text-type they are studying. Grammar and punctuation skills are taught discretely within the sequence prior to pupils planning and drafting their own piece. Precise and effective feedback enables pupils to redraft, edit and improve their writing. Written or oral publication opportunities ensure that our pupils see themselves as real writers.

Our approach to the teaching of writing follows a clearly defined sequence in three steps that is adapted for each Key Stage from EYFS to Year 6 as follows:


STEP ONE – Immersion, imitation and knowledge of form (as a reader)

STEP TWO – Teaching, practising and application of individual components of transcription & composition skills (as a writer)

STEP THREE – Writing, editing, refining and publishing their work with a purpose (as a writer)


STEP ONE – Background knowledge/context of writing (as a reader)

STEP TWO – Teaching, practising and application of individual components of transcription & composition skills (as a writer)

STEP THREE – Writing, editing, refining and publishing their work with a purpose (as a writer)

Transcription and composition skills are progressive from EYFS to Y6. As well as being taught explicitly during step two of the writing process, they are discretely revisited throughout the whole teaching sequence.


Handwriting is a skill, which like reading and spelling, affects written communication across the curriculum. Children at Gilberdyke Primary School will be taught handwriting explicitly, regularly and systematically through daily direct instruction. They will have time to practise their skills so that they are able to develop a fluent and legible style, which will support their work in other curriculum areas. During modelled whole-class and shared writing, the teacher provides specific instruction and a strong handwriting model, articulating the process and encouraging children to verbalise the process. During these times, the teacher facilitates, guides, responds to and extends the learners thinking as they write. Through this approach, we teach pupils to:

 Write legibly in both printed and joined styles with increasing fluency through teaching: grip, posture, letter shapes and movements; teaching the joining of letters, developing increasing speed and endurance without loss of quality

 Develop the ability to produce letters without thinking in an automatic style response. This releases the brain to concentrate on other ideas i.e. spelling, syntax, grammar, style and content

 Foster a comfortable and legible handwriting style

 Develop a sense of pride in their work, enabling them to present work neatly for an audience.

Letter Families

Set 1: The Curly Caterpillar Family: c, a, d, e, s, g, f, q, o

Set 2: The Ladder Family: l, i, u, t,

Set 3: The One-Armed Robot Family: n, m, h, k, b, p, r

Set 4: The ZigZag Monster Family: v, w, x, z

Set 5: More complex letters from the 4 families: f, j, y

The Four Joins

1. Diagonal joins to letters without ascenders (eg ai, ar, un, am, ear, aw, ir, hu, ti, ki, du, up, ag,)

2. Horizontal joins to letters without ascenders (ou, re, ve, vi, oon, oom)

3. Diagonal joins to letters with ascenders (ch, th, tl, ll, ill, ck, ack, ink, unk)

4. Horizontal joins to letters with ascenders. (ob, ol, wh, of, rt, rk)

EYFS- Children continue to develop their fine motor coordination skills, manipulative skills and hand-eye co-ordination through a range of activities, such as ‘Dough Disco’ and ‘Pen Disco.’ Pupils will then be taught to print the letters without lead-in strokes. The formation of letters is initially introduced within the Phonics sessions, relating to the sounds they are learning in that specific week of the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ Phonic Programme. Letter formation, however, will then also be explicitly taught in short handwriting sessions at the start of the Literacy lesson through letter families to enhance their muscle memory. The correct pencil grip will also be explicitly taught and children will write at a time with the correct posture.

Year 1- Building on the Early Years Foundation Stage, children continue to be taught the correct formation of the letters in family groups in handwriting lessons and in conjunction with the daily Phonics sessions (as in Reception.) Children are taught to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place, including position on the line. They will be taught to form capital letters and digits 0-9 correctly. Correct pencil grip will be reinforced as will the correct sitting position. Language of descenders and ascenders will be introduced and the four basic handwriting joins (diagonal and horizontal joins to letters with and without ascenders) are introduced where appropriate from the Spring Term.

Year 2- Children continue to be taught to join letters and the language of descenders and ascenders will be reinforced. Pupils are taught to write with a clear and joined style as soon as they can securely form letters with the correct orientation. The year will consolidate this and will focus on refining joins and overall presentation of handwriting.

Year 3 and 4 – Children will continue to learn to join letters correctly, with a particular focus on more complex joins as listed on the progression document, whilst developing an independent style of handwriting that is fluent and legible. They will continue to practise joined writing to aid presentation, legibility and the finer points of the joins.

Year 5 and 6 – Children will be encouraged to develop their own style, whilst still maintaining legibility. They will be taught to maintain this legibility when writing at speed. Children will need reminders about joins and any inconsistencies of style will be revisited.


The teaching of spelling has been given considerable thought at Gilberdyke Primary School and children are supported through a robust spelling progression and approach to be confident and accurate spellers. Through a whole class approach, children are taught specific spelling rules, conventions, patterns and the children will investigate the key words studied. There is then an expectation that children use these new words in their independent writing.

When drafting writing, children are encouraged to make a plausible attempt at unfamiliar spellings in order to continue the creative flow. In Foundation Stage leading into Year one, children are encouraged to try spelling words using their phonic knowledge. In Year 2 and KS2, common keywords/year group words and cross-curricular words that have been taught should be spelled correctly. During the editing and proof-reading stage, children must use various strategies (dictionaries/partner work, etc.) to identify and change spelling mistakes.


Pupils enjoy writing and can see the value in producing pieces for a specific purpose. They learn to write accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in, and for, a wide range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

Further Information

‘The values the school has shine through the students.’

Quotes from parents

‘There are loads of things to do here, it’s fun in lessons and loads of other people to make friends with.’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘Children are given the confidence to grow and learn.’

Quotes from parents

‘The children are happy because of the amount of effort teachers put into wellbeing.’

Quotes from parents

‘Gilberdyke is a place where everyone feels welcome because we are respectful of each other and friendly.’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘Gilberdyke is about respect and responsibility. I’ve learnt a LOT about that whilst I’ve been here and we need to. We try our hardest in everything and never give up!’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘I’ve really valued the amount of respect I’ve been shown. I know that I’m never alone. I can talk to anyone.’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘All staff greet with a smile and are approachable and always there to listen.’

Quotes from parents

‘I’m going to miss having fun lessons. Gilberdyke has taught me simple manners and respect and how much that is needed and necessary in life.’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘Gilberdyke is a kind and respectful school with trusted people to talk to. Everyone gets along with each other because of the values about respect, responsibility and resilience.’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘Responsibility is key to having a good career, this school has taught me that.’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘I came from another school and I’ve met loads of new friends. This school is about friendship, respect and we always follow the expectations, it works well.’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘The staff are kind, even when they’re tired, they keep going because we are resilient!’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘This school is an environment where everyone has a voice.’

Quotes from pupils

‘The best thing about Gilberdyke is that we accept everyone for who they are – that’s the thing I’ll miss most.’

Quotes from Year 6 pupils

‘It is a welcoming school that puts children first.’

Quotes from parents

‘This school is a safe, educating, welcoming, accepting and all round brilliant school.’

Quotes from pupils