At Holmes Chapel Primary, it is our intent to equip our children with the skills to be able to write fluently in a range of different genres as well as being able to communicate their ideas clearly. In order to achieve this, we provide them with rich and varied opportunities which include cross-curricular writing, writing from personal experiences and the use of high quality texts which support the children to become creative, inspired and have a love of writing. We strive for the children to be confident writers with the stamina and ability to write, at least, at the expected standard for their age.  We want our children to have the knowledge and understanding of technical grammar and punctuation, and to be able to apply it in a variety of different genres of their writing. In addition, we intend for our children to acquire and develop their use of vocabulary through our teaching, exposure to high quality texts within our lessons and through the promotion of a love of reading across our whole school reading for pleasure approach.




Throughout the week, children are given purposeful and engaging opportunities to develop their skills and vocabulary by effectively planning, writing and revising their work. We follow a consistent, structured and supportive writing cycle based on the research-based gradual release of responsibility model and self-regulation where children use strategies to identify their next steps. Objectives are clear and progressive in every year group. We offer high levels of support to those who need it allowing each child to access their year group learning where possible and reach their full potential. In year 5 and year 6, the children develop their skills further by explicitly following the IPEELL cycle and are explicitly taught to self-regulate using the mark scheme, and set their own targets in order to become even more independent writers.


Speaking and Listening

Children across school have the opportunity to enhance their speaking and listening skills by reading aloud their writing, listening to others and reciting and performing poetry, both their own and published.


Grammar and Punctuation

Across school, grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers select, plan and deliver lessons that cover the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking the grammar and punctuation to the genre to make it coherently connected with the intended writing outcome. At times, teachers may sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as a discrete lesson; this is where the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding from a technical point of view, or to consolidate skills before applying it into their writing.




Early vocabulary development is often encountered through reading. However, young readers encounter more unfamiliar words than more experienced readers. Therefore, in addition to developing the process of reading through sounding out and blending, teachers also focus their time on explaining the meaning of language and vocabulary. Across school, teachers introduce age appropriate / genre appropriate language and vocabulary for style and meaning in reading and writing tasks, and discuss it with the children. In addition to this, teachers select, plan and introduce curriculum based vocabulary through our Word Aware scheme in foundation subjects; this introduces key words that are considered important for children to have a deeper understanding, semantically and morphologically (meaning and spelling patterns).

Where children are struggling to meet the age related expectations for reading and therefore being taught at a lower age level than their chronological age, they still follow the programme of study for their correct chronological age in terms of listening to new books, hearing and learning new vocabulary, and discussing these.





We aim for children to develop into confident spellers who are enthusiastic and excited by their use of language and the knowledge of words. We want them to be able to spell quickly, accurately and not afraid of using their skills and knowledge to tackle the spelling of unfamiliar words. In order for this to happen, we encourage the children to make relationships between sounds and letters (phonics), understand the word structure (morphology) and the spelling structure (orthography) of words. We expect the children to be able to discuss words, their spelling patterns and meaning and understand their origins and how they have changed throughout history (etymology).



  • Early spelling is taught through daily phonics lessons where children are taught how to segment to spell in EYFS and Year 1

  • In Reception, the reading and spelling of tricky words takes place as a starter in Literacy lessons.

  • In Year 1, spelling rules which focus on the morphology of words and are therefore not covered in Phonics sessions, are taught within English lessons.

  • In Year 1, the common exception words are taught as a starter section to English lessons and tested termly.

  • Spelling is taught from Year 2-6 in a Review, Teach, Practice and Apply method for each spelling rule across the week in 20 minutes lessons.

  • Within the ‘Teach’ section of the sequence of lessons, teachers use an investigative approach to learning so that children talk about similarities, differences, patterns and meanings of words and their spellings.

  • A baseline assessment takes place at the beginning of the autumn term to ensure any children who have not met the previous year’s expectation are identified for urgent intervention.

  • The streaming of spelling into numerous teaching groups is cohort dependent on ability. Where possible, lower ability groups are as small as possible.

  • Extra intervention sessions are provided to close the gap between children who are struggling to meet year group expectation and their peers. These are based on diagnostic testing and gap analysis. As advised in the English spelling appendix, these sessions will focus on previous year groups’ learning and/ or may contain more of a phonics reading / spelling approach.

  • Lessons are planned half-termly: these include the rule of the week and a selection of the common exception words. Children and parents are given the rules for the half term.




We intend our children to have the skills to be able to write fluently, legibly, and with automaticity and speed. We want confident writers who can successfully form letters with correct and relative size, form different strokes to join adjacent letters, and eventually make conscious decisions to join or understand when letters are best left un-joined. We want our children to take care with their handwriting and being proud of their work, knowing it is presented adequately for the job it is intended (display, note-taking, etc).


             Key Stage Overview

Early Years Outcomes / Programme of Study


30-50 Months

  • Ascribes meanings to marks that they see in different places.
  • Gives meaning to marks they make as they draw, write and paint.

40-60 months +

  • Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.
  • Uses some clearly identifiable letters to communicate meaning, representing some sounds correctly and in sequence.

Year 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly
  • begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
  • form capital letters
  • form digits 0–9
  • understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ and to practise these

Year 2

Pupils should be taught to:

  • form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another
  • start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and
  • understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left un-joined
  • write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters
  • use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters

Years 3-4

Pupils should be taught to:

  • use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left un-joined
  • increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting (e.g. by ensuring that the down strokes of letters are parallel and equidistant)

Years 5-6

Pupils should be taught to:

  • write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by:
  • choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding whether or not to join specific letters
  • choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task




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