Marsh Lane Primary School<

Marsh Lane Primary School

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Our curriculum for writing aims to ensure that all pupils progress as writers by;

  • Instilling the belief that ‘every child is a writer’
  • Linking writing to their own interests as well as areas across the curriculum
  • Preparing children for life after school and tackling social disadvantage
  • Tracking progress and providing a range of support where required
  • Providing children with cultural capital, learning from authors throughout history, such as Shakespeare, award winning authors and books, especially those that tackle current events and dilemmas, folk tales and myths
  • Ensuring that children know what and why they are writing
  • Allowing purposeful and autonomous writing as a way of impacting on children’s personal development
  • Encouraging them to find their own voice to persuade, inform or entertain

Writing Intent

At Marsh Lane Primary School we embrace creativity and have developed our own  thematic curriculum, which we believe inspires and encourages our children to become creative writers. The ability to communicate effectively through writing is a skill we believe is critical to children's futures. We aim to ensure that the children learn to write clearly, with neat and legible handwriting, to spell and punctuate accurately and to write in grammatically correct sentences. Further, we focus on the need to be able to use appropriate writing styles in context, and to structure extended pieces of writing to achieve maximum impact.

At Marsh Lane Primary we want all children to be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and reach their full potential.

Our aims are to

  • Guide and nurture each individual on their own personal journeys to becoming successful writers.
  • Provide exciting writing opportunities and experiences that engage and enhance learning 
  • We want all children to acquire a wide vocabulary and to be able to use this vocabulary within their writing 
  • For chlldren to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.
  • We want all children to have a solid understanding of grammar and apply it effectively to their writing.
  • We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
  •  We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a legible, cursive, individual handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
  • We want every child to have a good knowledge of phonics to springboard children to becoming fluent writers.
  • To plan a progressive curriculum to build upon previous teaching, with regular assessment to ensure each child’s needs are met to reach their full potential.

In Writing, by the end of EYFS children will:

Be able to write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed. They will be able to spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters. It is expected that they will also write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others. Children will show good control and co-ordination in their small movements. They will handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

By the end of Key Stage 1 children will:

Be able to write narratives, both real and fictional. Children will write using past and present tense mostly correctly and consistently. Children will demarcate sentences using capital letters, full stops and question marks most accurately. Children will spell most common exception words correctly. Handwriting will show much more consistency in letter sizing.

By the end of Key Stage 2 children will:

Be able to write for a range of purposes and audiences showing increasing manipulation of sentence structures. Children will be able to use a range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs. They will select and use grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires. They will use a range of punctuation and maintain tense throughout a piece of writing. Children will spell most words correctly or will be able to use resources quickly and efficiently in order to support spelling. Handwriting will be consistently joined in line with the school policy.

Any child working below their age-related expectation will receive a tailored curriculum with personalised objectives to support them. This will enable all children to build the skills and knowledge needed to bridge the gap between themselves and their peers enabling them to reach their full potential.


We endeavour to create a purposeful atmosphere that will encourage children to become enthusiastic, independent and fluent writers. We work hard to ensure that writing opportunities link clearly to Key Questions so that children can apply their learning from across the curriculum, which means that children are given opportunities to write for real life situations that stimulate their curiosity. Because they have opportunities to read a wide range of texts before writing, children are confident when writing for a range of purposes, using writing skills and techniques that are built on each year. A high priority is also given to the teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar. 

Long, medium and short term planning and the use of progression maps ensure that a variety of genres are progressively taught and built upon both throughout the year and throughout the school.

Writing is also a key focus in the wider curriculum, especially in ‘creative curriculum’ lessons. Children are given the opportunity to transfer and build upon their knowledge of a genre studied during English lessons and apply this learning to a topic focus.

Within each unit of work, sequenced lessons ensure that prior learning is checked and built upon and that National Curriculum objectives are taught through a combination of approaches/opportunities e.g.

  • Opportunities to participate in drama & spoken language activities
  • Exploring the features of different text types and modelled examples (E.g. Spotting features in a WAGOLL – What a good one looks like)
  • Handwriting practice
  • Vocabulary practice
  • Shared writing (modelled expectations)
  • Discrete Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar lessons
  • Independent writing
  • Planning, drafting, editing, up-levelling and presenting
  • Performing


Through the teaching of writing at Marsh Lane our pupils develop the skills to effectively communicate and express themselves with the written word. They are well-prepared to move into secondary school and to further develop their skills to tackle more challenging tasks. They have a well-developed attention to detail for handwriting, spelling and grammar, and are confident writers. 

Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps.

  • Formative assessment grids (statements taken from progression map)
  • Constructive marking with ‘next steps’ and ‘modelling’ where appropriate. Teachers leave next steps in books when marking to ensure that children know exactly what they need to do next to make progress in their writing and children are encouraged to respond to this in purple pen
  • Pieces of ‘Best Writing’ are completed each term 

The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work.

By the end of key stage 2, children enjoy sustained writing opportunities and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation.


We use the 'No-nonsense spelling' programme throughout the whole school: from Reception to Year 6. This spelling programme was devised to offer a comprehensive yet accessible progression in the teaching of spelling.

The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings.

Please click here to see a short PowerPoint about 'No-nonsense spelling'

Alongside this, we also teach the common exception words for each year group as stated in the National Curriculum 2014.

Year 1& Year 2     Year 3 & 4      Year 5 & 6



Weekly Focus: Ten Tips for Teaching Handwriting Grip

At Marsh Lane we have extremely high expectations of presentation. From the earliest age we foster the correct posture, seating positions and pencil grips. We use hand and finger strengthening activities to promote fine motor development.

In Reception and Year 1 children are taught correct letter shapes and formations through our cursive crusaders programme.

From Year 2 onwards, we begin to explicitly teach correct joins and a stronger awareness of ascenders and descenders. These skills are developed through weekly handwriting lessons and practise as well as ongoing application in all of their writing. It is closely monitored and additional support is given to those that require it.

As they develop through Key Stage Two, a pen license is awarded to children demonstrating consistency in their handwriting. This enables them to use handwriting pens and further develop fluency and their own style.

Cursive Alphabet

We celebrate writing in our classrooms, on washing lines, and celebration walls.

Spoken language and oracy

Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak is vital for developing vocabulary and grammar. Children develop the capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, as well as connect the knowledge and ideas gained across the wider curriculum through making presentations, acting in role and participating in debates across the curriculum.

Oracy is prioritised in our writing curriculum in order to build vocabulary for all learners and increase understanding of trickier texts used across our curriculum. Discussion, questioning and learning texts with actions all increase understanding and prepare our children with the tools they need in order to be successful in their writing. Our aim is for ALL learners to achieve their full potential in writing and we are committed to providing the scaffolds and challenge needed in order for our children to achieve this.


Words are powerful.  Using the right words makes for better communication across a range of social fields.  We want our children to be able to converse in a variety of situations with confidence.  From the very beginning at Marsh Lane Primary, we commit to helping children build their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of vocabulary. The use of language is taught explicitly in all subject areas and is also unpicked in its daily use in the classroom. We plan the teaching of vocabulary carefully so that children are exposed to words they might not come across in everyday. Our vocabulary three tier pyramids allow children to contribute and learn new words about their topics and also technical vocabulary in subjects.

Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

Grammar, spelling and punctuation is taught explicitly in short sessions throughout the week through the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ and ‘SPAG' sessions. These sessions allow us to focus upon the requirements of the National Curriculum and rooted in classroom practice. It combines the need to assess pupils’ learning of grammar and to monitor their progress with a host of practical activities, which give learners an opportunity to play with and explore language actively.

Parents often ask what the can do to support their child’s learning at home, and this can sometimes appear difficult for areas such as writing. However, there are lots of things that you can do at home that will support your child in school.


  • Encourage a love of books – you read to your child, they read to you. It doesn’t matter which way.
  • Turn the stories you already know into something slightly different, or tell stories about events you and your child have experienced.
  • Your child’s teacher should send home a copy of the text map. Ask your child to teach you and have fun with it.
  • HAVE FUN. Storytelling and reading should be fun activities and not a battle or a chore.
  • Ensure your child practise their weekly spellings in their home reading diary
  • Encourage your child to follow the correct letter formation – this will become automatic and free up their thinking space for higher writing skills.