Writing, Spelling and Handwriting
At Peover Superior, writing is an integral part of our teaching. We ensure that children are secure with all elements of writing including transcription and composition whilst building skills to plan, revise and evaluate their own work and those of others. The use of high quality texts and a robust cycle, which incorporates opportunities across the curriculum to revise, revisit and practice their new learning, supports the development of competent, confident and enthusiastic writers. The structure of English lessons throughout school incorporate all of these skills and apply them to a range of genres and text types. The writing curriculum, alongside the reading, allows pupils to make links within their reading and transfer this to their writing.
Pupils explore the transcription process of writing through spelling, phonics and handwriting sessions to ensure they are fluent and to support the comprehension of their work. These sessions encourage pupils to understand the English language by understanding the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure). Daily handwriting sessions support this with the aim to produce fluent, legible and eventually speedy handwriting.
In addition to this, children spend time unpicking and exploring a range of text types including fiction, non-fiction and poetry to identify features of these types. Teachers follow a structured cycle of teaching writing, which includes modelling, investigating, comparing, planning, editing and evaluating to embed their ability to write for a range of purposes and audiences. The rationale behind this style of teaching uses the recommendations around the SRSD (Self-Regulated Strategy Development) and evidence-based research from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) guidance.
The delivery of the writing curriculum at Peover incorporates a range of opportunities for pupils to activate prior learning through a small steps approach to teaching. Lessons allow time for dialogic talk with their teacher and their peers to support and improve their writing. Using high quality texts and related texts, the children have time to gather information about what they are writing and are encouraged to be creative with their work. Developing self-awareness, confidence and allowing children to be bold and imaginative with their writing is integral in our sessions. Combining the pleasure for writing with the skills, we feel it provides our children with the ability to articulate communicate and provide coherence for their reader. These skills are transferrable to the wider curriculum and in later life beyond our school gates.
Our curriculum is designed to:
- Create enthusiastic, competent and thoughtful writers who can write for a range of purposes and audiences.
- Provide children with access to new vocabulary and grammar.
- Provide children with a range of high quality texts in a range of genres in which they can base their own writing.
- Create writers with a strong understanding of handwriting and the transcription processes of writing.
- Encourage pupils to understand the relationship between spoken and read words.
- Pupils to use the correct tense and select language to match the style or genre of writing.
- Provide opportunities to activate prior learning through access to genres across the whole curriculum.
- Develop inquisitive and curious writers across genres and texts.
We believe that spelling should be “taught and not caught” (Peters, 1985) and understand that the active teaching of spelling plays a decisive role in children’s understanding of how to spell.
At Peover Superior, we ensure that effective teaching of spelling is taught by generating a real enthusiasm and excitement for language – through reading, speaking and writing. We aim to use meta-cognitive processes to support children to take responsibility for their own learning and plan what to do next.
Throughout school, we aim for children to develop into confident spellers, who are able to spell quickly and accurately and know the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics), understand the word structure (morphology) and the spelling structure (orthography) of words.
We aim for children to use this enthusiasm and knowledge to be able to describe words, spelling patterns and meanings, developing a knowledge of the words, their history and the way they work (etymology).
 Peters, M. L (1985) Spelling: Caught or Taught Routledge: London
In order to teach effective spelling, we ensure that all teaching staff have a clear understanding of the difficulties children face when learning to spell. Lessons are structured to ensure these barriers are addressed.
Phonological errors – not phonologically plausible e.g. frist for first
Orthographical errors - phonically plausible, but inaccurate e.g. gud for good
Morphological errors are due to lack of awareness of morphemes e.g. trapt for trapped.
We support children to develop a variety of spelling strategies – phonic and visual, to develop a sense of pattern and analogy making, and to steadily acquire a vocabulary of know words. Use of visual strategies include: look, say, cover, write, and check (Cox, 1990).
Spelling is taught daily through discrete sessions where particular aspects of spelling are actively discussed and investigated and through the writing process (from shared/modelled writing to independent writing) Where appropriate the teaching of spelling is related to the current content being taught in school where teachers encourage pupils to use new spellings in their writing.
We use Word Study to support an investigative approach to teaching spelling. This encourages children to talk about the similarities and difference between spelling and the meaning of words. Working together, they explore why these patterns occur and develop an understanding of how language works. The Word Study approach builds on knowledge about words that children have already acquired through phonics teaching and expands it to develop critical thinking, word observation skills and discussion and reasoning skills. The children use the skills to describe words, spelling patterns and meanings, developing a knowledge of the words and the way they work. It develops opportunities for children talk about words and language in meaningful contexts.
A range of assessment and analysis tools are used to help us gain insights into the spelling process and identify particular weakness.