Writing, Spelling and Handwriting

Writing intent:

We want to develop confident and creative writers who are secure with their audience, text type and purpose for writing.

We want children to develop self-confidence within both transcription and composition to ensure success within writing.

We want children to evaluate their own writing using a range of strategies and to bridge back in order activate their prior learning to ensure skills are maintained in their long-term memory.

We want to develop critical thinkers who can structure their writing carefully and inventively which includes the relevant skills to their year group.

Writing implementation:

Through a clear and structured approach to teaching writing developing the skills of: planning, drafting, sharing, evaluating and revising, the children take an active role in their work. These skills are modelled explicitly by the class teacher, partnered with extensive feedback to support children’s next steps. The scaffolding is gradually released (Gradual Release of Responsibility Model Pearson, 1983)[1] revealing competent, reflective and skilled writers.

Progression of the skills of writing are built upon in each year group to ensure fundamentals are secure and embedded in order for children to explore new content. Exploring ways to activate their prior learning of self, task and strategy to support this.


[1] Pearson, P. D and Gallagher, M, C. (1983) ‘The instruction of reading comprehension’ Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8 (3), 317-344

In the Early Years, early mark making is celebrated and encouraged to emerge as pupils become more skilled in pencil control and confident in their phonic knowledge. Children learn through play, speaking and listening activities, teacher modelling, group work and self-direction. The early learning goals for Communication and Language and Literacy outline what most children will be able to achieve in writing by the end of the Foundation Stage.

Handwriting intent:

We want careful and conscientious writers who have developed automaticity in their handwriting.

We want children to be confident in the use of ascenders and descenders and how to join their letters correctly.

We want children who take care and pride in their work and who can adapt their handwriting based on the task in hand e.g. note taking, best work etc...

Handwriting implementation:

Handwriting lessons are taught daily in a range of different contexts to ensure it is consistent. Sessions are taught to incorporate the skills of: speed, style, shape, space, size, sitting on the line, stringing and slant. These skills align with those in the National Handwriting Association[1].

The skills are taught in isolation with a clear focus for each session.  Children are encouraged to self-monitor their progression through a session as opportunities for reflective talk are built into each session. Every lesson begins with a warm up activity which provides children to develop the motor skills required for that session.

In KS1 a range of practical, research-based strategies are used to support the teaching of handwriting including ‘Peg to Paper’ resources to encourage the correct pencil grip and development of crossing the middle line. These early skills form the foundation of developing their pencil grip and handwriting as they progress through school.

All handwriting lessons are completed in the back of English books on lines the children are confident and comfortable with to encourage them applying skills taught in their everyday writing. Teachers support children in the selection process of their writing equipment as we believe children are all different and different tools suit different learners. Pencil grips, overlays, coloured books and ribbed line books are also used to remove any barriers to this becoming automatic.


[1] https://nha-handwriting.org.uk/


Spelling intent:

We believe that spelling should be “taught and not caught” (Peters, 1985)[1] 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).


[1] Peters, M. L (1985) Spelling: Caught or Taught Routledge: London

Spelling Implementation

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.