Message sent from:

Welcome to the Writing page


The four purposes to write being taught across EYFS to Year 6 are:

  • To entertain
  • To inform
  • To persuade
  • To discuss
Puprpose of writing image

Please click on the above image to take you to the full writing for a purpose document.

We want to develop writers who:

• develop a life-long stamina and love for writing throughout the school.

• are immersed in a variety of genres and have a clear understanding of text types and their purpose.

• have a clear understanding of purpose.

• have an understanding of intended impact of writing skills and tools.

• have the ability to carefully select vocabulary with careful attention to the desired effect on the readers’ thoughts and feelings.

• Understand how to plan, draft, improve and edit their work so it can be the best it can be and achieve the desired effect.

• Are able to use and create their own success-criteria.

• Use resources independently to support their writing.

• Use their reading and word collections.

Our writing intent

At St Stephen’s Primary School, enabling children to become confident, compelling and purposeful writers is something we value greatly.  We focus on children being able to use the knowledge they learn, to produce purposeful, well-crafted, creative and informative written work.  By the time they leave St Stephen’s, children will understand that writing is a craft which is developed through repeated practice in order to improve.

We want our children to be part of a community of writers and authors and provide them with many different experiences so that they are moved and inspired to write.

We follow a ‘Purpose for Writing’ approach.  This approach better prepares our children to recognise different genres and which purpose they are linked to and notice specific text features and structures, grammar and sentence structures, word level and choice and punctuation.


Puprpose of writing image 2IMG_0215

Implementation - we do this by:

• Planning outcomes with a purpose and audience in mind (See St Stephen’s Long term English plan)

• Sharing learning Journeys in the form of ‘Loops of Learning’ so that the children can see how each step of the journey contributes to the final outcome.

• Using working Walls and supporting displays as a point of reference.

• Teaching daily Quick Write sessions.

• Developing a good understanding of grammar and punctuation and its use in effective written communication.

• Using high-quality exemplars or WAGOLLs across all genres to demonstrate and unpick what quality writing looks like and the features that it includes.

• Encouraging children to use resources independently; such as prompt cards, common exception word cards, dictionaries and toolkits tailored to the children’s needs.

• Using quality texts to develop and build success criteria and rubrics by the teacher with the children.

• Ensuring that ALL children make progress

new ofsted framework image
Implementation image 1implementation loops image implementation image 2

The 'Quick Write' Pathway

This approach uses evidence and recommendations from the Sutton Trust that support and help  in securing higher standards in literacy. Improving literacy in KS2 – section 1 and 4,5 and 6.  Improving literacy at KS1 – section 1,5 and 7.

quick write image

A walk through the 'quick write' process

Using the Quick Write process, enables teachers to target writing needs weekly.

Effective verbal feedback is an essential driver in improving children’s writing.  In all classes, teachers and teaching assistants give children instant feedback for specific targets.  By doing this, it enables children to respond effectively to their writing instantly.  Moreover, this means a child is able to refine and show progress within a single piece of work.

quick write green triangle


At the start of a new focus of writing, we share the genre of the writing, the purpose of the writing, the audience and the end loop.


The initial stage of the writing process is to plan the end loop with an audience in mind and a real purpose for the children to write.

The next stage is to begin to lay the ‘seeds’ with the class and share the idea or context through which the children will be communicating.  Teachers spark imagination through a variety of stimuli such as; pictures, films, music, letters arriving, a school trip, a message in a bottle, a visitor… the list goes on. 

Plan - collect it:

The children, together with the teacher, will then complete a planning sheet together with the teacher where vocabulary will be extended either through discussion, looking through books or via drama.  The children will then start to gather their ideas to write.

The purpose of this stage is for the children to be equipped with the best possible language and grammar skills to apply in their writing.  This is done through; providing rich experience to developing ideas and vocabulary e.g. film, books, pictures, drama, poetry.

All children have access to quality visuals such as toolkits, dictionaries and thesaurus.  Individual visuals are provided for children with ISPs that are language focused.

This stage will demonstrate differentiated outcomes linked with spelling and grammar.

gruffolo quick write image
dadwavers 3

Deconstruct it/ Improve it:

Children will be given opportunities to explore age-related texts to better understand the layout and features of the genre they are writing about.  Use of exemplar texts (WAGOLLs – What a Good One Looks Like) are crucial to the teaching of writing.  The level of language should be ambitious, challenging but within reach.  WAGOLLs are an excellent way of lifting the ceiling so often put on EAL (English as an Additional Language) or SEND  (Special Educational Needs/Disabilities) children’s language acquisition.  Our role is to scaffold as a means of access to the rich language of the WAGOLL.

Another alternative is to take a WABOLL and give children the opportunity to improve it using the focus skills for the writing piece.

deconstruct image(1)

Model it:

During this time, children watch the expert writer at work.  This is a useful tool to use when new skills have been introduced in discrete grammar lessons.  The children get to see how they are applied and the effect that using it has on their reader – always keeping their intended audience and purpose in mind.  Teachers and TA’s will often be heard verbalising the thought and decisions processes that lie behind writing.  There is always an emphasis on high quality, ambitious and aspirational writing.  Similarly, teachers use plans to model how a phrase or word becomes a well-structured sentence.

We use DADWAVERS as a mnemonic to help support and improve the structure of narrative writing.

By using and manipulating the vocabulary collected on the planning sheets, children can craft many different types of sentences, whilst also connecting their grammar and spelling knowledge.

Dadwavers man image 4

Draft it - Construct it:

Once the idea has been explored and discussed the children will start to gather their ideas and write their own rough drafts.  This is the stage where children organise the skills and ideas they have collected so far.  Here the focus will be on structure and cohesion.  It should show that children understand the structure, flow and language of their planned piece of writing.  Making links between the plan-it stage and this stage is crucial for them to see the reason behind planning.

Talk is key!  In every class across the school, the start of all writing is talking.

Share it:

The children can work together to talk through their ideas, build upon and improve writing.  Collaboration enables opportunities to refine and extend their writing.  It allows the children to evaluate the impact of their writing on their reader – always keeping the intended audience and purpose in mind.

Edit / Refine it:

The focus in this stage is the impact on the reader linked to the purpose of the piece.

Does it persuade?  Explain? Inform? Or Entertain?  The key intention is that it serves the correct purpose for the writing. 

assessment grid 2assessment grid

The key questions is does it do the right job?  If not, how can we improve this?

Explicit use of the Success criteria will be modelled at this stage, in order that, children are aware of how to successfully make use of this.

At Key Stage 1, editing is built up as whole class modelling to ensure that the children have the understanding of this stage of the process.  At key stage 2, editing is done independently with focused input where needed.

Paired editing can be used to develop: the ability to evaluate writing, offer an alternative viewpoint and to expose children to a greater breadth of written work.

To maintain a consistent approach and thus clarity for the children, across the school, editing is done in red pen and success criteria included are highlighted in yellow by the child.  The success criteria are differentiated depending upon where the child is in their writing progression.

editing station image

Publish it:

This part of the process is vital.  This is where the children see all their hard work come together and they prepare their writing for their chosen audience or purpose. 

At all stages, the children must recognise the fact that they will have an opportunity to share their work with a wider audience.  This in itself, creates real purpose for their efforts.

There are a number of forums available for sharing work.  Alongside writing books, the children will be exposed to a combination of: writing showcases to parents, visitors and other children; having their work displayed in the classroom and around school; entering competitions both within school and nationally; sending their work to significant people in the local areas such as our MP, the head teacher or councillor and more.

Children are encouraged to consider how they can communicate their writing on screen and are taught the necessary skills to allow them to do this effectively through the Purple Mash ICT programme.  As children move through KS2, they are taught the advantages of editing on screen. 

publish it image
publish it 2 image

Evaluate it:

The final steps are for the teacher and child to discuss a next step or area of development in their next piece of writing This is always communicated as an exciting opportunity to have an even greater impact in line with our intended audiences and purpose

Non-Fiction frameworks for planning

We use the Sue Palmer skeleton frames to plan our non-fiction writing.  Our aim is that children will be able to select the best format to present information and use the planning frames independently.  Our non-fiction writing is linked to our foundation subject curriculum and continues to use the Quick Write process.

Using a progression in non-fiction texts framework, enables us to ensure that children include appropriate features and make progress across different styles of writing.

sue palmer image

Click the image above to open in a new window.

Our Grammar Intent

Grammar is taught so that children understand the effect the choices they make have on meaning. It is taught in the context of purposeful talk, reading and writing.

Our Grammar Implementation - we do this by:

Following the St Stephen’s grammar long-term plan.

• It is always taught in the context of purposeful talk, reading and writing.

• Grammar is taught explicitly, in context with further opportunities planned, so that, children can apply and practice their learning across the curriculum and enabling them to deepen their conceptual understanding.  This is planned through

• This is planned throughout the writing journey and links made where possible to the current piece of writing.

• Grammar can be taught as a whole lesson or a series of starters depending upon the teaching sequence.

• Grammar lessons should be active and instructive with varied opportunities for children to apply and demonstrate their learning during independent writing.

grammar image map 1

Impact - we do this by:

Children complete an NFER spelling and grammar assessment 3 times a year and this information helps to identify gaps enabling us to put support in place. 

Exposing children to weekly grammar checks, supports interleaved learning and helps revisit and recap learning as well as identify misconceptions to readdress and reshape future learning.

Weekly formative assessment using writing assessment grids to inform planning and gaps.


We follow the St Stephen’s poetry long-term poetry plan, which outlines and details the poems that are to be taught in each year group alongside the type of poetry style.

We encourage performance of poems to share with audiences as it helps develop the children’s sense of rhythm, prosody and expression.  An audience to perform to gives their poetry meaning.

We believe it also supports the children build self-esteem and confidence in oracy and public speaking, which helps support them for life beyond St Stephen’s.

By exploring poetry regularly, we are immersing our children in and developing an awareness of ambitious vocabulary.

Projects we have developed in the past are; class poetry slams and a poetry trail for the local area.

poetry 1 image
poetry 2 image
poetry to perform image
poetry genre&style image

Impact - Assessment of Learning

We carry out 3 formal assessments a year using the school writing assessment skills grids. However, writing is continually assessed by teachers and children so that areas of development can be acted upon.

These assessments will come from a range of different writing opportunities.

Using the school success criteria grids, staff and children can see the features required for each genre of writing and use throughout the teaching sequence.

This is underpinned by rigorous moderation that is built into our development cycle to ensure high standards of writing.

We promote the importance of talking with children about the writing process.

The format remains consistent throughout a learner’s journey at St Stephen’s.  This allows children to more tangibly see their progression and to gain an increasingly clear understanding of the writing assessment process.

assessment 4
assessment 5

Our Spelling Intent

At St Stephen’s, spelling is seen as a vital and integrated part of the writing process.  We aim to support our children to both develop an appreciation of spelling patterns, as well as giving them the toolkit necessary to tackle exceptions to the rules.

Implementation - we do this by:

• Spelling at St Stephen’s is taught in both discrete sessions and as part of the Quick Write process.

• We follow the Spelling Shed scheme in order to ensure consistency and fidelity to a single approach across the school.

• Each week, children will focus on a new spelling rule/pattern and be given opportunities to practise these in a variety of ways.

• These spellings will then be assessed using a dictation process on a weekly basis.

• Children are given access to Spelling Shed both in school and at home.  This is an online programme designed to support children in developing their spelling ability.

• Each class will also learn a pair of new words each week.  This has the dual purpose of enhancing vocabulary and also empowering children to include the words with the correct spelling.

• When marking children’s writing, teachers will select (up to a maximum of three per writing piece) incorrect spellings and draw the child’s attention to them.  These are then to be corrected and can be added to the child’s word dictionary.  This enables them to include these spellings correctly independently in future writing.

spelling 1

Impact - Assessment of Spelling

• Spelling is assessed using the NFER spelling assessments 3 times a year.

• Weekly assessments are carried out through the dictation process and steps are put in place for children who need extra support.

• Teachers set weekly spellings on Spelling Shed where children can play games using these.  Teachers can use the programme to see how the children are progressing and use this as another tool for assessment.

• Spelling interventions can be targeted using the diagnostic Spelling Shed Tool.

Our Handwriting Intent

At St Stephen’s Primary School, we encourage our children to take particular care in their handwriting.

Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. By the end of Key Stage 2, all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes.

Children should experience coherence and continuity in the learning and teaching of handwriting across all school years and be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work. Our objective is to help pupils enjoy learning and developing their handwriting with a sense of achievement and pride.

Our intention is to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking.

• To develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters, which leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.

• To establish and maintain high expectations for the presentation of written work.

• For children to understand, by the end of Year 6, the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.

handwriting image

Implementation - we do this by:

• In Early Years, gross and fine motor skills are developed as a pre-requisite to writing letters.

•Children are taught to print letters, starting and finishing in the correct place, alongside the phonics being taught within EYFS and Year 1.  Using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised ditties, helps children to further create correct physical memory. 

• Children will work towards joining digraphs.

• Supporting children who are finding handwriting difficult, through the use of grips, sloping boards and ICT.

• Establishing and maintaining high expectations for the presentation of all written work.

• Developing an understanding, about the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.

• Ensuring daily handwriting practise for children at Key Stage 1 and for children identified at key stage 2.

• Ensuring teaching staff model the cursive style in all their handwriting, whether on whiteboards, displays or in children’s books.

• Taking handwriting into consideration during all lessons.

Letter formation with phrases

alphabet image

Selected continuous cursive style

alphabet image 2

Impact - Assessment of Writing

Handwriting is assessed continually through all subjects and high standards are expected. 

It is also assessed as part of the termly writing assessment.  Standards are considered against the age-related expectation for each child and additional support is provided to children who are not meeting these.  This may take the form of: further assessment to identify next steps.  Additional resources such as handwriting grips, support pens, slopes, opportunity to practise or additional time are given.

Our Vocabulary Intent

‘Pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum.’

National Curriculum 2014

At St. Stephen’s, the knowledge that words improve social and cultural capital is a key driver. Children who develop a vocabulary of 50,000 words are statistically more likely to become successful in later life and have better life chances. By taking approaches that explicitly teach vocabulary, we are limiting what is termed the ‘Matthew Effect’ where the rich become richer and the poor become poorer.

We want our children to be:

• Word conscious and aware, having the ability to understand words in a wide variety of contexts and knowledge of their definitions.

• Have a love and passion for words and language

• Be brave in their use of them.

• Be inquisitive if they come across a word they don’t know and use dictionaries to find out meanings.

We are working towards a robust vocabulary instruction which ‘involves directly explaining the meanings of words along with thought-provoking, playful and interactive follow-up’.

Vocab image 1

Implementation - we do this by:

Teaching in all subjects is focused on pre-teaching vocabulary with an emphasis on children increasing their knowledge and understanding of Tier 2 and 3 words that are appropriate to that subject area.

We aim to do this by:

  • A structured approach whereby lists of words are identified for each year group, thereby increasing their repertoire of vocabulary and word store.
  • Through using a teaching sequence where firstly the word is identified, displayed and contextualised; association with other words, demonstrating understanding
  • Widening and deepening pupil’s vocabulary pools.
  • Targeted teaching of rich vocabulary through project work and through a rich environment of language.
  • Pre-teaching of vocabulary that might have the potential to create barriers in reading or understanding knowledge.
  • General understanding of vocabulary in order to extend their range of spoken language.
  • Develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on children’s current knowledge.
  • Make links and understanding relationships between known and new vocabulary discussing the shades of meaning in similar words
vocab image 2

Impact - Assessment of Vocabulary

Through assessing independent writing, we can see the impact of vocabulary teaching.  

Hit enter to search