Literacy - Writing

We believe that our youngest children need to be inspired to write and see themselves as writers. Every child has a personal journey in learning to write. We appreciate the uniqueness of every child and strive to make their writing journey purposeful and fun. Writing in the EYFS starts with oracy, physical development, and building children’s self-esteem. 

We use Devon Education Services Book Writes writing sequences to ensure that the texts chosen are age-appropriate and our planning is rigorous and sequential. The writing sequences are based on a three-part structure which consists of: 

  • Learning about the text 
  • Practising writing 
  • Independent writing 

This structure ensures that children are immersed in the text, supported through scaffolded activities and shared writing, before planning and writing their own version independently.  

Planning for Progression  

Each unit across the school has their own writing curriculum which plans for writing progression in a two-year cycle and is based on Devon Education Services Book Writes writing sequences. 

We believe that planning a sequence of writing is just as important as the teaching. Using children’s prior assessments, teachers will identify next steps and make generalisations about their classes’ needs. The next steps identified are used to inform the teaching sequence. At the beginning of each sequence, teachers create a ‘Rucksack’ referring to children’s prior learning and detailing steps in the learning journey as well as key vocabulary, grammar and spelling expectations.  

Learning the Text 

Our aim during this phase is to immerse the children into the text. This builds familiarity and confidence with the text and ‘tunes in’ to elements useful to children’s own writing. Children will learn and remember the text through role play, hot seating, text mapping, and reading activities. We use a text map by drawing the key events, and language features as an aide-memoire for retelling the text. This strengthens memory and helps children internalise the text. We ask children to discuss the book in terms of what they like about it, what they dislike, any patterns they have noticed in the text, and any puzzles that they have left unsolved. T 

Often this phase of the sequence concludes with mapping the key elements of the text to reveal the text or plot structure. Once children are familiar with the text, we take their understanding to a deeper level and think about the role of the writer. We explore with the children the writerly choices and techniques that are used in the text, and the intended effect on the reader. We teach grammar both explicitly in the context of the text and in discrete sessions.  All of this helps to build the children’s confidence and provides them with the tools needed to be successful in the independent writing stage.  

Practising Writing  

This stage provides a shared experience were ideas of what to write about are collected, organised and rehearsed. During shared writing, the teacher will make links back to the text and aspects already taught. Teachers will model planning and writing: using the structure and content of the model text, as well as referring to the ‘Rucksack’ to encourage children to use the ideas. Teachers will model the use of key literacy and grammatical features in context during the practising writing sessions, and then make decisions of what their pupils need experience of writing before attempting this independently.  

Independent Writing 

The final phase of the writing sequence enables children to be innovative and creative while still following the structures and devices of the original text. From this independent writing we assess the children’s progress against our writing objectives and the elicitation task that was completed at the start of the block. We use Somerset Literacy Network’s evidence gathering grids when we assess children’s writing. Each document contains the criteria for assessing writing in each year group. Every half term teachers in their units, moderate samples of children’s writing to ensure there is consistency in judgements and evidence-based decision making. We hold MAT cross school writing moderation meetings termly. 



We work with aspirations that children’s handwriting should be ‘sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum’ and that ‘problems with forming letters do not get in the way of their writing down what they want to say’. We know that handwriting is a taught skill that develops at different rates for different children. All of the teachers in the school put a priority on teaching handwriting and have high expectations for handwriting across the curriculum. We use Collins across the school to teach cursive handwriting.