At Sandhurst, we believe that a secure basis in literacy is crucial to a high-quality education and key to becoming a successful learner. We want our children to be able to communicate their ideas effectively, listen with understanding and draw on their varied experiences to write with confidence. We believe that at the heart of great writing are rich cross-curricular experiences and the exploration of quality literature that is relevant and engaging for our children. We want our children to understand how a writer uses their craft for different effects with an intended audience and purpose. We want to ensure that our children feel part of an authentic writing community, understanding which genres best support their purposes. 

Our English curriculum provides purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We aim to teach the core skills in-line with the expectations of the National Curriculum through a combination of approaches including modelled, guided, shared and independent writing experiences.

Children are given time to develop their writing craft, drawing on their reading and cross curricular experiences to produce writing which is suitable for the intended purpose and audience. Pupils are given time to talk through their ideas, considering the writing tools they will need and planning their writing outcomes with these features in mind. We carefully plan a sequence of lessons providing children with the opportunity to experiment with sentence structure and explore the grammatical features necessary to create a particular impact upon their reader. Through short burst and extended writing experiences we provide varied opportunities for our children to apply what they have learnt. As our children grow as writers, we encourage them to take ownership of their work, celebrating what works well, editing their writing and reflecting on how they can progress. Individual writing conferences with class teachers, school writing moderators and literacy leads form a vital part of this reflective process.

By the end of key stage 2 children will have developed a writer’s craft and will enjoy sustained writing experiences. Children will be able to talk with confidence about their writing and enjoy sharing what they have written with others. Children will be able to manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create their own written ‘expert’ pieces with an intended audience and purpose. They will be able to plan effectively, drafting and editing their own work, selecting vocabulary, punctuation and grammatical structures which communicate their ideas purposefully. 

Handwriting and spelling

Children are taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school. During their time in KS1, when the children are ready, they are introduced to the cursive handwriting style which they will they continue to develop as they progress through the school.  At Sandhurst, we support and guide our pupils to become confident spellers and employ a variety of strategies to support this. From Reception, children follow the Ruth Miskin phonics programme where spellings are taught during phonics lessons.  From Years 2 – 6 classes follow the Read Write Inc. Spelling Programme which provides fast-paced interactive games and online content which accompanies hands on activities. Whilst this approach is underpinned by phonics, it also prepares our children for the higher demands of the statutory spelling assessments through the exploration of etymology, spelling rules and conventions and mnemonics for tricky words.