Our Intent for Writing

At Cold Harbour School, the curriculum for writing is designed to enable children to become creative, independent and motivated writers who can express their knowledge, thoughts and imagination through legible, cursive handwriting.

Our writing journey begins in the EYFS where children learn the first most important skills of how to hold a pencil correctly and learn to form letters. The children learn to form their letters through a programme called Squiggle Me into a Writer. Squiggle uses neurological and physiological movements to create marks. The children then progress to learning to write first words and how words combine to make sentences.

We strive to develop a love of writing from the start and encourage children to write by providing purposeful writing activities through a Talk for Writing approach. Following this approach, we aim to develop confident and skilled communicators who can effectively use language for a range of purposes.  Through Talk for Writing, pupils will become fluent in both spoken and written language, learning to craft stories, reports, and explanations with increasing accuracy, clarity, and creativity. This ethos is continued through KS1 and KS2 with children becoming ever more familiar with the structures used.

Through the use of collaborative and interactive learning strategies, Talk for Writing also aims to promote social and emotional development, encouraging pupils to work together, build positive relationships, and develop empathy and understanding. By engaging with a range of diverse texts and perspectives, pupils will become more aware of the wider world and develop the critical thinking skills necessary to navigate complex social and cultural issues.

Talk for Writing is inclusive which means that all children can learn to be a writer and it also supports children with English as an Additional Language by immersing them in language and scaffolding the acquisition of words

English Progression Maps

Our Intent for Handwriting

“With Handwriting, good teaching lasts a lifetime!”
(NHA, 2005)

At Cold Harbour we believe that handwriting is a fundamental skill.  Children need to be able to write without thinking about how to write, this enables them to concentrate on what to write.   Handwriting is a skill like reading, spelling and mathematics, which must be taught to enable children the opportunity to become automatic writers in order to access all forms of written communication across the curriculum.  Our aim is for every child to develop a legible and fluent style of handwriting which can be used at speed.

In order to meet our aim, we follow national guidance to ensure children are first taught to form letters without a lead-in from the line so as to not provide unnecessary difficulty for beginners.  However, cursive script is introduced as soon as the children have mastered correct formation of lower-case letters and are ready.  We promote the use of cursive script for the following reasons:

  •  By making each letter or word in one movement, children’s hands develop a ‘physical memory’ of it, making it easier to produce the correct shape and therefore supports the learning of spelling.
  • Because letters and words flow from left to right, children are less likely to reverse letters which are typically difficult (such as b/d or p/q).
  • The continuous flow of writing ultimately improves speed and spelling.
  • It is recommended by the British Dyslexia Foundation as the best method of handwriting for children with Dyslexia.

We understand that handwriting is a movement skill and thus best taught by demonstration, explanation and practice.  For this reason, we follow a systematic and consistent approach of good teaching, modelling and practise of Handwriting from Reception to Year Six.

Our Intent for Spelling

To deliver and teach spellings from Year 1 through to Year 6 at Cold Harbour we use The Spelling Shed. This approach teaches the relationship between sounds and written symbols as well as using morphology to help spell through meaning. Each week the children are taught a set of words with a particular spelling rule. These words are then set as homework using a range of engaging activities. Children all have their own log in for The Spelling Shed where they are able to practice the words set through playing interactive games, accrue points and are set challenges.

The Spelling Shed games have been developed to be ‘dyslexia friendly’ using the ‘Open Dyslexic’ font and has three levels of difficulty to support pupils of all abilities through the spelling lists with appropriate degrees of challenge. This enables all pupils to achieve their full spelling potential.