Writing picture 1

Writing at Woodmancote. 

Writing at Woodmancote is closely linked to our reading, as we believe that great readers make great writers! Our writing units are based around high quality texts, our wider curriculum and real-world experiences.

We cover a range of genres throughout each year group and ensure that children are able to write for a range of purposes. We aim to give children a real reason for writing with a final piece that has meaning and purpose e.g. creating stories for younger children, writing letters to people of interest and sending these, sharing work with other classes or parents.

Writing Skills Progression

Genre Progression

How is writing taught at Woodmancote? 

Our aim is for children at Woodmancote to develop a love of writing. Writing lessons are based on a key reading text, a topic or real life experience.

Units of work are planned with the 4 main purposes of writing in mind (Entertain, inform, persuade, discuss) and teachers will look at existing examples of a text to identify structural, language and punctuation to create that piece of writing.

In Reception, children are encouraged to write for a range of purposes both in their independent play and in more formal adult led sessions. Building on their early mark making journey, children use their phonic knowledge, to ‘sound out’ to spell and use the handwriting skills they have learnt to write simple words, captions and sentences. They use sound mats and visuals to aid their independence.

In Year 1 and 2 children build on the skills learnt in EYFS to develop their writing. They begin to build their writing stamina and incorporate the many skills needed to become accomplished writers.

In Years 3-6, teachers use a range of strategies such as shared writing, skills lessons and independent writing to develop children’s writing. They complete a published piece of independent work for each unit to share their understanding and progress.

See our writing toolkits below:

Pre-school Writing Toolkit

Reception Writing Toolkit

Year 1 Writing Toolkit

Year 2 Writing Toolkit

Year 3 Writing Toolkit

Year 4 Writing Toolkit

Year 5 Writing Toolkit

Year 6 Writing Toolkit

Read about the 4 purposes of writing genre expectations below:

Writing to Discuss

Writing to Entertain

Writing to Inform

Writing to Persuade

Teaching Vocabulary at Woodmancote

At Woodmancote, we realise how important it is for our children to have access to an extensive vocabulary, to be successful both as a reader and as a writer. The meaning of words and new vocabulary is taught and explored through all aspects of our English curriculum; reading, writing and oracy (speaking and listening). Vocabulary activities are also built into all other subjects across the curriculum and vocabulary lists have been created for every foundation subject within the curriculum.

Teaching Spelling at Woodmancote

This year, we have changed our approach to the teaching of spelling and use a phonic approach from Year 2 and all the way up to Year 6. We believe that this builds on children’s prior knowledge from EYFS and Year 1 and ensures key spelling rules and phonic patterns are embedded. We use Spelling Shed to guide our teaching of spelling.

Children have access to ‘Spelling Shed’ in school and at home, where they can practise their weekly spellings as part of their homework from Years 2 – 6.


Spelling Shed Overview


Handwriting at Woodmancote

At Woodmancote School we are currently starting cursive handwriting in Year 1. By taking this approach, we are envisaging that by 2024-25, the whole school will be writing in a cursive style.

In Preschool, fine motor skills are developed as part of the Early Years framework and in Reception children build these skills and then begin to learn correct formation of letters as new sounds are taught. These are printed non cursive letters.

From Year 1 in Spring Term onwards – Children will be taught letter formation using the pre cursive style. Teachers will assess children’s handwriting and encourage them to join their letters in a cursive style once they are developmentally ready.

One formal handwriting session will be taught in all classes per week from Year 1 but handwriting is a cross-curricular task and will be taken into consideration during all lessons.

Children will start handwriting using a soft pencil. When fine motor skills and competency in handwriting have been established, they will be given a choice to use a pen or continue to use a pencil. Children are expected to take pride in their work.

Supporting your child to write at home

Early writing activities:

  • Encourage children to look for print in their environment – road signs, food packets, shops etc.
  • Try activities to develop fine motor skills e.g. cutting, using playdough, tracing, using tweezers or clothes pegs to pick things up.
  • Use a chalkboard to write family messages on.
  • Make labels for things around the house.
  • Write a shopping list – real or imaginary! Or any kind of list.
  • Letter formation – practise forming letters using paint, in sand, using playdough or pastry.
  • Let your child write their own Christmas cards or birthday cards to people.
  • Use magnetic letters – your child can leave you a message on the fridge.
  • Encourage and praise early squiggles which show your child is beginning to understand writing.

Improving writers:

  • Write party invitations
  • Encourage children to write thank you letters after birthdays and Christmas.
  • Write postcards when on holiday.
  • Write simple sentences from pictures (Pobble is a really good website for this!)
  • Email or write a letter to a family member or friend.
  • Write short stories involving real life experiences.
  • Write an information leaflet about something they find interesting e.g. a favourite sport, dinosaurs etc.
  • Ask them to correct a sentence you have written with a deliberate mistake e.g. a spelling mistake or missing punctuation.

More confident writers:

  • Write a diary.
  • Write a story for a younger family member, in the style of their favourite author.
  • Write a holiday journal.
  • Write a recipe or instruction manual e.g. how to play a game.
  • Write to the local newspaper about an issue they feel strongly about.
  • Look out for writing competitions! e.g. Radio 2’s 500 word story competition.
  • Encourage them to proof read and edit their writing (could be homework) once they have finished. Ask them to check that spelling, punctuation and grammar is accurate.


Literacy Shed

Oxford Owl

Apps for supporting the teaching of handwriting at home:

The School Run – handwriting

Apps for supporting story writing at home: 

The School Run – story making