*English - Writing

‘Aspiring to achieve, determined to succeed’
At Sandy Hill Academy, we strive to provide our children with the highest quality teaching of English. We aim for each child to become a lover of English and to understand how each skill taught, whether that be in Reading, Phonics, Writing or Grammar, will support development and success across the curriculum.

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.


At Sandy Hill, our aims for writing are to ensure that all pupils:


  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences

  • have the opportunity to become a master and lover of English.

Please see the document links at the end of this page to learn about the full English Curriculum at Sandy Hill Academy.

In Nursery, we have an exciting range of mark making activities for the children to explore during their play. During the Autumn term, we have focused on developing our large muscle movements through Healthy Movers and Physical Development activities to support our pencil grip and ability to make marks. At the beginning of every half term, the children practice their name writing including their pencil grip and their ability to form some letters.
"I can write my name!" Nursery child, aged 4.
"I have drawn a rainbow with pencils." Nursery child, aged 4.
Writing is taught in Reception from the onset. Children are taught to write within their daily Phonics session. Children also have the opportunity to develop their writing during their weekly guided writing session. Children in Reception have a writing book which captures the progress the children make with their writing achievements over the year. At the beginning of each term children are asked to write their name and draw a picture of themselves. The children love to look back at their previous learning and enjoy celebrating their successes. 
Year 1
In Year 1 this term we have been focusing on writing simple sentences. We have been working hard on verbally rehearsing the sentences we want to write before recording our written sentences. In English lessons we have completed some story writing, recited a poem and written instructions linked to Bonfire night. 
"I enjoyed writing about Floppy and the hedgehog. I would like to find a hedgehog in my garden." Year 1, age 5.
"When we learned Hilly Billy Hedgehog I did really well because I remembered all the actions and all the words. My best bit was the end when the alarm went RING!" Year 1, age 5.  
Year 2
In Year 2 we have been developing the strength in our hands to help us to build our writing stamina. We enjoy 'Dough Disco' sessions which encourage us to move our hands in different ways by manipulating our own pot of playdough.
We have been learning to write for different purposes including diary writing and letter writing. This gives our writing a purpose and encourages us to use adventurous vocabulary.
We use our English working walls to provide us with support with our ideas.
"I like our dough gym lessons because it is fun and we get to make our hands stronger." Year 2 pupil, age 6.
Year 3
Year 3 enjoyed exploring the story of 'Rhopodis The Egyptian Cinderella' through a variety of drama activities. They were able to use these drama opportunities to plan ideas for their writing. 
'My story includes 3 evil pharaohs instead of 3 ugly sisters.  I am going to make the characters really evil and mean!'  Year 3 pupil, age 7. 
'I really enjoyed taking part in a debate about the ending of the story of Rhopodis.  I think it would be interesting for Rhodopis to not marry the prince and go home to her family instead.'  Year 3 pupil, age 7. 
Year 4
In Year 4, we have been linking our writing to our topic The Romans Vs The Celts. We have learnt the myth of Romulus and Remus and written setting descriptions linked to this story. We have also written some instructions on 'How to get to Palatine Hill'. The children enjoyed hot seating with the characters from our story to help with their characterisation. We are now looking forward to learning our new story, Escape from Pompeii!
Year 5
In Year 5, we enjoy writing across the curriculum. We have written for a range of purposes this year including creating our own mythical monsters, writing a recount of the attack on Lindisfarne and writing persuasive letters to the Prime Minister about creating a plastic free Parliament.
"I have learnt alot about writing this year, including how to use parenthesis and how to include a range of complex sentences to vary my writing." Year 5 pupil, aged 9.
Year 6
In Year 6, they have continued to develop their writing skills. They have studied the 'Invictus poem' and written their own as well. In addition to this, they have written informal letters in role from the film 'Carrie's' War' and written an innovated version of the Narnia: Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe' story. The children's vocabulary is advancing with each passing day and reads effectively amongst the full punctuation range. The children have also been perfecting their proof reading and editing skills. 
'I like English because we write magical stories and use descriptive vocabulary.' Year 6 pupil.
'Word Hippo is an online thesaurus that really helps to uplevel our vocabulary. I've learnt and shared lots of new words - and used them for effect in my own writing!' Year 6 pupil.

Useful websites for Pupils and Parents/Carers

Document Links

Teaching and Learning Principles
Curriculum Overview
Progression Overview
This document below is an example of skills progression in Writing for the specific learning strand of grammar and punctuation from Year 1-6 (6 photos).

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