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Writing at Pakefield Primary School

At Pakefield Primary school, we aim for every child to be a successful writer and enjoy the process of writing. We recognise that writing is a life-long skill and will be needed in all career choices that our children choose in their futures. It is important to us that our children understand that writing is an essential skill and will be needed throughout their lives. To achieve this goal, Pakefield Primary School is working in partnership with Cambridge Oracy Project and the Arts Mark; both of these projects support teachers to use talk, Oracy and drama as well as skills from ‘The Write Stuff’ by Jane Considine to promote writing throughout the curriculum.


Writing in the Early Years

Writing, along with reading, makes up literacy, one of the four specific areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

The Early Learning Goals for writing come from both literacy and physical development.

They are:

  • Writing - children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
  • Moving and handling - children show good control and coordination in large and small movements. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

At Pakefield children are given a continuous experience in writing. They have the chance to experiment using what they know about writing and the opportunity to apply and practise their developing skills and knowledge. Opportunities to write are planned for in all aspect of continuous provision, both inside and outside.


The Write Stuff and writing for a purpose?

Our ‘Write Stuff’ approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children develop and internalise a range of higher level vocabulary that they can use throughout the curriculum. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully; in turn learning more and remembering more.

This pedagogical approach is based on two guiding principles; teaching sequences that slide between experience days and sentence stacking lessons. With modelling at the heart of them, the sentence stacking lessons are broken into bite-sized chunks and taught under the structural framework of ‘The Writing Rainbow’. Teachers prepare children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar or techniques of writing.

The Write Stuff follows a method called "Sentence Stacking" which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing.  An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken in to 3 learning chunks. Each learning chunk has three sections:

  1. Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
  1. Modelsection – the teacher models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
  2. Enablesection – the children write their sentence, following the model.

Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ which requires them to independently draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.

The Write Stuff uses three essential components to support children in becoming great writers.

The three zones of writing:-

  • IDEAS - The FANTASTICs use a child friendly acronym to represent the nine idea lenses through which children can craft their ideas.
  • TOOLS - The GRAMMARISTICs the grammar rules of our language system and an accessible way to target weaknesses in pupils’ grammatical and linguistic structures.
  • TECHNIQUES - The BOOMTASTICs which help children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual.





How do we use Oracy and the Arts mark to support writing?

Oracy is a vital and fundamental part of Pakefield Primary’s curriculum and plays an enormous part in any child’s writing. For children to be able to write well, they must speak well. Children should be able to draw upon rich vocabulary to say what you want to say – this supports the ability to structure their thoughts, so that they can make sense to others.  This is a crucial skill when writing.

In order to do this, we use our ‘Write Stuff’ structure of learning but underpin this with additional oracy skills to support writing as well. Children are encouraged to use talk partners to speak through their sentences and ideas prior to writing them down. This allows all children, of all abilities, to hear other’s ideas, making the idea of writing on paper a safer and more enjoyable experience for more reluctant writers. Word of the week is celebrated and used in all year groups, children are challenged to use these words within their writing, allowing a greater vocabulary and a curiosity of words that can be used in the classroom and beyond.





At Pakefield Primary School we really understand the importance of children being able to use spellings throughout the curriculum and not just achieve 10/10 in a spelling test. For this reason we have stopped using weekly spelling tests and have developed a more inclusive approach to the teaching of spelling. At Pakefield we follow ‘The Spelling Book’ scheme by Jane Considine. The spelling teaching from Year 2-6 runs in a 2 weekly cycle:


During Week One a block of 50 minutes is created to facilitate an investigation and ‘Go Grapheme Grafters’. The nature of this is to look at patterns and working to prove or disprove a hypothesis.


During Week Two, the same amount of time is split into 5 x ten minute slots to experience pace and take a quick look at spellings.


What is ‘Go Grapheme Grafters?’

‘Go Grapheme Grafters’ is used to increase confidence when spelling. It is based around the principles of Phonics and teaches children that:

  • Every word is a collection of letters.
  • These letters represent speech sounds.
  • You need to listen carefully to phonemes in words and assign the best choice of grapheme.
  • It also teaches children to make clever sound associations and ask the question ‘If I can spell this, what else can I spell?’ 

The DFE’s spelling lists can be found at:

National Curriculum Spelling


Our School Feedback and Marking Policy also supports children to notice when they have made a spelling mistake and they then go through and purple polish their work using dictionaries, word cards or teacher support.

If you have any questions relating to the teaching of reading or writing, please speak with your child’s class teacher or make an appointment with Mrs Nielson, Miss McCann, or Mrs Harper.




Please remember that we are a no nut school.