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Writing intent

At Woodthorpe Church of England Primary School, we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas, creativity and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time at Woodthorpe. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

At Woodthorpe we believe that all pupils should have high expectations of themselves and take pride in the presentation of their writing by developing a good handwriting style. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.

Writing Intent, Implementation and Impact

Writing curriculum

At Woodthorpe our writing curriculum combines speaking and listening, knowledge of key vocabulary, spelling of HFW as well as clear progression of key skills. Our curriculum is designed to build on prior learning and make writing relevant to the age and stage of the children, their interests and the wider world, beginning with the prime areas of learning at EYFS. Our children are taught how to write using talking (say a sentence, talk the story) phonics, grammar, punctuation, sentence structures and enriching vocabulary. Teachers promote writing by enthusing about texts, modelling the process and looking for ways to inspire and motivate pupils so that they see themselves as ‘writers’. Our writing stems from the use of highly quality texts, teachers use shared writing to engage the children in a collaborative process, providing a context for discussion and sharing what ‘best writing’ looks like ensuring that they write as a readers and read writers.


Writing at Woodthorpe

Children have the opportunity to write every day at Woodthorpe either through their work in English, morning work, handwriting, guided reading, phonics, the foundation subjects or in all of these.

‘Talk for Writing’ is used for some units of work, predominately in EYFS and Key Stage 1. Key Stage 2 use some elements from Talk for Writing, where the class teachers feel this is appropriate.

Teachers use the DDAT Writing Grids to assess whether our children are at ARE, above, below or working towards. Teachers also provide children with verbal and written feedback, so the children know what is good and also what they need to do to improve their writing.

The English working walls in each class display key vocabulary or common exception words, grammar with examples, punctuation features, and key structures for writing. Additionally, our whole school environment makes high quality vocabulary a priority, beginning in the Early Years, the children are immersed in a word rich environment related to their topic, project or text types.

Children are encouraged to edit their work from Year 1 and respond to comments in green pen. When the children write across the curriculum, in other subjects, the same expectations about quality, handwriting, spelling and grammar still apply.



Talk for Writing

Woodthorpe uses the ‘Talk for Writing’ for some units of writing, predominately in EYFS and KS1. Elements of this are used in Key Stage 2, where teachers feel it is appropriate.

The Talk for Writing approach aims to enable children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. This approach teaches children to internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’ as well as close reading.

Though initially this relies upon dependence on an original text and teaching input, children move towards writing more independently. The teacher provides opportunities for using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write more creatively and to produce more sustained pieces of writing.


Talk for Writing

  • imitation  
  • innovation 
  • independent application


The Imitation Stage

Our teaching begins with a creative ‘hook’ which engages the children and supports the text, providing enjoyment, awareness of the audience and a sense of purpose. The children then learn the text using a ‘text map’ and actions to help the children remember the text in detail. Activities such as drama, discussion and debates are used to deepen understanding of the text.


Once children can ‘talk like the text’, the original text, and other examples, are then read for vocabulary and comprehension before being analysed for language patterns and writing techniques. The children also practise key spellings and grammatical patterns.



The Innovation Stage

Once our children are familiar with the given text, teachers guide them into creating their own versions. For example, a new subject of the story is presented, a different character is created, and so on.


New ideas are generated and organised, or information researched and added. Innovating and writing takes place over a number of days so that children are writing their texts a little at a time, focusing on bringing all the elements together, writing effectively and accurately.


Teacher feedback is given during the lessons as well as in marking so that children can be taught how to improve their writing, make it more accurate, until they can increasingly edit in pairs or independently.


Independent Application

Eventually, children move on to the third phase in order to apply what they have learnt. Children are guided through planning, drafting and revising their work independently.


It is important that at the innovation and independent application stage, the writing becomes increasingly independent and moves away from the original text rather than a copy, by adding, embellishing, altering and manipulating the original text.


Useful Websites





DDAT Writing Assessment

 DDAT Writing Assessment Grids – EYFS to Y1.docxDownload
 DDAT Writing Assessment Grids – Y1 to Y2.docxDownload
 DDAT Writing Assessment Grids – Y2 to Y3.docxDownload
 DDAT Writing Assessment Grids – Y3 to Y4.docxDownload
 DDAT Writing Assessment Grids – Y4 to Y5.docxDownload
 DDAT Writing Assessment Grids – Y5 to Y6.docxDownload
 DDAT writing grids info.docxDownload
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