At Boston Pioneers Academy, our aim is to instil a true love for writing within our students by developing their skills to become thoughtful readers and creative writers. To accomplish this, we have meticulously crafted an engaging, book-based curriculum that enables children to immerse themselves fully in a diverse array of literary genres. Our overarching mission is to empower children to engage wholeheartedly with written material, thereby equipping them with the knowledge to independently comprehend and produce written content for a range of audiences and purposes across different subjects.
The development of fine motor skills is crucial for the progression of writing skills. In the EYFS, learners are supported to hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing, with RWInc handwriting phrases being used when sounds are introduced to help support basic letter formation from the outset. Learners are also provided with a range of gross and fine motor activities such as ‘squiggle whilst you wiggle’ and ‘dough disco’ across the day to help them develop the muscle strength that underpins pencil control. We recognise that for many learners, their oral ability is far in advance of their transcriptional skills and so supporting the development of transcriptional skills is essential. As learners progress into KS1 and beyond, the continued development of their transcriptional skills from printing through to mastering joining are supported through the Nelson Handwriting Scheme. This program places a significant emphasis on live modelling of the handwriting process. Through live modelling, learners have the opportunity to observe and emulate proper letter formation, stroke sequence, and overall writing technique.
Hook into the Unit
At Boston Pioneers Academy, our approach to teaching writing begins with a captivating “hook” into the unit. Whether through a physical experience or the use of visual media such as film or images, we engage our students in a way that ignites their imagination and curiosity, laying the foundation for inspired writing.
Read as a Reader and Read as a Writer
Our writing journey is founded on the principle of dual reading – both as a reader and as a writer. This involves honing the skill of recognising the underlying structure and language within texts. We work collaboratively with our students to develop a ‘Boxed Up’ success criteria. This success criteria goes beyond the mechanical aspects of writing; it emphasises the importance of understanding the purpose, audience, form and tone of their writing. By continuously thinking about their purpose, audience, form and tone, our students craft writing that is not only structurally sound but also purposeful, engaging and well-suited for its intended readers.
Modelled, Shared and Guided Writing
In the process of learning to write, shared, modelled, and guided writing play distinct yet interconnected roles. Shared writing involves collaborative efforts between teachers and students, fostering a collective approach to composition. Modelled writing, on the other hand, showcases the writing process as an exemplar for learners, providing a clear demonstration of skills. Guided writing combines elements of both, offering tailored support as students navigate independent writing tasks with targeted guidance. The importance lies in the gradual release of responsibility—moving from shared to guided to independent writing—ensuring a scaffolded progression that nurtures confidence, skill development, and autonomy in the journey towards proficient and confident writers.
We consider planning to be a pivotal step in our writing process. This stage ensures that our students’ writing is well-organised and coherent, significantly enhancing their ability to effectively convey their thoughts and stories. During the planning phase, our students not only structure their ideas but also refer back to the ‘Boxed Up’ success criteria, which serves as their guide. This practice ensures that they pay close attention to the purpose, audience, form and tone of their writing, aligning their work with the specific goals and expectations of their writing task.
Drafting with a focus on Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
During the drafting phase, we encourage our students to check they have included the correct spelling, punctuation and grammar, all contextualised within the specific text type they are working on. It is important to note that for some cohorts, dedicated grammar and punctuation sessions may be required, as these areas are fundamental for the development of each cohort.
Proofread, Revise and Edit
Our commitment to producing high-quality writing includes a thorough proofreading, revising and editing process. Proofreading focuses on spelling and punctuation, ensuring that the writing is precise and free from errors. Revising involves making changes to the content of the writing, guided by feedback and self-evaluation. Editing is the process of ensuring that the text is not only error-free but also coherent and accurate.
Finally, we celebrate our students’ achievements by providing opportunities for them to publish their work. Whether it’s through physical displays, online platforms, or other means, we encourage our young writers to share their creations, thereby nurturing their sense of accomplishment and pride in their writing.
Our Long-Term Plan can be viewed here,
Our EYFS Writing Statement can be viewed here.
Writing across the Curriculum
Taking this approach, we aspire to cultivate writing as a versatile skill, that is applicable across all subjects within the curriculum. To achieve this, we immerse our students in different topics each term and actively promote cross-curricular links (where possible). Our objective is to introduce writing stimuli that directly relates to these topics, thereby providing our learners with a specific audience and purpose for their writing.
Learners are expected to integrate their acquired knowledge and vocabulary from these subjects into their written compositions, while also applying their proficiency in spelling, punctuation and grammar to their work in these topics. It is our expectation that the high standards for writing established in our Writing lessons will be consistently reflected in the quality of work across all subjects and within each student’s respective books.
By in-depth marking extended pieces of writing, we ensure that learners are aware of their strengths and areas for development in writing, so that they can increasingly take ownership of their progress. Teachers leave next steps in books when marking to ensure that learners know exactly what they need to do next to make progress in their writing and they are encouraged to respond to this in purple pen. We ensure that ALL learners are given next steps, which might be provided verbally for our younger learners.
Through continuous assessment, particularly in the marking of extended pieces of writing, we guarantee that our students gain a clear understanding of their strengths and areas for improvement within their writing. This process empowers them to take responsibility for their own development. Our dedicated teachers, in the process of marking, leave specific “next steps” in each student’s work, offering guidance on how to advance their writing skills. Students are actively encouraged to respond to this feedback using a purple pen, allowing them to actively engage in the process. It’s crucial to emphasise that we maintain an inclusive approach, ensuring that all our learners receive next steps, and for our younger students, these may be conveyed verbally to guarantee that no student is left without clear guidance for their writing progress.
Should you require any additional information or have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to reach out to our English lead, Joanna Hayford, at the following email: email@example.com