Writing and GPaS

‘‘Literacy is the tool we use as humans to find one another, so it must belong to everyone’’ – Pam Allyn

Writing and GPaS at Washingborough Academy



At Washingborough Academy, a good writer will have a confident, positive attitude and be enthused by writing – sharing this love with their peers and adults in the school community. The children will be able to communicate their ideas effectively both in a written and verbal form. Through our teaching, children will be competent in both transcription and composition with the confidence to plan, revise and edit their work to achieve a desired effect, showing an increased awareness in style dependent on their audience and purpose as they progress through the school.

Through quality first teaching and engaging texts and stimulus, children will be able to recognise that writing is a relevant and important skill to use in everyday life and apply this to communicate effectively across all areas of the curriculum and in the role they play in society. Through the teaching of values and the high expectations we hold for all children, they will be expected to present their work to a high standard and show a sense of pride in every piece of work produced.


At Washingborough Academy, our writing and grammar curriculum has been based upon the National Curriculum and the needs of our own individual children. The curriculum is taught on a yearly cycle, tailored to each year group’s objectives within mixed year group classes. The overarching learning objectives are set out in the writing and grammar progression map. These are then built upon in medium term plans, which are shared with and monitored by the writing leader. On the medium-term plans, links are made throughout the whole school curriculum to ensure children solidify their learning. Individual lessons are consistent across the whole school using a structured format which includes opportunities to learn and implement taught transcriptional and compositional skills.


  • Writing lessons are taught at least 3 times a week
  • Key slides are used throughout the whole school and include opportunities to revise grammar concepts and national curriculum spelling words. This includes using questions that support teaching exam craft
  • Use of WAGOLLs and class writes allow children to develop the competence to write independently
  • Quality texts and stimulus, such as video clips and audio, are used to inspire writing
  • All units of work have a real-life outcome and audience which provides a sustained motivation for the children
  • There are opportunities to write in groups, pairs and independently
  • Drama is used to explore texts and empathise with characters
  • Talk for Writing strategies are used to provide a scaffold to the younger writers and these are then developed into independent text maps for the older children when writing their own pieces
  • As children progress through school, they begin to take more ownership in the planning of their writing e.g. skeleton plans, bullet points, story mountains, text maps
  • There is a real focus on using quality vocabulary throughout the lessons
  • Clear steps to success support the children to produce high quality work
  • All teachers have access to key features of text types documents that are used to support planning along with quality, relevant texts that link to their themes
  • Children have access to a range of high-quality resources to support their independent writing e.g. synonym wheels and writing mats appropriate to their ability
  • Independent writing is marked and next steps are provided to support children e.g. “Can you add a simile to this descriptive piece?” All marking is purposeful and children respond and correct their work with a positive attitude
  • Children have access to whiteboards and jotters to draft their writing and the skill of re-drafting is taught throughout writing units
  • Children have the opportunity to be guided through their writing lessons – sometimes guided groups are identified by teachers prior to the lesson or selected during the input in response to the children’s needs
  • High standards are encouraged in writing lessons and the importance of writing skills are highlighted in all subject areas and with all age groups
  • KPI grids have been made for each year group highlighting the high expectations of each year not just the end of key stages. These support staff in ensuring that all children are ready for the next phase whether this be a year group or a key stage
  • The KPI grids are used to identify gaps in learning and next steps. Personalised targets are then produced for each child at least three times a year
  • Cold writes and hot writes are used to show progress throughout a unit. The cold write provides an opportunity for children to show what they already know about a text type to avoid repetition of teaching that is not purposeful or needed


  • Handwriting sessions are taught at least three times a week
  • Children are encouraged to use cursive script, including entry and exit flicks, from an early age
  • In addition to the handwriting sessions, KS1 children practise their fine motor skills through completing a colouring activity once a week
  • Regular feedback and modelling of letters is provided to ensure good progress is made
  • KS1 and LKS2 are granted pencil awards for outstanding examples of handwriting and pen awards are granted for UKS2



  • An Active Grammar lesson is taught once a week. The content of these lessons is then used as Active Grammar warm up activities for all other writing lessons
  • Physical actions, characters and songs motivate the children and support their retention of information
  • Grammar long term plans have been produced and reviewed regularly to best meet the needs of our children



  • A specific grammar lesson is taught once a week, the focus of which is then embedded and applied throughout subsequent lessons
  • Grammar warm up questions and games reinforce the children’s learning
  • Grammar long term plans have been produced and reviewed regularly to best meet the needs of our children
  • Video clips and songs are included to reinforce learning



  • From Year Two onwards, spelling is taught daily
  • Learning is adapted to ensure all children are learning the rules and patterns appropriate for their ability and in response to the gaps that we have identified
  • The focus of a lesson is always based on patterns and rules
  • The format of lessons follow the same structure as Read Write Inc to provide continuity for the children
  • Spelling lists are provided weekly for the children to practise at home and three National Curriculum words are also focused on weekly
  • Spelling practise is also provided through a Reading Roundabout activity, during handwriting sessions and within writing lessons
  • Children have access to their spelling books all of the time to encourage independence
  • Games and practical activities are used to support learning
  • Children are encouraged to investigate words and their origins
  • Children complete a spelling quiz once a week and they share any incorrect spellings with parents so that they can continue to practise these at home
  • High expectations of spelling are held by all staff and this includes copying spellings accurately from resources provided – the use of ‘Konner’s Game’ encourages children to develop an attentiveness with their work in a fun way!


The impact of our writing and grammar curriculum is measured in a variety of ways:

  • Discussions with children in lessons
  • Targeted questions during lessons
  • Marking of children’s work
  • Pupil’s voice
  • Book studies
  • Learning snapshots
  • Termly assessments using our school’s own writing assessment grids
  • Termly GAPs assessments that are then used to inform future planning and target areas for development
  • Weekly spelling quizzes
  • Moderation – internal and external
  • Children’s responses to warm up activities and grammar sessions
  • Success in external competitions and writing events e.g. children’s work being selected for publishing in an anthology
  • Celebrations of work e.g. reading poems that the children have written at Grandparents’ Events
  • Handwriting Awards in Celebration Assemblies

By the time children leave Washingborough Academy they will:

  • Be coherent and fluent writers
  • Be equipped with the transcriptional and compositional skills to write clearly and effectively
  • Be able to ensure they are understood in society through their written and verbal work
  • Be able to appreciate the work of others including well-known and famous authors
  • Have a wide repertoire of high-quality vocabulary and language
  • Be able to communicate effectively to a range of audiences
  • Appreciate the skills associated with drafting and publishing work
  • Be critical and aware of the impact of their work
  • Have the confidence to use their communicative skills to make a difference

 ‘‘Writing is the painting of the voice.’’ – Voltaire