Writing at Callis Grange
Handwriting is taught from Year R onwards in the cursive style. Children begin by learning how to form individual lower case letters cursively. Additional guidance for parents on the cursive style and correct formation used is freely available from the school. In Years 1 and 2 there is a weekly formal handwriting lesson and we use specific handwriting books for this purpose. Children also practise letter formation using individual whiteboards and pens. Children learn how to link letters together using the correct joins and then this cursive style is encouraged in all the writing tasks that they do. Children are also taught how to form capital letters and numerals correctly in Handwriting lessons.
Young children begin their Writing journey by mark-making. As individual letters are introduced and taught, this emergent mark-marking begins to become more structured and identifiable letters shapes are used. Children are taught to blend individual letters together to form words. This is called encoding and begins with very simple two and three letter words.
Children in Years 1 and 2 also have a weekly Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) lesson. Further information regarding SPaG is contained within our useful leaflet entitled “Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar: A Guide for Parents” which is freely available from the school.
Children are encouraged to ‘have a go’ and to ‘sound out’ words, using the skills taught in the daily Little Wandle phonics lessons, daily Spelling Shed (for Year 2) and weekly SPaG lesson. Children gradually build up a bank of High Frequency Words which they can spell and they use their knowledge and understanding of Phonics and of SPaG to begin to write simple sentences. By Year 2, children will have the stamina to be able to write at greater length, using paragraphs for example, to organise their writing. Children also use tablet computers to carry out word processing activities using a lower case keyboard. Across the school, children are taught to write in a range of genres and styles which include fiction (for example stories and poems) and non-fiction (for example lists, instructions, questions, descriptions, explanations and recounts). Throughout the school year, children at Callis also have the opportunity to enjoy a range of exciting activities such as Book Week and at our Forest School, which are used as a stimulus for Writing.
Spelling is a component part of the daily Little Wandle Phonics lesson which occurs across Reception and Year One. Children in Year Two are then taught spelling rules using daily Spelling Shed lessons. Further information regarding Phonics is contained within our useful leaflet entitled “Phonics: A Guide for Parents” which is freely available from the school and on our website. In addition, children in Years 1 and 2 have a daily Spelling Spot session, in which high frequency words are taught and practised. Children may practise their spelling on individual whiteboards or in their Busy Book (note book). There is a Spelling Spot test each Friday and we use a specific Spelling Spot book for this. These weekly spellings are also reinforced (retrospectively) as part of the weekly Home Activities sent home with each child.
Please see our useful guide 'Help Your Child With Spelling' below.