Learning to write is one of the most important things that a child will learn. Children use their writing in almost all other subjects of the curriculum. Good writing also gives children a voice to share their ideas with the world.
For a child, learning to write can be a tricky business, not least because good writing involves handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation not to mention what we want to write and who we are writing for.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
In Reception, children will start to learn how to form letters correctly. They will be encouraged to use their knowledge of phonics to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. By the end of the year, they will be expected to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others.
Key Stage 1
In Year 1, children will be taught to write sentences by saying out loud what they are going to write about, put several sentences together and re-read their writing to check it makes sense. They will also be expected to discuss what they have written and to read it aloud.
In Year 2, children learn to write for a range of purposes, including stories, information texts and poetry. Children are encouraged to plan what they are going to write and to read through their writing to make corrections and improvements.
Across Key Stage 1, talk for writing is used to support the development of composition.
Key stage 2
In Years 3 and 4, children are encouraged to draft and write by talking about their writing. They will continue to learn how to organise paragraphs and, if they are writing non-fiction, to use headings. When they are writing stories, they will learn to use settings, characters and plots. Children in Years 3 and 4 will be expected to use what they know about grammar in their writing and to read through what they have written, to find ways to improve it.
In Years 5 and 6, children will continue to develop their skills in planning, drafting and reviewing what they have written. Children learn to identify the audience for and purpose of their writing. They will be expected to use grammar appropriately. In non-fiction writing, children will use headings, bullet points and other ways to organise their writing. They will be expected to describe settings, characters and to use dialogue in their stories.
How can I help at home?
Reading: A fundamental way to support your child’s development with all aspects of English, is to read regularly with your child at home.
Give your child a reason to write: It is really important to give your child lots of opportunities to apply their writing, for example: letters, diaries, shopping lists…
Support your child with spellings:
- Revisit the phase and high frequency word lists with your children – these can be found on each classes website page.
- Use their phonics in a fun way by playing games online.
The following websites are all recommended for parents to support their children at home
- Cbeebies (guide for parents and free games): http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/the-alphablocks-guide-to-phonics
- Phonics play (free games): http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/
- BBC interactive games: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/
- ICT Games, interactive games: http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html
Support your child with Handwriting: To support with handwriting, help your child develop their gross motor skills (throwing and catching etc.), fine motor skills (sewing, threading, using tweezers etc) and pen control.