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Writing in Reception

At Lydgate, involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing). Our children develop the art of conversation through story-telling and role play, where their ideas are shared with support and modelling by their teacher. Becoming comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures means our children can build on developing ideas for their writing. They are expected to:

  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.

Writing in Key stage 1 and 2

As children progress into Key stage 1 and 2 we then teach our writing through a three-step progressive sequence which enables children to develop and master a broad knowledge and wide range of writing skills.

The sequence allows us to:

  • Effectively plan and teach writing for progression within the academic year and across the years groups during a pupil’s time at Lydgate.
  • Explore the writing structure and features of different genres and identify the purpose and audience.
  • Build upon prior learning.
  • Focus more deeply on the grammatical features of writing and the application of these.
  • Consistency and continuity teach writing across school to reduce ‘the gap’.

Our writing sequence enables pupil’s to share plan and write with a clear context and purpose before evaluating the effectiveness of this writing by editing and redrafting. The sequence is then repeated again independently, enabling children to apply their learning in context, which is then assessed against writing outcomes for each year group.

Each writing unit usually lasts 2-3 weeks and begins with a WAGOLL (What A Good One Looks Like) as a model of the intended outcome.  Writing opportunities are sourced and developed based on the National Curriculum outcomes and needs of each cohort. We make cross-curricular links with our topic curriculum, helping to provide meaningful contexts and purposes for writing.

Keystage 1 and 2 Writing Genres Cycle 1

Keystage 1 and 2 Writing Genres Cycle 2

Examples of writing from each year group:

Year 6

Y6 combined(2)

Year 5

Year 5 A combined(1)

Year 4

Year 4 jpg
Y5B combined

Year 3/4

Year 3-4 combined

Year 2

Year 2 jpg


Year 1/2

Y1-2 y2 jpgY1-2 y1 jpg
Reception 1 jpg(1)
Reception 2 jpg(1)

To be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill. When spelling becomes automatic, pupils can concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. Whilst we note that spelling is not the most important aspect of writing, confidence in spelling can have a profound effect on the writer’s self-image. Each class is taught ‘how to spell’, which draws children’s attention to the origins, structure and meaning of words and their parts, the shape and sound of words, the letter patterns within them and the various ways they can learn these patterns.

Daily phonics is taught through the Little Wandle Phonics Scheme in Reception and KS1. From Year 2 and into KS2 the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them to understand spelling rules and patterns. We teach children to use their growing understanding of the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words to support their spelling. Helping the children to understand how to use and apply known spelling patterns (and to develop strategies to tackle tricky words) is the key to helping them to become successful spellers. 

When writing, children should be concentrating on higher order thinking skills and should simply ‘have a go’ at spelling. Where words are spelt incorrectly, they are indicated in their books. Children are then given the correct spelling, older children asked to use a dictionary, copying it correctly at least 3 times.


On entry, our Foundation Stage children are involved in varied activities to develop essential prewriting skills in line with the Early Learning Goals. The development of gross and fine motor skills takes priority in order to build core strength and strong muscles across the body as well as in hands and fingers. This is all done through play. Children are also introduced to the individual letters and taught correct formation, from the very beginning of their time in school. From the time that children are ready, they are taught to sit with a good posture and are taught to hold a pencil with the correct grip.

At Lydgate, we teach handwriting everyday from Year 1 to Year 6. Class teachers follow the Pen Pals scheme. As children progress through school, there is an increasing focus on fluency, consistency and speed. In years 1 – 4 every child starts with a pencil each September until they can demonstrate good handwriting skills. Pen licenses are issued by the Headteacher when a child has consistently good handwriting in line with year group expectations.

Children can earn certificates throughout the year for their handwriting when they meet each of their milestones.

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