At Windmill Hill Academy, our intent is to help children develop fluency in, and a love for, the English language, through the written word.
As a result, we aim for our children by the age of 11 to be able to:
  • write at length with confidence, with accurate spelling, punctuation, and correct use of grammar for a range of purposes and audiences.
  • acquire and use a wide range of vocabulary for effect o develop an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for writing
  • be familiar with, by understanding the structure and language features of, a range of non-narrative text types and narrative genres
  • be able to model their own writing on these familiar styles and forms according to the context, purpose of, and audience for their writing
  • draw upon increasing powers of imagination, inventiveness, initiative and critical thinking, including being reflective writers (writing with a reader’s eye and reading with a writer’s eye).
  • meet and aim to exceed age related expectations in writing.

Staff work together to plan the overall English programme for the school, using the 'Development Matters' and National Curriculum objectives to drive it, while developing the opportunities for written work within the other curriculum areas.
The overview of work ensures balance and progression throughout and across the Key Stages. The requirements of the Foundation stage are used as 'building blocks' that lead into the National Curriculum. Planning for English is carried out year by year, term by term in units and is reviewed regularly to ensure the curriculum is engaging, challenging and provides good coverage of all objectives, with a range of audiences, forms and purposes.
Cross-curricular links are identified in the medium term planning and unit plans where appropriate. All class teachers are responsible for unit planning, based on their agreed medium term overviews.
They will:
  • identify the appropriate teaching and learning strategies required
  • provide a balance and variety of English experiences and opportunities within the classroom, both in terms of content presented and organisational learning opportunities employed
  • ensure there is a clear, planned objective for each lesson with clear success criteria where appropriate.
  • assess and plan for the specific needs of the class as a whole, plus groups and individuals within the class whilst adhering to the progression laid down within the unit and overview.
The National Curriculum require pupils to write frequently, independently and relevantly in the course of their work in all subject areas. This means that our classrooms must provide many different contexts for writing across the whole curriculum. The children are taught writing skills and given writing opportunities as specified in the National Curriculum. The word level, sentence level and text level components, along with appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives, are taught progressively to enable the children to improve as writers. We need to provide opportunities so that children can grow as composers of many kinds, in a range of contexts and for different audiences, giving varied and frequent opportunities to produce meaningful and purposeful texts, both independently and collaboratively. The processes taught in English lessons during the course of a unit are as follows:
  • Shared reading – Identifying features Modelling - Teacher verbalising thoughts and making processes involved in the writing process explicit (e.g. reasons behind choices of vocabulary, structure etc)
  • Scribing – Children input ideas and teacher scribes them.
  • Supporting composition – children have a go and come back for almost immediate feedback (e.g. using whiteboards)
Independent and supported writing
Within each unit, we ensure opportunities are planned for the following skills to enable the children to write for the purpose and audience effectively at the end.
  • Transcription, - Spelling
  • Handwriting and presentation
  • Composition
  • Grammar and punctuation
In addition, spelling and handwriting skills are also taught discretely (see below).
Literacy Tree
At Windmill Hill Academy, we use Literacy Tree as the structure for our units of work. Literacy Tree is a complete, book-based platform for primary schools that covers all requirements of the Primary English curriculum. It is used as a complete scheme of work and adapted to suit the needs of pupils. The books help children to grow ideas and expand their minds. It starts at the roots. The book-based planning sequences, Writing Roots, embed complete curriculum coverage and engage children to write with clear audience and purpose. The Teach Through a Text pedagogy is the backbone of each sequence.
Grammar and Punctuation
Within lessons, children are taught different grammar and punctuation conventions to help them develop more conscious control and choice in our language.
Building this knowledge is best achieved through a focus on grammar within the teaching of reading, writing and speaking. Once pupils are familiar with a grammatical concept (for example ‘modal verb’), they are encouraged to apply and explore this concept in the grammar of their own speech and writing and to note where it is used by others.
Please see below for glossary of the terms the children will learn during their time at Windmill Hill Academy.
At Windmill Hill Academy, we want the children to develop effective spelling strategies. Each day, the children will have specific lessons which teach the children phonemes, spelling rules and spelling patterns and these are then referred to throughout the week in other lessons where appropriate to enable the children to secure this knowledge. For Years 3 and above, we follow the Spelling Shed scheme.
Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. By the end of Key Stage 2, all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes.
Our intention is to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking.
  • To develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters, which leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.
  • To establish and maintain high expectations for the presentation of written work.
  • For pupils to understand, by the end of Year 6, the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.
At Windmill Hill Academy, we are very proud of our pupil’s handwriting and take particular care in developing handwriting into the cursive style.
We use Letter-join’s on-line handwriting resource and Lesson Planners as the basis of our handwriting policy as it covers all the requirements of the National Curriculum.