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St Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School

“Live wisely, Think deeply, Love generously”

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Writing at St Mary Immaculate




At St Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School, we are committed to fostering the development of successful and confident writers among our pupils. Our primary objective is to empower every child to communicate their knowledge and ideas with assurance through their writing. Anchored in the principles of our curriculum—live wisely, think deeply, love generously—we have established a comprehensive set of objectives to guide our approach to teaching writing.


Our main goal is to create a dynamic learning environment that encourages engagement and provides varied writing opportunities and experiences for our students. We believe that by offering a rich selection of writing tasks, we can inspire and motivate pupils to express themselves effectively across various contexts.

Recognising the significance of vocabulary development and spelling ability in the writing process, we are dedicated to ensuring that all pupils develop a broad vocabulary and can confidently spell new words by applying spelling patterns and rules learned within our curriculum.


Grammar, as an essential aspect of effective communication, holds a central place in our teaching philosophy. We aim to impart to our pupils a solid understanding of grammar principles, expecting them to apply this knowledge seamlessly to enhance the clarity, accuracy, and coherence of their writing.


Our vision extends to nurturing adaptable writers who can tailor their language and style to suit different contexts, purposes, and audiences. We believe this flexibility is essential for empowering our pupils to express themselves in a diverse and evolving world.


To build a robust foundation for writing, we prioritise the development of phonics skills, viewing phonics as a crucial springboard toward fluency in writing. This ensures that pupils can confidently navigate the intricacies of language.


To facilitate progression in writing skills, we have carefully planned a curriculum that builds upon previous teachings. Regular assessments play an integral role in our approach, allowing us to tailor our instruction to meet each child's individual needs.

Through these comprehensive initiatives, we aim to instil a love for writing, equip our pupils with the necessary skills, and prepare them for a future where effective communication is paramount to success.




Across school, children receive a daily English lesson. Using Hamilton Trust and Literacy Shed film units, carefully sequenced lessons ensure that prior learning of grammar, punctuation and spelling is revisited and developed.  Each year group have a yearly overview of writing across a range of genres, ensuring that children are able to write for a range of purposes and audiences.  


To support this, each Hamilton block is broken down into 4-6 units which include: a

core unit that introduces the book/theme of the unit to the children, grammar units specific to each year group and composition units. The skills within each block are built upon over the year and their time at primary school to ensure consistency in their learning, understanding and application of these skills.


Each block varies from 2 – 3 weeks long and always ends with a final piece of independent writing incorporating all the skills learnt and developed upon over the unit.


We also use Literacy Shed film units to complement the curriculum coverage and range of genres experienced in Hamilton units. Children are taught to transfer the skills and techniques to all their other pieces of writing.


Teachers always ensure that they model writing clearly, so that pupils can see exactly how to be successful. This is done with the children so they are involved in the creation of shared writing. 


When teachers model, they include deliberate errors and show pupils that all writers modify their writing as they are working through their ideas, emphasising that a pupil’s first attempt at writing does not need to be perfect but is a working document and will be changed throughout the process.


Every half term, teachers choose a picture stimulus from Pobble and, following discussion, the children each write an independent piece, which is used for assessment, moderation and demonstrating progress. The same picture stimulus is chosen for KS1 and KS2 so that outcomes can be compared, monitoring progression and highlighting the impact that our Writing curriculum has on our children.


Our aim is for students to leave Year 6 equipped with the skill to write using their own style, fluently, and clearly alongside mastering various writing styles tailored for specific purposes. Apart from regular handwriting sessions, we maintain high standards, ensuring that the techniques learned and practiced in these lessons are integrated into all writing. Teachers are expected to role model the school’s handwriting style when marking children’s work, writing on the board and on displays around the school. Throughout the school we use Nelson Handwriting to teach handwriting.



From Year 2, we use the Spelling Shed programme to support children as they build their use of vocabulary.  Each lesson has a main objective from the National Curriculum appendix for spelling and a set of words is provided; these words are examples of the spelling pattern. Children need to learn spelling patterns and rules, statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings and the Spelling Shed programme allows us to do this allowing the children to revisit and review their learning, as well as learning new strategies to apply in their writing.


Each lesson contains a revision section where children will revisit sounds and spelling patterns from earlier weeks in the scheme. The lesson sequence is planned to systematically build upon acquired knowledge.


Teachers and pupils will explore the words of the week. They will examine aspects such as the number of syllables, tricky sounds and the morphology of the words. There are a range of activities used to accomplish this: sorting, syllable maps (orthographic mapping), segmenting, sound buttons, Elkonin boxes, alphabetising, cloze sentences, morphology and etymology.


Each week each class teaches spelling 2-3 times for 20 minutes. The same spelling rule is taught each week with activities for application also part of these sessions. Children have access to practice these spellings through games at home. The class teacher sets weekly assignments through their online access. 




Our implementation of the Writing curriculum is designed to arm our pupils with a robust command of the written word, enabling their acquisition of a diverse vocabulary, precise spelling, and grammatical accuracy across all subjects. Through this approach, students develop the capacity to articulate their thoughts clearly, accurately, and coherently, adapting their language and style to suit various contexts, purposes, and audiences.


Our Year 6 pupils emerge with the skills necessary to excel academically and professionally. They embody the values of clarity, precision, and empathy in their written communication, reflecting the ethos of our Catholic educational community. These values are deeply ingrained, shaping our students into compassionate and articulate individuals prepared to navigate the complexities of the modern world.