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How we teach Writing at Downs School


At Downs Junior School, our vision is to ensure our children experience a varied and creative curriculum.

In the writing element of English, our aims are to ensure all children:

  • enjoy writing and see it as an opportunity to be creative.
  • are equipped with the skills needed to become confident writers.
  • recognise the purpose and audience of the writing they produce.
  • understand the link between reading; speaking and listening; and writing.
  • understand and use effective editing strategies.
  • understand that being able to write well is an important life skill.

More than anything, we strive to instil a passion for writing in every child. 


Our Writing curriculum is designed to enable pupils to become confident, independent writers, who enjoy the writing process.

Writing lessons are driven by a range of quality texts, which are very popular with the children. A list of these books, along with other recommended reads, can be found in the Word document link below. These texts are used to provide an immersive experience centred on reading; speaking and listening; and role-play and drama. This means the children have fully engaged with characters, themes and topics prior to writing. Additionally, specific exemplars are used to inform the writing of a given lesson. These are read together as a class with the structure, content, specific writing techniques and vocabulary analysed so that the children can use this knowledge to create their own pieces.

In lessons, we use a range of teaching strategies, including effective questioning; providing opportunities for discussions between learning partners; developing ideas and vocabulary banks for our working wall; modelling the writing process; ‘Talk for Writing' (e.g. text-mapping and innovating); ‘Slow Writing’ (where each sentence is given a particular grammatical focus); and guided focus group work.

The national curriculum learning objectives are covered in such a way that the children are able to recognise their relevance to the pieces they are writing. The skills of composition and effect; the technical aspects of grammar, punctuation and sentence structure; and effective use of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary are focused on as learning objectives. These come in the form of a WALT (We Are Learning To…) followed by ‘so that…’ which means the children are explicitly explained the reason why the objective is helpful in producing the piece. For longer pieces, a range of objectives may be used as success criteria of how to write successfully.

Active grammar games and 'Kung-Fu Punctuation' moves are used to help build children's knowledge and skills in a fun way. Additionally, catchy songs relevant to particular grammatical forms are used consistently across the key stage to present this aspect of learning in a creative and memorable way.

The children are taught how to plan and write cohesively and creatively to produce a range of engaging text types that they enjoy writing and their audience enjoys reading. Editing is modelled and built into lessons so that the children understand how to improve their work.

Spelling is taught through the writing process with the children using our devised spelling toolkit to aid them in this process. The spelling patterns are also taught discretely using lessons innovated by the teachers from the No Nonsense Spelling scheme.

We have high expectations for every learner, providing differentiation, scaffolding, support and extensions to ensure that everyone fulfils their potential and leaves us ready for secondary school.

Please note that Reading also has its own section, in which you will find more detailed information about this aspect of the English curriculum.


Having been taught all aspects of the curriculum to a high standard, the children of Downs Junior School will be passionate about writing and feel confident in their learning. The high majority will leave the school working at the expected standard for writing. Some will leave the school working at the greater depth standard. Those who do not reach the expected standard will still make at least good (if not excellent) progress.

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