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English Writing

Teaching and Learning of Writing Skills at St Mark’s Primary School


Our Intent

At St Mark’s we intend for our pupils to be secure in all of the requirements of the National Curriculum and have the experience and opportunity to write for a range of different audiences and purposes. We endeavor to do this through the use of high-quality texts, which act as our inspiration and motivation for writing.  Whilst there is a focus on spelling, handwriting and grammar, our intention within writing lessons is to contextualise these important skills and embed them within text level outcomes rather than isolated word and sentence level tasks and activities. This approach to teaching English is embedded within the Literacy Tree Program of Study. Children are exposed to a range of literary fiction , non-fiction and poetry across a range of different themes, with the intention of developing increased and eventually full security in the core concepts below:















  • The full coverage of our writing curriculum is contained within our English Overview. This identifies the different texts that children will use in their daily writing lessons as well as the different genres and writing opportunities that those texts lend themselves to
  • St Mark’s Primary School uses the Literacy Tree book-based writing platform for teaching, learning and delivery of writing. It provides detailed planning sequences which are embedded within a taught text and lead to purposeful short and long writing opportunities. This approach also provides resources which contributed to developing language, thoughts and planning ideas
  • We use a range of texts which are based on a wide variety of high quality and significant children's literature chosen to engage, challenge and support children to be critical readers and confident and informed writers. Some texts are new, whilst others would be described as classic literature. Where possible, we intentionally link our choice of text to the curriculum themes to further immerse children in the subject area of their termly topic and inspire their writing.
  • All classes are set differentiated spellings on a weekly basis
  • During Quality First Teaching we model, challenge, engage and support children in becoming independent writers.

  • Within lessons we build in opportunities for pupils to develop language, plan ideas, collect vocabulary, apply spelling rules and explore themes, as well as complete a range of text types.
  • Planned lessons include key questions and language; quality first teaching (teacher input and opportunities for children to interact), success criteria; differentiated learning tasks/ activities, specific guided group work; guidance for support staff ...
  • Plenaries and mini plenaries are used to reflect on learning, extend learning and sometimes reshape tasks in order to challenge and support learners more effectively.
  • Marking codes are used at the front of each book to promote independence.
  • Opportunities for children to complete an independent piece of writing is provided every week where appropriate.
  • Misspelt words are highlighted using the key stage marking codes and children are encouraged to go back and amend.
  • Positive, forward looking, next steps feedback is given to pupils to help them to improve their work, develop their independence and engage in the editing process
  • Handwriting is taught on a regular, daily cycle for all children in the Early Years and Key Stage One classes, as part of phonics group work as well as discretely in class.
  • The Key Stage Two classes will have a short, regular (2-3 times per week) taught/modelled handwriting sessions from their class teacher to develop the teaching of handwriting skills.




  • Writing is assessed against the Year group writing objectives within the English curriculum and our assessment tool Target Tracker on a termly basis
  • Children are expected to make six steps of progress across the year and are plotted using the key in the Target Tracker (see below)
  • Children regularly assess themselves against the success criteria within writing lessons and are engaged in the formative assessment process of responding to teacher feedback and comments in order to improve their work
  • Exemplars of work from a range of schools which is deemed to be at the expected standards and at greater depth, is used to assess the standard of work within different year groups
  • Teachers participate in whole school and cross school moderation to check, compare and improve standards across year groups



Target Tracker Summary  

Assessing Against the Learning Objectives:

Highlight Objectives Red or Blue or leave in Black

Terminology used:

Black – Objective not taught or not grasped by the pupil

Working towards Securing the Objective (Objective has been taught and there is some evidence of application)

Secured the Objective

MasteryPrimarily at the end of the year as this requires a deep understanding of the learning objective and application across the curriculum. 

End of Autumn and Spring Assessments usually show working towards however, as we know, this won’t always be the case. 



Target Tracker – Summative Assessment

Expectation:  6 Steps of Progress across the Year

Where to go on Target Tracker:   Log into Target Tracker

Select Year Group – Primary – Steps – Single Subject – Select Subject – Then assess by right clicking

End of term Age Related Expectations


End of Autumn (December)

End of Spring

End of Summer

Year 1




Year 2



2S/2S+ (Expected/Greater Depth)

Year 3




Year 4




Year 5




Year 6



Reading and Maths On track to meet the criteria of the SATS tests in May. 


(Expected/Greater Depth)




B  – Beginning

Beginning to access the curriculum for their year group and, if the pupil continues to make the expected progress, they will be secure by the End of the Year. 

B+ - Beginning +

Pupils are further ahead and have more understanding.  They are on track to achieve Secure + or greater Depth by the end of the year. 

W – Working Towards

Working within the curriculum.  Good understanding of the learning objectives taught. Evidence that the pupils are applying their knowledge and skills to other areas of the curriculum.  

W+ Working Towards +

Pupils are further ahead and have more understanding.  They are on track to achieve Secure + or greater Depth by the end of the year.  These are your higher achievers. 

S  –  Secure

Pupils are secure in the objectives for their year group and there is evidence of application across the curriculum. They are making links and connections in their learning.  Please note - It is a best fit judgement however they need to be secure in approximately 90% of the objectives. 

S+/GDS – Secure + or Greater Depth Standard

Pupils have a deep understanding of the objectives for their year group; they confidently apply their knowledge and skills across the curriculum.  


Accompanying documents

English Writing Positional statement

English Overview