Westgate Academy

Learning and Growing Together

Writing Curriculum at Westgate

Writing Curriculum Intent

At Westgate Academy, we teach children to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audience. Our teaching focuses on developing children’s competence in both the transcription (spelling and handwriting) and the composition (articulating ideas and structuring them) of their writing. We aim to develop pupils’ competence in both dimensions. Within this, we ensure children know how to plan, revise and edit their writing.


By the time they leave our school, we want our pupils to have acquired a wide vocabulary. We are very word conscious at Westgate and embrace opportunities to broaden vocabulary and show pupils how to understand the relationships between words. We model and encourage the use of Standard English in speaking and ensure they understand the importance of using this in their writing. We will promote oracy in all curriculum areas and will provide opportunities to teach these skills and allow children to use and refine these skills. We place emphasis on the importance of spelling, grammar, punctuation and the ‘language about language’. We integrate this into our teaching of writing so that children can see its use in context.

Children are provided with opportunities to write for a variety of real purposes and we ensure that children tailor their writing for their relevant audience. We aim to foster a love of writing and a desire to be creative in this area.


By the end of Key Stage 2, a Westgate Writer will have been taught to and have been provided with opportunities to …



Curriculum Drivers - CLEAR



  • Teach oracy skills in English and other curriculum areas
  • Teach vocabulary focused session weekly and activate throughout the week
  • Teach subject-specific vocabulary across the curriculum
  • Language exposure, understanding and application
  • Writing for a range of purposes and audiences across the curriculum
  • ‘Let’s Talk SPAG’ time in English and other lessons across the curriculum



  • Topic-linked writing (linked to local area)
  • Opportunities provided to write to/share writing with local businesses/organisations – providing opportunities to share writing with community
  • Selecting local audiences for children’s writing (providing this stimulus)



  • Sharing writing during Topic celebration events (using oracy skills)
  • Writing linked to/informed by visits/trips/experiences



  • Challenging children to write a range of texts in different styles and for different audiences/purposes
  • High expectations in English books
  • Exposure to quality texts and authors
  • Suitable ambitious targets set termly for children
  • Writing curriculum accessible for all children



  • Recapping spelling skills
  • Recapping SPAG skills
  • Use of flashbacks for key SPAG knowledge and application
  • Linking writing to topic/English/Science/PHSE learning
  • Opportunities to revisit/build on skills from previous year groups
  • Opportunities to revisit text types covered in previous years


Curriculum Content Coverage

Over their four years at Westgate, children are provided with opportunities to write for a variety of purposes: to entertain, to describe, to inform and to persuade. Children are taught the text types:

  • Discussion
  • Narrative
  • Explanation
  • Instructions
  • Non-chronological Reports
  • Persuasion
  • Poetry
  • Recount

In each year group, the text form and context may differ. (See Westgate English Curriculum Map).





Writing Transcription


Pupils are taught to:

  • use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them
  • spell further homophones
  • spell words that are often misspelt  
  • place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals [for example, girls’, boys’] and in words with irregular plurals [for example, children’s]
  • use the first 2 or 3 letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary
  • write from memory simple sentences, dictated by the teacher, that include words and punctuation taught so far

We follow the Spelling Shed programme.


Pupils are taught to:

  • use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined
  • increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting, [for example, by ensuring that the downstrokes of letters are parallel and equidistant, and that lines of writing are spaced sufficiently so that the ascenders and descenders of letters do not touch]

Writing Composition

Pupils are taught to:

  • plan their writing by:
    • thinking about their given purpose and audience
    • discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar
    • discussing and recording ideas
  • draft and write by:
    • composing and rehearsing sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures =
    • organising paragraphs around a theme
    • in narratives, creating settings, characters and plot
    • in non-narrative material, using simple organisational devices [for example, headings and sub-headings]
  • evaluate and edit by:
    • assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements
    • proposing changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency, including the accurate use of pronouns in sentences
  • proofread for spelling and punctuation errors
  • read their own writing aloud to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear








Writing Transcription


Pupils are taught to:

  • use further prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidance for adding them
  • spell some words with ‘silent’ letters [for example, knight, psalm, solemn]
  • continue to distinguish between homophones and other words which are often confused
  • use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling and understand that the spelling of some words needs to be learnt specifically
  • use dictionaries to check the spelling and meaning of words
  • use the first 3 or 4 letters of a word to check spelling, meaning or both of these in a dictionary
  • use a thesaurus

We follow the Spelling Shed programme.

Handwriting and Presentation

Pupils are taught to:

  • write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed by:
    • choosing which shape of a letter to use when given choices and deciding whether or not to join specific letters
    • choosing the writing implement that is best suited for a task

Writing Composition

Pupils are taught to:

  • plan their writing by:
    • identifying the audience for and purpose of the writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own
    • noting and developing initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary
    • in writing narratives, considering how authors have developed characters and settings in what pupils have read, listened to or seen performed
  • draft and write by:
    • selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary, understanding how such choices can change and enhance meaning
    • in narratives, describing settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating dialogue to convey character and advance the action
    • précising longer passages
    • using a wide range of devices to build cohesion within and across paragraphs
    • using further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and to guide the reader [for example, headings, bullet points, underlining]
  • evaluate and edit by:
    • assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing
    • proposing changes to vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning
    • ensuring the consistent and correct use of tense throughout a piece of writing
    • ensuring correct subject and verb agreement when using singular and plural, distinguishing between the language of speech and writing and choosing the appropriate register
  • proofread for spelling and punctuation errors
  • perform their own compositions, using appropriate intonation, volume, and movement so that meaning is clear





Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation progression








Formation of nouns using suffixes such as –ness, –er and by compounding [for example, whiteboard, superman]


Formation of adjectives using uffixes such as –ful, –less

(A fuller list of suffixes can be found on page 46 in the year 2 spelling section in English Appendix 1)


Use of the suffixes –er, –est in adjectives and the use of –ly in Standard English to turn adjectives into adverbs

Formation of nouns using a range of prefixes, such as super–, anti–, auto–


Use of the forms a or an according to whether the next word begins with a consonant or a vowel (e.g. a rock, an open box)


Word families based on common words, showing how words are related in form and meaning (e.g. solve, solution, solver)



The grammatical difference between plural and possessive –s


Standard English forms for verb inflections instead of local spoken forms [for example, we were instead of we was, or I did instead of I done]



Converting nouns or adjectives into verbs using suffixes [for example, –ate; –ise; –ify]


Verb prefixes [for example, dis–, de–, mis–, over– and re–]



The difference between vocabulary typical of informal speech and vocabulary appropriate for formal speech and writing [for example, find out – discover; ask for – request; go in – enter]


How words are related by meaning as synonyms and antonyms [for example, big, large, little].


Subordination (using when, if, that, because) and co-ordination (using or, and, but)


Expanded noun phrases for description and specification [for example, the blue butterfly, plain flour, the man in the moon]


How the grammatical patterns in a sentence indicate its function as a statement, question, exclamation or command



Expressing time, place and cause using conjunctions (e.g. when, before, after, while, so, because), adverbs (e.g. then, next, soon, therefore), or prepositions (e.g. before, after, during, in, because of)



Noun phrases expanded by the addition of modifying adjectives, nouns and preposition phrases (e.g. the teacher expanded to: the strict maths teacher with curly hair)


Fronted adverbials [for example, Later that day, I heard the bad news.]



Relative clauses beginning with who, which, where, when, whose, that, or an omitted relative pronoun


Indicating degrees of possibility using adverbs [for example, perhaps, surely] or modal verbs [for example, might, should, will,]



Use of the passive to affect the presentation of information in a sentence [for example, I broke the window in the greenhouse versus The window in the greenhouse was broken (by me)].


The difference between structures typical of informal speech and structures appropriate for formal speech and writing [for example, the use of question tags: He’s your friend, isn’t he?, or the use of subjunctive forms such as If I were or Were they to come in some very formal writing and speech]


Correct choice and consistent use of present tense and past tense throughout writing


Use of the progressive form of verbs in the present and past tense to mark actions in progress [for example, she is drumming, he was shouting]



Introduction to paragraphs as a way to group related material

Headings and sub-headings to aid presentation


Use of the present perfect form of verbs instead of the simple past (e.g. He has gone out to play contrasted with He went out to play)



Use of paragraphs to organise ideas around a theme


Appropriate choice of pronoun or noun within and across sentences to aid cohesion and avoid repetition



Devices to build cohesion within a paragraph [for example, then, after that, this, firstly]


Linking ideas across paragraphs using adverbials of time [for example, later], place [for example, nearby] and number [for example, secondly] or tense choices [for example, he had seen her before]



Linking ideas across paragraphs using a wider range of cohesive devices: repetition of a word or phrase, grammatical connections [for example, the use of adverbials such as on the other hand, in contrast, or as a consequence], and ellipsis


Layout devices [for example, headings, sub-headings, columns, bullets, or tables, to structure text]


Use of capital letters, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks to demarcate sentences

Commas to separate items in a list


Apostrophes to mark where letters are missing in spelling and to mark singular possession in nouns [for example, the girl’s name]



Introduction to inverted commas to punctuate direct speech



Use of inverted commas and other punctuation to indicate direct speech [for example, a comma after the reporting clause; end punctuation within inverted commas: The conductor shouted, “Sit down!”]


Apostrophes to mark plural possession [for example, the girl’s name, the girls’ names]


Use of commas after fronted adverbials



Brackets, dashes or commas to indicate parenthesis

Use of commas to clarify meaning or avoid ambiguity



Use of the semi-colon, colon and dash to mark the boundary between independent clauses [for example, It’s raining; I’m fed up]

Use of the colon to introduce a list and use of semi-colons within lists


Punctuation of bullet points to list information


How hyphens can be used to avoid ambiguity [for example, man eating shark versus man-eating shark, or recover versus re-cover]


noun, noun phrase

statement, question, exclamation, command

compound, suffix

adjective, adverb, verb

tense (past, present)

apostrophe, comma



adverb, preposition conjunction

word family, prefix

clause, subordinate clause

direct speech

consonant, consonant letter vowel, vowel letter

inverted commas (or ‘speech marks’)


pronoun, possessive pronoun




modal verb,

relative pronoun, relative clause

parenthesis, bracket, dash

cohesion, ambiguity



subject, object

active, passive

synonym, antonym

ellipsis, hyphen, colon, semi-colon, bullet points






Skills/Key subject disciplines

In their time at Westgate, children the following areas within writing:

  • Transcription
  • Handwriting
  • Composition
  • Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation



The terminology used when talking about English grammar will be built on each year.








word family



subordinate clause

direct speech


consonant letter


vowel letter

inverted commas (or ‘speech marks’)



possessive pronoun




modal verb

relative pronoun

relative clause


















bullet points





Discrete English writing sessions take place at least 5 times a week for at least 45 minutes - 1 hour. Where possible, the purpose of writing links to the ‘Past’, ‘Place’ or ‘Pick’ topic learning in order to provide children with a good understanding of what they are writing about. The stimulus, purpose and audience is chosen to motivate children to want to write. The teaching of grammar and punctuation vocabulary is integrated into these English units as we have found that teaching within context is the most effective way of delivering this and applied in context. Children will also be given the opportunity to learn SPAG through discrete sessions (out of context) and will be given the opportunity to develop their writing composition skills through focused sessions.


Year groups also plan ‘Take One Book’ units each year which focus on a book of the Year Group team’s choice. This may be used as an opportunity to consolidate the writing of a text type or as a stimulus to teach specific punctuation and grammar skills.


These lessons are supplemented by weekly spelling sessions and weekly spelling quizzes (which follow the Spelling Shed programme).


Emphasis is also put on writing within other curriculum areas. Children are usually given the opportunity to write in Westgate Book Week/Day and are often inspired by authors who have been invited in. There are also a number of other competitions that run over the year such as 500 words and poetry competitions. Success in these areas is celebrated in whole school celebration assemblies and children are often rewarded with certificates and prizes.


Opportunities to revisit learning

All through their time at Westgate, children revisit the vocabulary, grammar and punctuation which they will have been taught in previous Year Groups.

Children are also asked to recall the features of the text types and text forms which they study each year.


Local Links

As much of the purpose of writing units links to our ‘Past’, ‘Place’ and ‘Pick’ units, this means that there are opportunities for local links at times.



Year 3


Non-chronological report based on Lindum Colonia.


Narrative – Stories with familiar settings (Lincolnshire Puppy in Lincoln and at the Lincolnshire coast).

Year 4


Persuasion – Letters to local companies to persuade them to stock our new European based chocolate product.

Year 5


Discussion Text - Crime and Punishment (linked to Lincoln Castle Trip).

Year 6


Recount – Evacuee diary entries (Linked to learning about local evacuees).


Persuasion – Earth Hour letters to local companies to encourage them to get involved in ‘changing climate change’.








Enabling children to understand and engage with the feelings and values embodied in high quality, poetry, fiction and drama.

Developing own and understanding others’ creativity and imagination in writing and reading.





Developing children’s awareness of moral issues in their reading of fiction, journalism, magazines, radio, television and film.

Developing children’s ability to make responsible and reasoned judgements about moral dilemmas in texts they read or write.

Developing an ability to understand, discuss and write about topics where people disagree/have contrasting points of view.

Thinking through the consequences of actions and decisions of characters in their reading or writing.





Developing children’s awareness of social issues in their reading of fiction, journalism, magazines, radio, television and film.

Helping children to understand how language has changed over time, the influences of spoken and written language and social attitudes to language.

Developing children’s ability to share views and opinions with others.

Developing children’s understanding of formality and register in speech, reading and writing for a variety of purposes.

Working successfully as a member of a group in English lessons.

Showing a respect for others’ writing or opinions of texts they have read

Developing confidence and expertise in language, which is an important aspect of social identity.





Developing a sense of personal enrichment through sharing in high quality, poetry, fiction and drama.

Developing use of language appropriate to literature which has significance and meaning in culture.

Understanding and feeling comfortable to discuss and contrast a variety of cultural texts.

Giving children opportunities to discuss and write about different cultures or from the perspective of someone from a different culture.





Showing and understanding of individual liberty by being able to express their opinions through spoken language and writing.

Developing mutual respect for others’ writing or ideas.

Understanding of right and wrong (rule of law) through discussions in reading or leading to writing.

Showing a tolerance of those with other faiths and beliefs through discussions when reading or writing.







How will writing be assessed at Westgate Academy?

Teacher assessment takes place through daily marking and feedback. 

Teachers also assess within terms and at the end of terms using our Westgate Writing grids. Based on the outcomes of this assessment, planning and teaching is tailored to the needs of the class or year group, children are allocated intervention groups and individual targets are set to ensure that they continue to make progress.

Moderation of writing will happen across the year both in teams and as a whole school.


At the End of Key Stage 2, we use the End of Key Stage 2 Assessment Framework. Year 6 teachers complete their own internal moderation process as well as external moderation where necessary. Teachers work alongside staff from other schools to ensure judgements are validated.


How will the impact of our writing curriculum be evaluated/monitored?

Writing subject leader is responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of this subject area. Monitoring is scheduled to occur half-termly. Judgements on the impact of the curriculum on pupils is based upon a triangulation of different monitoring and evaluation activities within school:

  • Lesson observations
  • Learning walks
  • Pupil voice discussions
  • Book and planning scrutinies
  • Outcomes of assessments
  • Deep dives