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Foxdell Primary School

‘Growing, Learning and Achieving Together’

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At Foxdell Primary School, we know that secure reading and writing skills enable our children to become confident, independent, lifelong learners and gives them the best start on their learning journey.



We want to ensure that all our children become independent, resilient and confident writers who enjoy the writing process. Our lessons are carefully developed around challenging, quality class novels and short texts (which are custom-written if necessary) which provide stimulation for writing. All year groups follow  Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing step-by-step writing process which supports those who are new to English whilst still providing sufficient challenge for more ambitious writers.  A key aim is to support children in increasing the range of vocabulary that they can access and use in their writing. 


In order to fully engage and immerse the children in the subject matter and genre type, each unit of writing is introduced with an engaging hook activity. The children then learn the vocabulary and key grammatical features that may be identified in the model text.  Initially, the children become familiar with the text by “reading” a text map made up of pictures, at which point they learn the text by heart. Children then undertake a range of comprehension and drama activities to get inside of the text.  Once the children have a good understanding of the taught genre and have had enough time to engage with varied examples and a model text, we then move on to the innovation stage where the children begin to plan and compose their own examples using the model and shared writes to underpin their understanding of how the text works.  There is a strong focus on identifying the genre, audience and purpose of each text. 


The final phase is the independent application stage. This is where the children independently plan, write and redraft their invented genres.  Throughout all writing sessions, appropriate grammar objectives are embedded and analysed. At the beginning of each lesson, children are provided with a grammar or spelling focussed starter activity to complete.  


Teachers continuously assess for understanding and misconceptions throughout every lesson and through marking.  This allows teachers to adapt their planning in order to target pupils for support, as well as ensure that all children are challenged appropriately. Children are given regular opportunities to edit and improve their own writing. Once the independent application piece has been completed, each child publishes that piece in their publishing books. This piece is formally assessed by the teacher against age appropriate statements. From this, each child is provided with one or two targets for them to work on in their next piece of writing. 



The children need to learn the correct way to form letters so that they can progress to join up letters as they get older. Once they are able to write clearly and with automaticity, they are able to free up working memory to focus on the composition elements of writing. 


In Reception, letter formation is taught through Set 1 of Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics, in which the children learn short rhymes and have picture prompts to help them remember the formation. (Please find these RWI picture prompts and rhymes attached below). 

In KS1 and KS2, children are taught handwriting using the Nelson Handwriting scheme.  We encourage children to use the following strategies to develop and support their handwriting: 

  • BBC - Bottom Back in Chair
  • TNT - Tummy Near Table
  • Six feet, two hands - the feet of the chair and child plus one hand to write with and one to hold the page still. 


For children who need to develop stronger gross and fine motor skills, we offer additional handwriting interventions. These involve activities for strengthening hand muscles and practising letter formation.  Once children are able to join correctly and neatly, they are awarded a pen licence which allows them to write in their books in pen.  We encourage all children to be proud of their presentation.

Please see our English Policy for more information.




We help children learn and verbally tell stories to develop their understanding and experiences of stories. They deepen their understanding of stories through speaking and listening activities, drama, poetry and art. They develop their imagination by innovating and creating their own versions of the story.


Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscles, involving the synchronisation of hands and fingers with the eyes. Fine motor activities help children prepare for handwriting. Children in Reception and Year One regularly take part in fine motor activities in the classroom. 


Parents/carers can help children to develop fine motor skills at home by encouraging their children to: 

  • Draw crosses, squares and circles in anti-clockwise direction
  • Draw people, animals and objects
  • Draw crosses, squares and circles in a top-to-bottom direction
  • Play with construction toys such as Lego and wooden blocks
  • Play with toy tools 
  • Cut along lines with scissors
  • Use scissors to cut out circular, triangular and square shapes
  • Use colouring books to colour within the lines of the picture