Writing at Thornton

Writing at Thornton

At Thornton, we develop writers who can communicate effectively for different purposes. We want everyone to enjoy writing and to have confidence in their ability to write. We also want to develop skills that we can use in a range of contexts.

To achieve this, Thornton’s English curriculum provides pupils with opportunities to acquire both technical skills (such as the spelling, grammar, punctuation of standard English) and the stylistic skills that make writing effective and enjoyable. We learn from ‘real’ writers how to write for purpose and consider this in all stages of: planning, drafting and evaluating. Our wide reading helps children identify how other writers achieve effects to develop their own writer’s voice.

Writing structure

We want our children to develop into skilful and imaginative writers, communicating clearly in all areas of the curriculum.

Grammar, spelling, vocabulary and punctuation are taught as part of the writing sequence. The children receive explicit teaching relating to statutory content that is relevant to the writing outcomes they are exploring. Content from previous years is revisited to ensure overlearning and to fill gaps. This follows the Thornton English Overview (long term plan) which outlines the sequence and expectations in more detail. Teachers complete short plans fortnightly to outline the writing sequence. These are informed by fortnightly moderation conversations to discuss strengths and barriers to learning. Resources and PowerPoint presentations are designed to support the children during the writing sequence. Scaffolding is provided to enable all children to access the curriculum.

Lessons are structured to examine and model how writers shape and convey ideas into writing, children are guided to use the learning with appropriate structure, finally using the skill with a measure of independence.

We teach the children to explore and discuss ideas to plan their writing in different ways. We explore how writers shape and convey ideas to inspire our process.  Children are then guided to draft ideas into sentences and paragraphs which will be reviewed and further developed. We teach children to proofread their writing for accuracy in their use of standard English. We also teach children to edit and evaluate their ideas throughout the writing process. This is delivered through teacher modelled and group shared writing, where staff verbalise the writer’s thought processes and make evaluation choices explicit. The purpose of the writing and the desired impact on the reader is at the heart of each unit of writing. Writing forms a significant part of all subjects across the curriculum and is an opportunity for children to express themselves and communicate with others. Children have opportunities to present their writing in different ways and to perform it.


We use Purple Mash as the foundation for our teaching of spelling. Staff use their professional judgement to adapt this scheme to ensure the secure learning of spelling rules and progression. Links between phonics for reading and phonics for spelling are exploited. Children are taught strategies for learning spellings and empowered to choose to use the ways that work for them.



Children are taught how to form and join letters. We equip them to write legibly, at speed, choosing when to join and when letters are better left un-joined. The Thornton Handwriting Policy sets out the schedule for teaching this in more detail.