Watermore Primary School

Writing at Watermore


Genre-level work begins in reception with the oral retelling of stories, poems and traditional tales, including through ‘helicopter stories’ to support understanding of word meaning. Key features and key words are identified.

Story mapping begins in reception and is carried on through to year 6.

Key stage 1 use a writing toolkit as a visual success criteria, which is added to and differentiated throughout the two years. Key stage 2 classes use success criteria in a tick-list to aid self and peer assessment.

All children in every year group, from 1-6, have personal writing targets. These are not genre-specific and are monitored frequently. Individual targets are monitored through the use of 'Catch-Me' cards, personalised learning mats and through daily discussion and feedback within lessons. 

The writing sequence is followed throughout the school and the majority of writing is linked to a quality text, an overarching theme or both.

  • The sequence may last between two-four weeks and a Try it, Use it and Prove it structure is used to teach and develop skills
  • An example text (handwritten to model expectations) is text-marked with genre-specific criteria
  • A checklist of genre-specific success criteria is generated collaboratively and added to our class working walls
  • Grammar is taught through the teaching of the genre (Try it lessons), and the grammar taught is dictated by teacher assessment
  • Several short-burst writing opportunities are planned in to the main teaching sequence to practice both writing within the genre and using specific grammatical techniques necessary (Use it lessons) to the final piece (Prove it lessons)
  • Once the final piece is drafted, the work is self- and peer- assessed (see the school’s Feedback and Marking Policy for guidance). Edits are made using the purple polishing pen.

Writing is celebrated on the year group WOW walls, in assembly and through Head teacher rewards.


We follow the No-Nonsense Spelling scheme in KS2, which is taught in differentiated groups at least three times per week. Information on keyword lists and phonic attainment is transferred from year 2 upwards, and this informs the type of spelling input. Monitoring and assessment of groups is revisited termly and children may progress into different groups over the year.

Extra and regular intervention of phonics/key words is undertaken by our teaching assistants, and may be structured as 1:1 or small group support. Progress is monitored and shared with the class teacher fortnightly.


Handwriting follows the Nelson Handwriting scheme and is taught explicitly from reception onwards.

All classes from Y2 onwards use DUMLUMS to set out their work neatly to set consistent structure and layout across all subjects.