How we develop children's fluency as writers


At HJS, we aim to develop writers who can express meaning in a clear and cohesive way. We wish for our pupils to be able to share their knowledge, creativity and ideas succinctly. Our ambition for our pupils is that they can recognise the power of words and that carefully chosen vocabulary can elicit fear, tears, joy and inspiration. Our purpose is that all children become proficient in the techniques of writing so that they connect to the world around them.


Writing, as stated in the National Curriculum, is delivered through two dimensions: transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). It also includes objectives on planning, revising and evaluating writing.

The National Curriculum also describes effective composition as:

  • articulating and communicating ideas
  • organising ideas coherently
  • awareness of the audience
  • having purpose and context
  • increasingly wide vocabulary and knowledge of grammar
  • fluent, legible and eventually speedy handwriting

At Henleaze Junior School, we endeavour to deliver these objectives through:

  • the exploration of genres and their language features, so that pupils can develop their writing skills for different audiences and purposes
  • the development of confidence in the use of more sophisticated punctuation in order to create an appropriate effect
  • the increasing ability to edit and improve work by selecting quality vocabulary and making informed choices that demonstrate improved grammar knowledge
  • the use of a variety of sentence structures which establish a concrete understanding of the use of conjunctions
  • the use of a variety of clauses and phrases within sentences to show a wide range of adverbials
  • the use of modal verbs to show possibility
  • the ability to identify formal writing and understand when its techniques need to be employed for a particular purpose and effect
  • the knowledge of how and when to use passive and active voice
  • the understanding of the subjunctive form to increase formality in writing

Planning and delivery

At HJS, the National Curriculum objectives for writing are embedded in either a story based or a cross-curricular approach. The hooks that these carefully chosen texts, or science and humanities starting points, create enable the pupils to be inspired and enthused when embarking on their writing process.

Once the hook has played its part, the children explore the stylistic and language features of the intended genre; appropriate grammar content is covered; there is a discussion of the intended audience and planning for the task is introduced.

Next, pupils see how the writing can be achieved by watching an exemplar being modelled. Pupils have an opportunity to share ideas and vocabulary, and practise writing in the style.

Finally, drafting, editing, peer editing and publishing are completed. These skills are carefully developed throughout the junior phase with increasing sophistication and complexity. The pupils’ written pieces are then shared with the intended audience or celebrated within the class or school.


The HJS Assessment Framework sets out our expectations for each year group in Reading, Writing, Maths and Science. Visit our Assessment and Reporting page for details.

Pupils are formally assessed, each term, in Year 3, 4 and 5, and these pieces of written work are collated in their Levelled Writing Book, which travels with the child through the school. In Year 6, the pupils are marked against the National Curriculum objectives after every piece of writing.

Pupils’ progress is also assessed and documented through the Insight online assessment programme. When pupils achieve targets, or after a few pieces of writing, their attainment is recorded in Insight, our in-school tracking software.

The objectives in Y3, 4 and 5 are called non-negotiable targets, which describe what we hope the average child will achieve by the end of the year. A child is labelled meeting (M) if they have met these non-negotiables, exceeding (X) if they have exceeded the targets, below (B) if they are not meeting targets and M- if they are just below meeting the targets.

Feedback sheets are being implemented throughout the juniors and these allow the teacher and the pupil a clear description of which targets are being met and which still need to be tackled.

In addition to assessing pupils’ spelling and grammar knowledge within their writing, they are routinely assessed on their understanding and expertise in separate assessments.

Cross-curricular links

Being a proficient writer is necessary across the curriculum. We aim to share and emphasise the importance of the skill of being a confident writer in all of the subjects we teach at Henleaze. We strive to enlighten our pupils to the power of carefully crafted words which, when used in different scenarios throughout the school day, can persuade, empower, inform, ignite interest and communicate meaning.

Equal opportunities and inclusion

At Henleaze, we strive to promote equal opportunities and inclusion for all of our pupils.

By inviting authors, poets and theatre companies into our school, we hope to build on children’s cultural capital. In addition, we enable children to share their cultural capital in class discussions, assemblies and year group productions.

We prepare our pupils for a life after school by promoting the value and importance of writing and address differences in achievement through targeted support groups and 1-1 conferencing.

Pupils who may need the support of computers in order to achieve their written tasks are provided with access to word processors or Clicker. Pupils on the SEND register, may be supported by an adult to tackle the same pieces of writing as their peers but with a different expectation of outcome.

We aim to include in our planning for writing a curriculum that reflects and is pertinent to our pupils and their cultures and backgrounds. We choose story hooks that address issues and scenarios that echo the world our pupils live in.

We recognise that all children are individuals with differing needs and experiences and our ambition is to provide a curriculum for writing that will engage and enthuse all of our potential authors and enable them to be eloquent and expressive writers.