English - Writing

Our Vision for English Learning at Burlington

We aim to engender a life-long love of English by giving children the strategies they need to become enthusiastic, strong, confident and independent readers and writers. We provide children with a wealth of opportunities that inspire their imagination and give them deep and sustained knowledge of vocabulary, genres and styles that they can use both when discussing the writing of others, and apply in their own work.

This web page will cover the Writing aspects of our English teaching at Burlington.  To learn more about the Reading and Phonics aspect of our teaching, please visit the web page below:

English - Reading and Phonics web page


English Writing Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum aims to inspire children to develop a love of writing and acquire the key skills and language to communicate their ideas effectively with a variety of audiences. We aim for children to build confidence in writing over time by writing for a range of purposes, returning to and building on the fundamental skills of writing and applying their cross curricular knowledge to enjoyable real life events.  Children build on key skills learnt in the Early Years (Nursery and Reception) and throughout Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) to ensure deep learning happens over time and children grow into enthusiastic confident writers.

High-quality engaging texts, stimulus and real life experiences inspire and excite children for writing. Our topic-based curriculum includes ‘WOW moments’ linked to writing (brilliant beginning, marvellous middle and fantastic finale). Rewards are given in assemblies and holiday writing competitions are held throughout the school year. Writing Lego club inspires children to create and write with purpose.  Lessons include a variety of role play techniques to allow children to share and develop their ideas before writing. Visuals and working wall prompts support children’s ideas and encourage deeper thinking. Writing has a purpose and is shared with a range of audiences: whole class; peers; another class; parents; headteacher, deputies and in newsletters.  A variety of genres is planned for and adapted depending on the needs of each class / year group and taking in to consideration current events (e.g. sporting events, popular TV adverts). A range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and digital literacy is used to enable children to explore different genres and develop style/preferences.

Children are encouraged to take a risk and follow their own ideas in writing; we aim to give them choice (for example, creating their own character or chocolate creation to write about), enabling children to feel control and passion for their own writing. In KS1, 'First Day of the Month' books allow for monthly independent tasks to track progress. Children are taught the skill of ‘reading and editing’ so they can improve their own writing. Colourful semantics (explained below) help children to structure their thoughts into clear sentences.

Daily high-quality phonics sessions follow the structure of review, teach, practise and apply. Phonics is differentiated accordingly and progress is monitored.  We adopt active phonics strategies to engage learners, for example using Kung Fu or the sound stomp method. Weekly spelling quizzes and the annual Sponsored Spell raises the profile of spelling. Colourful punctuation (green, purple and red) and physical punctuation engages learners and helps children to visualise sentence structure. New vocabulary is introduced and collected from high quality texts and placed in class vocabulary boxes. Key words are used on working walls and are revisited during lessons.

Children are given time to develop ideas before writing through class discussions, talk partners, teacher-modelling, role play, visuals and digital literacy. Lessons give time for planning, writing and editing/improving. Children are encouraged by writing for purpose, competitions and badges. Proud pegs in class display current writing to boost confidence. Interventions and ‘English Skills’ give teachers time to target certain areas of writing. Children have clear next steps with individual targets. Children are able to understand where they have made progress and which areas to improve due to child friendly marking symbols as teacher feedback.

Writing is shared with parents during reading mornings and parent consultations. Workshops inform parents and give an insight into school learning; for example, the phonics presentation and then offering parents to join their children back in class with a phonics lesson. Spellings are sent home weekly and children are encouraged to practise applying spellings in sentences with parents. Weekly Inspiration Station and Picture News challenges give purpose to writing at home and writing examples are shared in the weekly newsletter for all to see.

We aim to inspire all children at Burlington to develop a love of writing and feel proud of their writing achievements throughout their time with us and beyond.


In Nursery, children focus on communication and language development to support early writing skills. Through a variety of stories and rhymes, children begin to develop a love of the English language focusing on rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and oral blending and segmenting. Through games, singing, music, and puppets children begin to repeat and learn new vocabulary which helps them to communicate with adults and peers around them. Children freely use the engaging outdoor area to develop gross motor skills and improve their physical development. Children explore the sensation of making marks in a variety of different materials to provide a fun sensory experience.


In Reception, children progress from early mark making to forming recognisable letters of the alphabet. Many fine motor activities help children to develop the strength in their hand to hold writing equipment and improve their control needed to carefully form letters. Children are exposed to both print and pre-cursive letter formations. The development of language remains a priority as children learn new vocabulary and sentence structures from various stories, rhymes and poems. Children explore language through role play and oral story telling, focusing on many popular stories and traditional tales. Children begin to learn the components of a sentence with the introduction of colourful semantics. Through the use of colours, children explore the concept of ‘who’ and ‘what doing’ to orally compose sentences.  Children apply their developing phonic knowledge to a range of situations; for example shopping lists, labels, captions, invitations, postcards, emails and storytelling. Through engaging daily phonics lessons, children learn new phase 2 and 3 sounds and begin to implement these in reading and writing activities. Children progress to achieve the Early Learning Goal of writing simple phrases and sentences that can be read by themselves and others. 

Year 1

In Year 1, children consolidate their knowledge of phase 2, 3 and 4 phonics and progress to learning new phase 5 sounds. Children are given many opportunities to apply their phonics knowledge to various writing genres; for example, fiction, non fiction and poetry. Through the topics of Claws, Paws,Whiskers and Wings, Space, Pirates, Toys, Bears bears everywhere and Green Fingers children develop their imagination and creativity to write for a range of audiences.  Rainbow punctuation is introduced in Year 1. Green pencils are used to form capital letters as the ‘Go’ of their sentence, and red pencils are used to ‘Stop’ their sentence with a full stop. Overtime children begin to include purple for conjunctions to incorporate colourful semantics teaching. In Autumn, children focus on spacing, layout, letter formation and sentence composition. Children progress in Spring to apply their growing knowledge of punctuation and in Summer children are encouraged to make improvements to their sentences with adjectives and simple conjunctions. 

Year 2

In Year 2, children review previous phonics knowledge and progress to learn phase 6 phonics and spelling rules. Through the topics of Habitats, Great Fire of London, Marvellous Medicines, Chocolate, The Great Outdoors and Up, children develop a sense of style learning from many engaging texts. Rainbow punctuation is continued as needed to ensure children include a variety of sentence types in their writing; for example, statement, question, exclamation and command. Children are encouraged to think carefully about their word choices and start sentences in a variety of ways. The use of dictionaries/thesaurus are encouraged to enable children to widen their vocabulary. Time is given to teach key editing skills, allowing children to check their writing makes sense and tenses remain consistent throughout their work. Through the use of digital literacy, role play and real life events, children strive to include ambitious word choices, expanded noun phrases, words with suffixes, a variety of punctuation and a range of conjunctions (and, or, but, if, when, that, because). Children continue independent writing in their special 'First day of the month' books and are given many opportunities to reflect and look back at their previous writing. Children feel extremely proud of their writing achievements and enjoy sharing their writing with their peers.

National Curriculum

The English curriculum at Burlington follows the National Curriculum.  You can find the appropriate extract of this National Curriculum for English here: 

National Curriculum in KS1 - English

Please note this extract covers KS1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 which is followed by the Junior School (Years 3 to 6).

The curriculum map below gives you a complete summary of the English writing skills, knowledge and key vocabulary that we teach our children, during each term as they progress from Nursery / Reception and through to Years 1 and 2.

Writing @ Burlington - Curriculum Map

Here are some photos of our teaching and learning for English writing across the school: 

News and Events

Every week we will be sending home an exciting picture to discuss and share at home which will hopefully inspire your child to write and draw. There will be a post-box situated in the corridor by the school office which children can post their entries in. All entries must be brought into class by the following Tuesday. Children can write and draw anything which comes to mind after looking at the picture. Every week in Assembly, winning entries will be shared with the school and stickers/rewards will be given. Please encourage your child to participate in this weekly challenge. We’d love to see all of your ideas!

Click here to see a copy of this week's Inspiration Station. 
Well done to everyone who entered last week, we really enjoyed reading your stories!

Inspiration Station Entries 2023-24


How to Help at Home

Here you will find some useful documents, videos, links to great websites and guidance on how to help at home. 

High Frequency Words

Children are taught to read and spell the following High Frequency Words. Please see the list below.