Whilst spelling is a very complex business, the orchestration of this skill along with the many others required to write well is enormously challenging, even for adults.
In order to write well, children must master the secretarial skills of spelling, punctuating their writing, and scribing clearly enough to make the reading pleasurable. But these skills in themselves do not a good writer make. Children must learn the key features of each genre, the language associated and, quite simply, have ideas to write about. They need to be able to distinguish between a formal and informal voice, and to know when the use of either is appropriate. They must have a broad personal lexicon to enable them to create imagery with words, or to persuade, or to report. They must develop editing skills, and be able to identify where their own work could be improved.
Avid readers are usually strong writers, as they have internalised many of the necessary requirements. At St Teresa’s, we choose quality texts and use immersive strategies to encourage total engagement in a text. Secretarial skills are taught discretely, and writing is made as meaningful as possible. Cross curricular opportunities for writing are utilised, giving the children opportunities to write across genres.