We aim at developing a writer identity at Iqra in that each child considers themselves to be a writer with the skills, confidence and a message to communicate effectively. We do this by using a broad range of high quality texts, from fiction to non-fiction, picture books (both KS1 and KS2) and non-picture books, poetry and prose, classic and modern, British and international from a range of genres. These are texts that have been carefully selected for showcasing the best in English literature, have a high level of engagement and have strong themes for discussion and exploration. You can see that range here.
Every book is a promising adventure of unknown wonder. We start off our journeys with a notion of the world but by the time we end; we will be far wiser and more mature; having experienced a hundred other lives in our classrooms. We immerse our children in the book in order for them to be able to experience the events of the story. We do this through role play, freeze frames, discussions, illustrations, videos, hot seating, conscience alley to name a few. This helps develop the knowledge, vocabulary and emotions that are needed in order to be able to write.
Our teachers are experts in writing and understand the journey from developing writer all the way through to a proficient writer. This progression goes from Reception all the way through to Year 6. Our teachers have an understanding of the milestones they want to secure for their children; hence they model pieces of writing; analyse differences between good and greater depth writing and give children the knowledge that they need in order to develop their writing further. If you would like to see that progression click here. At the same time, they develop the children’s independence in writing, through verbalising their thoughts as they model their writing; giving children the confidence to be able to start when all they have in front of them is a blank page staring back at them.
Drafting, editing and publishing
Our writers understand that like a piece of art, writing is a process which develops over stages. Pupils begin with writing but they will edit as they read their work. They will also edit through feedback from the teacher and feedback from their peers. Our English books do not always look the neatest in their writing process because they are works in progress, where our writers will be brainstorming, planning, writing and editing. Once our writers are satisfied with their pieces, they will go on to the publishing stage, where they will write the final version of their piece into their ‘published’ book. These books stay with the children as they continue their writing journey through the years.
We directly teach vocabulary to the children so that they are able to understand the text clearly and they are able to use their new vocabulary to improve the quality of their composition. Children are also encouraged to independently collect vocabulary that they have read and use those words when they are writing.
We follow a program to develop specific styles of sentences within children. This allows children to master forms of sentences that are more engaging. Pupils practise these throughout the week with the intention of using them independently in their writing.
Our handwriting begins with mastering fine motor skills in Early Years, which develops into early mark making. Children learn letter formation, size, spacing, and joins. We use Nelson’s for progression and we teach specific skills in discrete lessons; whilst ensuring that all children are demonstrating the basic skills of writing in all their lessons.
Grammar, punctuation and spelling
At Iqra, grammar, punctuation, and spelling lessons equip young learners with the building blocks of writing. During English lessons, teachers highlight grammar and punctuation rules to add an effectiveness to their writing. Spelling patterns are taught and tested on regularly. Outside of lessons, GPS knowledge spirals through our curriculum. Students revisit fundamentals like sentences, nouns, and verb tenses each year, gaining more sophistication. This layered approach allows GPS proficiency to grow in both knowledge and skills.
Student conferencing at Iqra is a vital part of our approach to nurturing young writers. In one-on-one meetings, teachers celebrate students’ writing achievements, boosting their confidence and pride. Together, we set targets for their writing development, empowering students to take ownership of their journey. These conferences provide a critical audience for their work, encouraging them to see themselves as part of a literary community and refine their skills through constructive feedback. It’s a powerful tool that tailors support to individual needs and shapes confident, skilled writers who may become future authors.