Writing

Writing

 

Writing is best learned if children are encouraged to do it for 'real' reasons. 

 

We try to offer as many real  purposes to write as possible.  We plan in WOW events, trips, visitors and opportunities to write across the curriculum to this end. 

 

Children are encouraged to see marking comments as tips on how to improve their writing. We have an agreed marking scheme. Children are provided or create their own Toolkits and Success Criteria and these support the writing process. We teach Alan Peat Sentence types to provide children with an extra set of tools for writing. Alan Peat sentence types help with the process of progression in writing as the types have been chosen and shared between year groups with though given to progress. We use Talk for Writing Principles from Reception onwards and this technique is firmly embedded within our Literacy and Language Scheme which is used from Year 2 to Year 6. We have recently taken part in two Talk for Writing training sessions and a Struggling Writer twilight training session so that staff feel confident using these approaches to support writing across the curriculum. 

 

We try to avoid making writing too hard too quickly (a response to pupil feedback). Teachers model writing and demonstrate themselves as writers who are ready to reflect upon and edit their work. Children are encouraged to polish their own work with purple pens. Peer marking is well established across the school.

 

Children are given 'next steps’ or ‘wishes’ when they write and will improve their work accordingly. Time is given for them to do this.

 

Written work is assessed and next steps are given in accordance with the Interim or End of Key Stage Writing Standards developed by The Somerset Literacy Network in line with Statutory Guidance.

Teachers moderate writing though Book Looks , Pupil Interviews and through teacher to teacher marking sessions . The staff use school to school partnerships to ensure levelling is secure.  

 

Handwriting, spelling, punctuation and grammar all play an important part in the writing process and although are taught as discrete skills we embed the learning in the writing process which is also a key feature of Literacy and Language which is our school writing scheme. Spelling is taught using the Headstart Spelling Scheme , Grammar through Headstart, Literacy and Language and Deepening Understanding resources and handwriting using Nelson resources. 

 

Key Stage One use Literacy Shed Plus and Somerset Literacy Planning Flowcharts as a planning tools for writing. 

Key Stage Two use a combination of Literacy and Language and within topic text inspired writing units . 
As a school we are trialling the Read to Write writing scheme in a bid to further support the writing process and link reading to writing and topic. 
If successful , this scheme can be rolled out in 2022/23. 

 

The staff have recently created a new St George's Curriculum and writing opportunities have been embedded and signalled within the new plans. 

 

We use Talk for Writing as a basis for our agreed writing sequence method to ensure consistency . Key Stage One focus on learning stories and using these as models for their own writing. They also write across the curriculum and from real experiences. We try hard to link oral and written story telling. 

Neli and Helicopter stories support children as writers in Reception  Class. 

Teachers use displays and labelling to support the writing process and the teaching and sharing of vocabulary is always at the heart of the teaching of writing . 

We encourage talk to inspire writing 

 

Attention is giving to handwriting style. At first children learn to form letters correctly and then they are taught a model joined script, so they are able to develop a neat, flowing style of their own. We use Nelson Handwriting resources.

 

We regularly take part in external writing competitions and workshops to inspire our writers and every year we have a ‘real writer’ workshop or visit of some description. 

St George’s Writing Model : Spring 2020

 

We have developed our own approach to ‘how to teach writing’, which includes elements of both ‘Talk for Writing’ and ‘Alan Peat’ sentence types, but which is fundamentally based on National Curriculum objectives. We use Literacy Shed Plus, Literacy and Language and Igniting Writing as resources.

 

Writing is linked to the wider curriculum, a WOW event or a real reason to write.

 

Children are taught genre-specific texts and follow a cycle of imitate, innovate, independent application and invent.

 

We understand the importance of developing and broadening vocabulary, so each text is carefully constructed to meet National Curriculum objectives, broaden vocabulary and sentence construction and to meet the needs of the audience and purpose.

 

The imitate phase consists of learning new vocabulary which builds on prior knowledge and children are taught grammar and punctuation lessons linked to the text. This is then rounded off with a ‘reading as a reader’ lesson, which focusses on their understanding of the text after being immersed in it throughout the week.

 

Imitate also includes learning an Alan Peat Sentence type to use within the writing. Each year group has a set of sentence types. These can be taught and reviewed through the year as and when the text type suits the sentence type.

 

In Reception and Key Stage 1, there is more of an emphasis on learning the text by heart, which fully immerses the children in the language and any associated grammar or punctuation.

 

The ‘innovate’ stage is where the children ‘have a go’ at using and applying their new knowledge and skills through shared, guided and independent writing opportunities.

 

The ‘innovate’ stage begins with ‘boxing up the text’ so that children understand what happens in each section of a narrative or non-fiction/poetry text. As a class, they discuss what tools are required for it to be a successful piece of writing.

 

As a school, we use a ‘tools not rules’ approach to writing, where children are taught writing skills and techniques based on the genre and purpose for writing. We believe this low threshold, high ceiling approach eliminates any glass ceiling being put on any child and is used to support the writing process, rather than it being a tick list that can inhibit many children’s natural talent.

 

In addition the children will know the SLN Interim Assessment Standards for the Year Group which serve as a benchmark for writing standard within the year group.

 

This phase is developmental in nature, thus every child will have a ‘next step’ marking comment to respond to in the next lesson; this also provides time to progress the skill of editing and improving.

 

The independent application stage is recorded in their English books and is completed immediately after the innovate stage. This is where the children get to plan their own narrative, non-fiction or poetry based on the skills taught and the knowledge they have gained.

 

Invent opportunities are planned across the curriculum to give children the opportunity to showcase their talents across the curriculum and is a useful assessment tool for teaching staff. In both the independent application and invent stage, time to edit and improve their work is developed further through teaching and learning time. Children are given opportunities to publish some pieces of work.