Writing is a vital part of Literacy that helps children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively whilst being able to communicate with others effectively.
We teach writing in a progressive manner from EYFS to Year 6 with our key aims in writing being;
- To use a wide variety of writing styles and genres, so pupils can communicate effectively in written forms.
- To practise their handwriting and other presentational skills.
In early years we aim to create a community of writers through developing a literacy rich environment where a wide variety of purposeful contexts for writing are provided.
We always begin with the pupils interests and model writing, scribing stories for pupils so that they can begin to think about what they’d like to communicate through writing even before they are able to write the words themselves. At this early stage we are already developing and understanding of purpose (do they want to make someone laugh or explain something?) and audience (is this story or letter for a favourite character or family member?)
We teach the fine motor control necessary, in their arm, wrist, hand and fingers to hold a pencil effectively, controlling its movement to eventually form the letters they have learnt through phonics. As the pupils begin to use letter-sound relationships for writing, they begin to segment words to spell as well as writing an increasing number of high frequency words which are essential for fluent writing. Daily Talk for Writing sessions enable pupils to expand their vocabulary whilst also understanding story structure, challenging themselves to use new vocabulary whilst also organising their ideas using their knowledge of different texts.
In Year 1 we follow the Talk for Writing approach. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Fun and exciting activities (text maps) are used to rehearse the pattern of the language needed for a particular style of writing. The children then write sentences suited to that particular style of text. The planning stage then involves the children writing their own text map and finally the children end the unit by writing their own piece of writing.
In Year 2, we follow a topic based genre approach. We start a unit of work by immersing the children in the genre by giving them good quality examples and they read these to find the features of the text type. Time is then spent looking at the sentence level features of the text type and children practice writing their own sentences. This preparation then gives the children the ideas and skills needed to write their own piece of writing at the end of a unit. Genres such as explanation texts and instructions are also taught through a cross-curricular approach in science.
In KS2 writing is taught through a whole book approach. The teachers select the best teaching approaches (role-play, drama, shared writing, Independent writing and critique) to explore high quality texts in depth, enhancing reading skills and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing.
Children learn to ‘read as a reader’ in reading lessons where they take part in book talk sessions around a text. In these sessions, we try to promote a love of reading. This process is then continued through to the planning stage where children learn to ‘read as a writer’ where we aim to find high quality examples (A WAGOLL – what a good one looks like) of sentence level work that the children can then ‘magpie’ for their own work. Children also have quality time to plan their ideas. The final stage involves children ‘writing as a reader’, where they try to recreate high quality writing based on the models that they have been looking at. This part of the process involves critique from peers and adults to help the children to up-level and improve their work.