WRITING - Writing for Pleasure
The Writing for Pleasure programme of study and pedagogy we have embedded at Sherrier matches the expectations of The EYFS Statutory Framework, Development Matters, The National Curriculum for England and The Standards & Testing Agency’s Teacher Assessment Frameworks. It is also written to fully align with Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework. We want this programme to allow children to become extraordinary writers, and we want the greater-depth standard to be the standard. Therefore, writing will be central to everything we do. Firstly, it involves children and teachers writing together every single day. Children at Sherrier will write for many different purposes, and for a variety of audiences. They will be moved to write about what they are most knowledgeable and passionate about. They will also write to deepen their responses and understandings of what they read. They will write to transform their own (and others) thinking about what they learn in the wider curriculum subjects. Children will write to entertain, to paint with words, to persuade and share opinions, to teach others, to make a record of things they don’t want to forget, and to reflect on their own thoughts and personal experiences. Children will write about themselves and their cultures. They will also write to reflect and sustain the cultures of people they might not have met. They will share their writing and discuss their development with their peers, teachers and caregivers. They will learn how to live the writer’s life. Pupils will explore new genres of writing through whole class writing projects. Together, children will discuss the purpose of the writing project, explore its basic features, and study mentor texts together. Whilst doing this, children will consider who they would like to write their pieces for and what they would like to write about most. Students will be taught how to use the same features and expert techniques they identified from the mentor texts in their own compositions. They will learn how to attend to their spellings, handwriting, grammar, and sentence construction. This will help them write happily and fluently. Pupils will also learn a whole host of craft knowledge – called craft moves. This includes writerly strategies and techniques for negotiating the writing processes. Children will know how they can take a germ of an idea and see it through to publication independently and successfully. Students will be supported by providing them with clear processes and ambitious writing goals. They will be given ample time and instruction in how to plan and how to improve on what they have already written through specific revision and proof-reading sessions. Pupils will receive daily in-the-moment verbal feedback and responsive assessment-based individualised instruction through teacher-pupil conferencing. These conversations are designed to push the writer and move their writing forward. Pupils will be given many opportunities to discuss their compositions with their teachers and their peers. At least one hour a day will be devoted to the explicit teaching of writing and children will write meaningfully for a sustained period every single day. At Sherrier, we believe this is the only way they can learn about the discipline of writing and of being a writer. Across the school day, children will also write about their reading and will write in response to their learning in other subjects. Importantly, we will also have access to personal writing journals which travel freely between home and school. We want children to live the writer’s life and to be in a constant state of composition. We have created genuine writing communities in classrooms. Children will write in positive and enthusiastic writing environments, which are headed up by passionate writer-teachers. Classrooms feel like creative writing workshops and professional publishing houses: they are rigorous, highly organised and reassuringly consistent. Pupils are encouraged to take risks and to be innovative, but also to write with focus and serious intent. Teaching is adapted depending on what individual children need instruction in most. Whether they are in Nursery or Year Six and regardless of where they are in their development or experience, all children will be treated as writers and helped not only to write pieces which are successful in terms of the objectives of the curriculum, but also meaningful to them as young authors.
In order to help us to develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, our teaching of writing is often cross circular and linked to our class topics. This provides our children with regular opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Writing tasks are specific and meaningful, and often meet a purpose to engage children and to illustrate how their writing skills can be applied to real life contexts. At Sherrier we use the Talk for Writing approach. Talk for Writing has three key phases which work together to develop knowledge, confidence and independence in writing: 1. Imitation We usually like to start our Talk for Writing units with a ‘wow’ starter which fires up the creativity and imagination of the children before they immerse themselves in the model text. During this phase the children learn a model text using actions and story maps. The key to success for the children is that they internalise the text type through repetition and rehearsal. They explore the structure of the narrative and investigate the different characters, settings and events. They also begin to look closely at the language used and the effect this has on the reader. We call this process ‘read as a writer’. The classroom becomes a dynamic, interactive resource filled with word ideas, sentence types and language tools collected by the children to use in their stories later. 2. Innovation. During this phase the teacher and the children begin to change aspects of the model text using their own ideas. They explore the text using different characters, settings or events and new ideas for descriptive language whilst sticking closely to the underlying structure. It is during this phase that the children work using their toolkits. The toolkits, based on the features and ingredients of the model text, remind children of the different strategies they could use in their stories and helps them to see the progress they are making. 3. Invention. During the invent sessions the children plan and write their own story based on the text type they have been learning. They experiment with the ideas and begin to explore their own style of writing using sentence types from the model text. Children learn spellings at home each week and these are tested in school. Additionally, spelling is taught daily in Key Stage 1, in Phonics lessons, and daily in Key Stage 2 through the Spelling Shed programme. Children who need additional support with spelling receive a variety of interventions that are tailored to address their gaps. Spelling is a set of conventions that represent phonemic orthography: language in its written form. We strive for our children to spell accurately in order to convey meaning accurately for their reader. Reading for meaning is a national priority. We understand that to improve reading for meaning, we must support children’s reading fluency. Accuracy, constituting as one of three key components to fluent reading, is achieved through effective teaching of systematic synthetic phonics. Children need to be able to read between 95% - 98% of words to activate better reading comprehension (Schmitt et al., 2011). Therefore, with these principles in mind, we feel this continuous phonics provision interwoven throughout our spelling curriculum will greatly improve vocabulary acquisition. Word reading and spelling are 'reversible processes' (Rose, 2006, cited by DfE, 2021). This is why, for across the primary phase, spellings of Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary will be taught with a phonetic focus in conjunction with syllabic and spelling patterns whilst also exploring the mechanics of words (etymology, morphology, lexemes and how words can be used to manipulate syntax). This will allow children to embed the application of their phonics skills when learning to use and spell vocabulary accurately, thus, broadening pupils' overall vocabulary by the end of KS2. The educationalist Alan Peat devised a number of sentence types which have been proven to enhance progress and attainment in children’s writing. We teach these throughout the school, beginning in year 1 with “2A sentences” (sentences that contain two adjectives before a noun) and culminating in Year 6 with the “Noun, who, which, where sentence” (a sentence with an embedded relative clause).
Over time, children learn how to work within, and contribute to, a community of writers. Children become increasingly skilful in keeping a writer’s notebook and living the writer’s life at home and at school. As their knowledge surrounding the purposes of writing increases, so does their skill in combining, manipulating and subverting them. Children become more self-regulating, skilful and adaptable in their use of the different writing processes, including how they generate ideas, plan, draft, revise, edit, publish and perform their writing intentions. Children are able to apply more writerly techniques and become skilful in discerning which will be most appropriately applied. Children’s ability and skill to proofread, use a dictionary, and use other spell-checking devices increases over time. This means fewer errors find their way through to publication. Children’s ability to use a thesaurus skilfully increases over time. Children’s ability to use a variety of writing materials and word processing technology increases over time. Children will have a wealth of writing, both in their writing portfolios and their personal notebooks, from their whole time in school. Children will have their own established writing process, strategies and routines for producing successful, meaningful and accurate writing. They will have artefacts and memories of the impact their published and performed writing has had on the local community and beyond. Children know how to successfully live a writer’s life after leaving school. If they wanted or needed to, they could live the writer’s life for economic reasons (knowing how to write with authority, daring and originality is great currency). They could decide to live the writer’s life for political or civic reasons – sharing their knowledge and opinions with clarity and imagination. We also hope they would write for personal reasons – as an act of reflection or record keeping. Finally, we would want them to know how to write for reasons of pure pleasure and recreation – feeling a sense of joy and accomplishment in sharing their artistry, identity and knowledge with others in ways that are profound and confident.
At Sherrier (and throughout the Multi Academy Trust) we assess writing based on National Curriculum standards. We have devised writing tick sheets which have been streamlined across the MAT, therefore making the moderation process clear to all members of staff across the trust. Teachers are aware of entry points and exit points, as well as the ‘whole picture’ each child paints as they transition throughout primary.
SEND in English
1. Scaffolding Support could be visual, verbal, or written. Writing frames, partially completed examples, knowledge organisers, essay prompts, bookmarks, structure strips, sentence starters can all be useful. Reminders of what equipment is needed for each lesson and classroom routines can be useful. Scaffolding discussion of texts: promoting prediction, questioning, clarification and summarising 2. Explicit Instruction Worked examples with the teacher modelling self-regulation and thought processes is helpful. A teacher might teach a pupil a strategy for summarising a paragraph by initially ‘thinking aloud’ while identifying the topic of the paragraph to model this process to the pupil. They would then give the pupil the opportunity to practise this skill. Using visual aids and concrete examples promotes discussion and links in learning. 3. Cognitive and Metacognitive Strategies Chunking the task will support pupils with SEND – this may be through provision of checklists, instructions on a whiteboard or providing one question at a time. This helps reduce distractions to avoid overloading working memory. Prompt sheets that help pupils to evaluate their progress, with ideas for further support. 4. Flexible Grouping Allocating temporary groups can allow teachers to set up opportunities for collaborative learning, for example to read and analyse source texts, complete graphic organisers, independently carry out a skill, remember a fact, or understand a concept. Pre-teaching key vocabulary, using the Frayer Model is a useful technique here. 5. Use Technology Use a visualiser to model worked examples. Technology applications, such as online quizzes can prove effective. Speech generating apps to enable note-taking and extended writing can be helpful. Children with SEND or have English as an additional language are supported in the following ways: They start with a simplified writing process of planning, drafting and publishing. Publishing is undertaken by an adult helper on the child’s behalf if requested. They are encouraged to plan using storytelling, drawing, talk and picture book making. They are encouraged to make picture books which try to match the quality of the commercial picture books found in the classroom and school libraries. Over time, they are moved towards conventional planning, dabbling, revising and basic editing. They regularly write alongside an adult who is also writing. They receive a greater frequency of pupil-conferencing. They have personal project books and they are encouraged to take these to and from school. They set themselves regular personal writing targets. These are then added to their ‘can do’ list.
For further information about our Writing curriculum please follow the links below
Exciting Resources and Websites
Spelling and Handwriting
At Sherrier, we want children to be able to concentrate on the content and fluency of their writing, rather than having to be concerned about their spelling and handwriting. We have invested in whole school schemes for these, ‘Spelling Shed’ and ‘Penpals’ respectively.
Students will continue to build on the firm foundations built whilst studying phonics in their early years of education. They will continue to break down spellings into the smallest units of sound and cluster them into syllables in order to read and write words efficiently. Through adult-led discussion and investigation children will become more secure in their knowledge of English orthography based on the frequency and position of the sounds within words. Children will study words; word parts; their meanings and how this affects spelling. There are lessons throughout the scheme that consolidate children’s knowledge of common morphemes such as root formations, prefixes and suffixes. Most lessons in the scheme include an etymology element that allows educators to teach the children about the origin of the words that they are learning about. Children will be able to see how the English language has, over time, borrowed and integrated words and spellings from a range of source languages. For example, the latinate verbs which follow Latin prepositions in English words such as: -act (do), -pute (think) or -opt (choose).
Penpals for Handwriting is a complete handwriting scheme for 3–11-year-olds that offers clear progression through five developmental stages: physical preparation for handwriting; securing correct letter formation; beginning to join along, securing the joins and practicing speed, fluency and developing a personal style. Penpals is focused on whole-class teaching using digital resources to enable modelling and interactive learning, along with Practice Books and Workbooks to support independent work. The Foundation content is in line with the EYFS Framework and the Year 1–6 content supports frequent, discrete and direct teaching of handwriting for 5–11-year-olds, as required by National Curriculum 2014. Penpals supports all UK curricula and Cambridge International Primary English curriculum.