How We Teach Writing
Writing is taught using ‘Talk 4 Writing’ teaching and learning strategies. A unit of work starts with a ‘cold task’. This allows teachers to identify and plan for areas for development in children’s writing, targeting either the whole class or individual children. The ‘Talk for Writing’ process starts with children internalising the language of the model text and to think about the key ingredients that make a text work. Children use the ‘boxing up’ technique to help them understand the structure and to create a ‘toolkit for the type of text that they are studying.’ They then innovate on the pattern of the text, where the focus is on shared writing which helps the children to write their own by ‘doing one together’. In this way, teachers are able to model a range of writing skills such as how to select the appropriate words and phrases and how to develop sentences. The ‘shared write’ is displayed on a ‘washing line’ in the classroom and provides another model for the children to follow. Daily assessment of the children’s writing allows teachers and LSA’s to support children through the writing process and to identify areas that require further teaching. Finally, the children write a ‘hot task’, which gives them an opportunity to complete an extended piece of writing where they can demonstrate what they have learnt and for the teacher to assess their progress.
Throughout the writing process, children are also taught how to revise and edit their work and are encouraged to take responsibility for how they can improve their writing. The teaching of grammar is embedded in the ‘Talk for Writing’ process as well as being taught in discrete lessons. Clear, legible, joined handwriting is taught throughout the school and whilst children are developing their handwriting they write using books which are printed with ‘tram lines’. Spelling is also taught systematically throughout the school through the literacy framework objectives and intervention programmes for some children. Children are encouraged to discuss a wide range of subjects orally and to express themselves clearly in speech and writing.
How teachers support children to develop their writing
- Expose children to high level texts covering a range of genres and authors.
- Provide opportunities for children to analyse ‘the tools’ that authors use to create high quality texts.
- Develop language through reading and make links to writing.
- Continuously make links between reading and writing.
- Ensure that children recognise the importance that planning, revising and editing play in creating quality writing.
KS2 Writing Mastery
We aim for all children to achieve mastery in their writing skills and this means that a child is to demonstrate the following:
- Children are actively engaged in their writing – they can talk about their writing and the writing process and can identify their own targets to develop their writing to a higher level.
- Children can read their writing through and identify how to improve it through editing and revising.
- Children use the knowledge and skills that they have learnt in grammar, punctuation and reading lessons in their writing.
- Children plan effectively to develop their ideas and then use their plan to write appropriately.
- Children apply all their writing skills consistently across the curriculum.
- Children constantly strive to improve the quality of their writing.
- Children are willing to take risks with new ideas (e.g. punctuation, language, text and sentence structure) to develop their writing.
- Children are able to write at length independently.
How teachers facilitate the children being able to be masters of their own learning in writing
- Provide opportunities for discussion about writing skills and the writing process.
- Provide children with opportunities to write independently at length across the curriculum.
- Create a learning environment that encourages risk-taking to develop writing.
- Provide sufficient time for children to edit and revise their writing independently before teacher marking.
- Provide opportunities for peer assessment.
- Plan for discussion between children and adults on how writing can be improved.