At Bulford St Leonard's CofE Primary School, our aim is to provide high quality writing instruction to ensure every child develops a strong command of the spoken and written word.
- Use high quality texts and models to enable pupils to accurately choose grammar, vocabulary and punctuation which is effective for both audience and purpose
- Make the planning, drafting, writing and editing stages of writing explicit so that children experience ‘live’ the choices a writer makes
- Provide children with the Ideas, tools and techniques for writing so that they are able to communicate their own ideas
- Make connections where relevant between writing units and the big questions and non- core subjects to enrich and layer learning
- Ensure that pupils are taught a range of genres across the school which means they can communicate their learning appropriately
- Develop a consistent approach to teaching writing in order to close gaps and ensure that all children leave in year 6 being able to write effectively
We believe that having ideas, understanding how to use grammatical constructs to turn these ideas into meaning, and bringing this meaning to life through authorial language choice are essential in enabling children to communicate effectively. We ensure children are immersed in a flourishing environment that values speaking, listening and the development of language as a vital part of the writing process. We use Jane Considine’s The Write Stuff methodology to ensure pupils are explicitly taught the craft of writing.
Learning to Write
Teaching sequences include experience days and sentence stacking lessons, that have modelling at the heart of them.
Sentences are taught under the structural framework of The Writing Rainbow teachers prepare children for writing by modelling for the ideas, grammar or techniques of writing
The Ideas of Writing
Feeling, asking, noticing, touching, action, smelling, tasting, imagining and checking
The Grammar of Writing:
- Adverbials and adverbial forms
Basics (word classes)
Dialogue and contracted forms
Structure and style
Passive or Active voice
Past and present tense
The Techniques of Writing
*KS1, KS2 all
Simile*, alliteration*, rhyme*, onomatopoeia*, repetition*, personification, pun, symbolism, pathetic fallacy and metaphor
- Experience lessons stimulate ideas, and are used thoughtfully to further generate ideas and vocabulary for writing
- Each Sentence Stacking lesson is organised into three learning chunks to stimulate, model and enable pupils to build clear and progressively rich language alongside contextualised application of specific writing objectives
- Each sentence stacking lesson is based around another ‘plot point’ for narrative, or part of the ‘shape’ for non-fiction genres
- Initiate: teacher shares a stimulus e.g. Film clip picture, drama; word gathering and discussion; ‘chotting’ – pupils chat and jot words they want to use in their exercise books/whiteboards
- Modelling: the teacher does demonstration writing, explicitly explaining choices of words etc, using 2-3 lenses from the Writing Rainbow, modelling thesaurus thinking – to write three sentences, using vocabulary gathered in the initiate stage
- Enable: Being clear about the sentence idea, the children are then asked to write their sentences sticking to the clear criteria. The children have their ‘chottings’ to support their word choices.
- For every sentence written: children need to think about the IDEA of writing and the INTENT – e.g. positive or negative – that will affect word choice
Pupils apply their learning from the sentence stacking lessons to a new task based around the text/genre. They plan, choose lenses from the writing rainbow and write independently, using the vocabulary they have gathered, and examples of sentences structures and generic features they have learnt. Pupils are given the opportunity to practice writing in a range of styles and genres.
During the Independent Write it is crucial that children’s errors or amendments are highlighted directly but in a way that expects the children to use their knowledge and understanding to address. The final part of the writing process looks at revision of what has been crafted.
The suggested approach is to interrogate the writing in three ways. Teachers use this code to encourage pupils to edit their work:
- E1 = Revise - spelling, punctuation
- E2= Rewrite i.e. a *sentence is re-written by the child (no guidance is given regarding why it needs a rewrite)
- E3= Re-imagine ...tell me more- write additional sentences or sentences
Pupils have to check their work and make decisions about what needs to be revised, rewritten or reimagined.
Support and Challenge:
The use of a visual narrative or shape map in the classroom for sentence stacking lessons, the structured explicit nature of those lessons, and the writing rainbow supports weaker writers. More able writers are encouraged to ‘deepen the moment’, and to extend detail or make independent choices in the sentence stacking lessons and in independent work, using their knowledge of the writing rainbow.
Spellings, punctuation and grammar
In year 2, once pupils have passed the PSC and are fluent readers, they then join KS2 in using the Spelling Shed programme. This is used as an effective and fully comprehensive approach that targets reading patterns of spelling, the etymology and morphology of words and develops pupils’ spelling knowledge progressively.
From Year 2 up – new PAG knowledge is taught in discrete lessons, in line with progression documents. Within writing lessons, PAG knowledge is revised and consolidated in context
From EYFS pupils are taught how to hold a pencil and to use the Little Wandle letter formation to be able to print words. Pupils throughout the school are encouraged to take pride in their presentation.
- Pupils can write effectively to engage with the reader and apply their learning from exposure to a range of high quality models.
- Pupils are accurate and creative writers who have increasing stamina for writing
- Children can draw on a range of Ideas, tools and techniques for writing so that they are able to communicate their own ideas AND apply these in reading
- Pupils can effectively articulate their knowledge in other subject areas through the accurate use of writing skills
- Pupils can confidently write using the features, vocabulary and structure of each genre
- Pupils achieve the age-related expectations for writing, and those that find writing challenging are given focused support to help them catch up.