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Writing

Introduction

Successful writing depends upon the talk and the reading that precedes it. We believe pleasure and interest breeds success.

 

We aim for pupils to:

  • write with confidence and fluency;

  • enjoy writing for themselves and others;

  • write for a variety of purposes and audiences;

  • write in a range of forms;

  • become authors rather than merely writers;

  • use new and interesting words and phrases as well as adventurous words and language choices.

 

Approaches to Writing

Teachers provide opportunities for children to develop their writing through modelling and sharing writing, in response to a variety of activities across the curriculum. Children will learn how to write in a variety of style, for example: stories, recounts, poems, diaries, letters, lists, labels, captions, invitations, notices and instructions.

 

Early Stages – Emergent Writing

From Reception onwards, children are encouraged to experiment with writing materials. The role-play areas are a crucial part in emergent writing experiences. In Reception, children develop phonic knowledge and speaking and listening skills. As the children become ready, opportunities are planned for them to participate in a small guided writing group work, where they are encouraged to apply their knowledge of phonics and familiar words to communicate their ideas. Emergent writing is monitored and assessed for letter and sound correspondence, and activities are introduced to develop understanding.

 

Talk for Writing

Talk for writing offers a scaffolded approach to teaching writing, equipping children with a ‘writer’s toolkit’ and storytelling formulae, with proven significant impact on attainment in writing. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they apply it in their own writing. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in a range of styles. Children will add sentence patterns to their own ‘writer’s toolkit’ e.g. ‘Once upon a time there was…who…’

  

The Process

Imitation:

A Talk-for-Writing unit begins with ‘talking a text’, using drama, and supported visually by a story map, children retell a story/text.

 

Performing the story (relating the story to the meaning):

  • which elements should be quick/slow?

  • where do we need a dramatic pause?

  • where might a whisper/expressive voice be appropriate?

  • which bits will we all do together/all boys voices/all girls voices/solos?

  • how are we going to stand/move?

 

Mapping the Story (a form of writing):

Teachers first create a whole class story map. This can also be used to plan variations in voice and can include words e.g. adjectives. Following this, children can create their own maps. Once they have internalised the language of the text, they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the key ingredients that help to make it work. In this way the class starts to co-construct a toolkit for this type of text so that they can talk about the ingredients themselves.

 

Innovation

Once the children have internalized the text, they are then ready to start innovating, retaining the pattern of the text. Younger children and less confident writers alter their text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say, creating their own version

 

Innovation- 3 levels of complexity:

  1. Substitution –changing words, characters, aspects of setting.

  2. Addition – embellishments e.g. adjectives.

  3. Alterations – in ways that change the course of events.

 

The key activity in this stage is shared writing, helping the children to write their own by “doing one together” first to showing how to plan the text and then turning the plan into writing. Throughout the shared writing, the children should be strengthening their toolkit so they start to understand the type of ingredients they need for a given genre. Once they have finished their own writing, children will share their work with an adult, partner, or the class and be given time to edit their work in light of discussions.

Talk for Writing Video Banks
Year R - Story and nursery rhyme characters from the books used during their time at Trafalgar.
Year 1 - Story language, settings and conjunctions
Year 2 - Language for non-fiction writing and useful adverbs

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

We a adopt contextualised approach to teaching spelling, punctuation and grammar, integrating it into the curriculum and teaching it through the use of familiar/topic texts, rather than teaching it in isolation.

 

Spelling

Most of us, even if we consider ourselves to be good spellers, make spelling mistakes at some point. What is important is that we know what to do when we get stuck and we know how to correct our mistakes. At school, our children learn the rules, conventions and spelling strategies needed to become confident at spelling.

 

Here are some of the strategies that will help your child become a confident and accurate speller:

  • Sounding words out: breaking the word down into phonemes (e.g. c-a-t, sh-e-ll) Many words cannot be sounded out so other strategies are needed;
  • Using the Look, say, cover, write, check strategy: look at the word and say it out loud, then cover it, write it and check to see if it is correct. If not, highlight or underline the incorrect part and repeat the process;
  • Dividing the word into syllables, say each syllable as they write the word (e.g. re-mem- ber);
  • Using mnemonics as an aid to memorising a tricky word (e.g. people: people eat orange peel like elephants; could: O U lucky duck);
  • Finding words within words (e.g. a rat in separate);
  • Making links between the meaning of words and their spelling (e.g. sign, signal, signature) – this strategy is used at a later stage than others;
  • Using a dictionary as soon as they know how to.

 

By the end of KS1, children are expected to be:

 

Demarcating most sentences with full stops and capital letters, and some use of ? and !

Using sentences of different forms in writing

Using some expanded noun phrases to describe and specify.

Use present and past tense mostly correctly and consistently.

Using co-ordination and some subordination.

Segmenting spoken words and spelling many graphemes correctly.

Spell many common exception words.

Spell some words with contracted forms.

Adding suffixes to spell some words correctly.

Using diagonal and horizontal strokes to join some of their writing.

Forming capital letters and digits in the correct direction and size.

Using spacing between words.

 

For more information, please see the attached documents: