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Green Hammerton Church of England Primary School

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Writing at Green Hammerton

Writing at Green Hammerton Primary School

Intent

At Green Hammerton Primary School we believe that by providing children with a multitude of real and exciting stimuli, we will inspire them to become confident, capable and enthusiastic writers. We encourage children to read their work for enjoyment, to read it aloud to others and provide an audience for writing. They will use writing to express themselves and communicate with others and will write independently for a range of purposes. They will reflect on their own and others’ writing and have an understanding that writing has a real purpose and that word choice and style can bring about change.

 

Implementation

In EYFS and KS1 we use an approach to writing called Talk for Writing.  Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing encourages the children to talk about their ideas and the key features of different genres. The children learn texts using visual text maps as a prompt and then practice the texts by incorporating drama and games.  They then ‘box up’ the text which acts as a plan for later independent writing.  In this plan they are able to ‘magpie’ ideas from the original text that they would like to include in their own writing later in the week. 

Following this, the children are then encouraged to change aspects of the original text to produce a new piece of writing.  Again, the same procedure is followed; text map, boxing up, magpie key words and phrases, identifying key features etc.

In the final week of a unit, it is hoped that the children will have a secure knowledge of the genre and be able to produce a piece of work entirely independently.  Thus system is reliant on the use of high-quality model texts that exemplify the vocabulary and language features that we wish the children to learn and apply in their own writing. 

 

EYFS

In EYFS, the children begin to learn the actions to stories that they listen to. They are able to follow a story map and will quite often begin to attempt their own story maps.  Children will also encounter writing experiences outside of the Talk for Writing process.  They have opportunities to write each day using dedicated areas of provision linked the wider class themes and topics.  

 

Key Stage One

Children begin the Talk for Writing process by internalising a text. This is done in a range of ways including text maps, inventing actions for parts of the text and drama. The children learn the text by heart. They are able to identify key features of the text, sometimes independently and other times as a group or class.

Following on from this, the children then have to imitate the text they have learnt. They may make simple changes to the original text to alter it slightly. Once they have internalised the reworked text, they then have to ‘box up’. This simply helps them to organise their ideas and acts as a plan for their writing towards the end of the week.

The final part of the Talk for Writing process is innovation. Over the previous weeks the children will have been equipped with the skills required for inventing their own text from beginning to end. They will come up with their own ideas and be able to box them up. They will then be able to produce an independent piece of writing showcasing their text.

 

Key Stage Two

Teaching of writing in Key Stage Two follows a similar, more advanced approach, using the Write Time teaching and learning model.  This system relies on the children internalising, imitating and innovating on the text structures they are learning, in a similar manner to the Talk for Writing model.  Children, again, identify key features of the text they are learning and think about the key ingredients they will need to include in their own work.  Children broaden their vocabulary by learning new words that they encounter in model texts and then have opportunities to use this vocabulary in their own writing.  A writer toolkit is built during each unit of work, including learning about grammatical structures appropriate to the genre, with children being given opportunities to practise new skills.  Over the course of the unit, children are encouraged to share ideas and others can ‘magpie’ both from each other and from model texts.  They draft and re-draft their work using comments from their peers and teachers.  

The most important factor in both the Talk for Writing and Write Time models is that each stage is heavily guided and modelled in the early stages of each unit by the teacher and other adults. This gives the children the necessary tools they need to become confident writers of any genre.  As a unit progresses, the level of independence increases but with still the opportunity to model writing skills for the whole class, small groups or individuals, as required. 

 

Cross Curricular Writing Opportunities

At Green Hammerton Primary School, we believe that writing is a key skill for life both inside and out of education and that is why it features across all the subjects taught across our school. Our aim is to provide children with key transferrable writing skills to build on year on year, that can be used throughout each phase of their education and prepare them for secondary school.  

 

Spelling

Teaching of spelling in EYFS and KS1 is closely linked with the teaching of phonics.  Children learn new phonemes in the phonics lessons and then practice spelling words that contain these phonemes.  Once the children reach Year 2, they will have be taught during a daily spelling lesson.  These lessons build on and apply the work completed in phonics and allow the children to learn new ways of spelling phonemes that have multiple spellings.  They will also learn to spell common exception words. 

Children in Key Stage 2 are taught spelling patterns and rules in discrete spelling lessons.  They learn the spelling patterns and rules as detailed in the national curriculum.  Children also have regular timetabled spelling practise, focusing on the words and spelling patterns being learned each week.   

All children are taught to:

  • Spell accurately and identify reasons for mis-spellings;
  • Proof-read their spellings;
  • Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills;
  • Use dictionaries and thesauruses. 

 

Handwriting

It is paramount that children are rigorously taught correct letter formation from the very beginning of their time in school.  During the foundation stage at Green Hammerton Primary School, the children are taught to sit properly in order to have the correct posture for writing, hold a pencil in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style.  From KS1, the school adopts a cursive handwriting style.  Teachers are expected to role model the school’s handwriting style when marking children’s work and writing on the board.

 

Impact

Assessment in writing is ongoing as teachers carry out in-depth assessment of children’s writing at the end of each unit, and highlight the age-related outcomes that have been achieved.

Progress across classes is closely monitored by the subject leader and senior leadership team.  Monitoring will include regular book looks, lesson observations, gathering evidence of good practice, pupil voice interviews, looking at data on our assessment tracking system and regular learning walks.

The findings of this monitoring will be used to inform next steps for the children and the implementation of writing across the school as a whole. 

The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work. By the end of Key Stage 2 children have developed a writer’s craft, they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect.  As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation. 

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