Writing provides children with a vehicle to express who they are as people and to actively engage in daily life. Writing makes children’s thinking and learning visible and permanent. It provides children with opportunities to explain and refine their ideas to others and themselves. We know that the purpose and use of writing is wide and varied:
- To express a person’s views or feelings
- To reflect on experiences and learn from them
- As an expression of creativity
- To inspire others
- To create connections within a community
- To spread happiness and joy
- For academic and career success
- To allow others to learn from the past
Writing at St Peter’s
We teach writing daily within school and follow the ‘No Nonsense Literacy’ teaching sequences. These sequences have a focus on using high quality texts as text models and vehicles to support children with writing. These texts provide:
- something worth discussing
- rich language to explore
- national curriculum age-related structures (text and grammatical) that can be replicated to inspire pupils’ original compositions.
The teaching of writing is split into three sections.
Learning about the text
The purpose of this stage is to capture the children’s interest and help them get to know the text really well. This is through both ‘reading as a reader’ – exploring and sharing personal responses to what they read – and through ‘reading as a writer’ – recognising and investigating the features the writer uses to engage and manipulate the reader.
It often will involve some form of learning and remembering of trickier or interesting sections to be used as an initial model for writing.
Each sequence will contain some or all of:
- a hook into the text
- reading and responding to the text
- comprehension activities
- retelling the text
- talking about the text
- in role in the text/drama
- vocabulary work
- analysing the text
- grammar in context
- identifying the structure of the text
These activities often contain some element of writing to record process, outcome or learning.
During this stage, children need to try out the elements of writing they are less sure of so that they can use this experience when writing independently. This means they need opportunities to play around with the language and structures they’ve been learning about and will be supported by their teacher.
In teaching sequences, this section tends to include:
- generating ideas to write about and one idea chosen
- a shared activity to generate content for the chosen content
- recording key ideas alongside the structure of the text
- telling and talk to generate the text
- story mapping the text where necessary
Shared writing supports:
- modelling writing the text, usually in sections applying learning from the first phase
- children writing their own version of the text using the class idea
- editing writing
- proof-reading writing
Children choose their own content to write about and collect ideas. These can then be recorded on the text structure chart as one method of planning, but individual sequences may suggest a number of alternative ways to plan and organise a piece of writing.
Children write their text using proofreading and editing to improve it.
The writing is compared with the elicitation task to identify where progress has been made so that it is clear to the child.
After completing a writing unit, teachers assess children using EGG sheets. These assessments allow teachers to accurately reflect on children’s progress and plan opportunities in the future to ensure mastery of the writing curriculum.