At The Grange, we strive to promote a Writing culture and build cohesion between Phonics, Spelling, Reading and Writing. We understand that to formulate strong writers, students need to be given the materials to express their thoughts and access their full creative potential. We develop foundations of phonics, reading and spelling which in turn provide the tools to progress each child as a writer. Writing is taught daily across the school.
The aim of The Grange CP School writing approach is to:
have consistency of approach and progression through Foundation Stage to Year 6
motivate children to write encouraging them positively to experiment and improve their work
provide the children with a stimulating writing environment surrounded by print in a variety of forms and contexts
teach a full range of writing strategies, including spelling, grammar, sentence structure and composition;
reflect best-practice models and recent case studies. For example:
- Jane Considine: The Big Write http://www.thetrainingspace.co.uk/
-OUP RWInc Get Writing
To support the delivery of Writing, we utilise the Jane Considine approach to Writing – The Write Stuff. This is used from Year 1 – Year 6, ensuring consistency across the school, and it is imperative that all areas of our school cover a range of genres. The ethos behind the teaching method marries up with those of The Grange. Writing is reliant on experiences, stimulus and of modelling. The Write Stuff guides and encourages high-quality modelling through an engaging stimulus, whether this is a video, a story book or a poem. Students are immersed in the world of their Writing topic through the planned experience lessons within each Jane Considine unit, including watching penguin documentaries for a non-chronological report or a surprise visit of a dog to school to relate to a character meeting his new puppy. Through having these real-life experiences, or accessing engaging content, students become passionate, motivated, and more informed, about their Writing subject, pushing their writing forwards.
Each Jane Considine lesson is broken into three ‘learning chunks’ which follow the same format: teachers and students co-create word banks around the success criteria (a particular area of grammar, punctuation or literary device) and explore a stimulus; the teacher models an example sentence which utilises the success criteria and then, finally, the students are prepared to write their own sentences using the experiences, vocabulary and model that have been provided to them. This is known as ‘Sentence Stacking’. Though teachers are providing models, which guides and teaches pupils how to accurately formulate and develop sentences and paragraphs, The Write Stuff promotes a collaborative working environment. Students are encouraged to ‘chot’, which is a process of kindly shouting out and sharing vocabulary from a stimulus. Such practice ensures that students are part of each section of the lesson, and it promotes a classroom environment where it is safe to suggest, share and use a wide range of vocabulary.
From this, once the module is completed, students are provided with a task related to their learning which gives an opportunity for students to independently utilise what they have learnt and collected into their own piece of Writing. At The Grange, editing is a key part of Writing, and we ensure that time is provided in lessons for students to proof-read, edit and improve their Writing. We understand that some students require further support with their Writing, or the editing process, and we ensure that we use strategies such as guided writing. Teachers may also work with students on our Learning Clinics to address any misconceptions or to challenge students further.
Sharing Writing is a key element of lessons at The Grange and we aim to promote a pupil’s pride in their learning, with examples of sentences shared and celebrated in lessons. Creativity, effort and experimentation are all supported within lessons.
At The Grange, we bring unity in Writing through the implementation of whole-school Writing tasks. Across the school, we provide a shared stimulus, such as a video, and every student has the opportunity to write their own individual piece on the subject. We also ensure that the ethos and expectations of Writing are not kept within the boundaries of English lessons. Instead, we promote high standards of Writing across the curriculum, encouraging students to apply strategies and tools for Writing in all subjects. This cross-curricular writing provides further evidence for teacher moderation and widens the child’s perspective as a writer.
In the Foundation Stage, where we prepare our youngest writers for The Write Stuff in the following year, we use the Development Matters statements and the Characteristics of Effective Learning document as an assessment and planning tool. Children are encouraged to write for themselves from the very beginning as emergent writers. They are encouraged to read their own writing. Written work is valued through sharing it with both adults and peers and through display or writing for a particular purpose. The children’s understanding of the written language is developed by purposeful activity. We give the children the opportunity to produce wide-varied forms of writing for different audiences.
Further resources such as RWI in KS1 and EYFS are implemented at The Grange to develop each child’s reading, spelling, grammar and ultimately, writing.