Writing Systems

The teaching of writing

Typically, when leading to an extended piece of writing, a series of lessons are planned and taught equipping pupils with the skills and information required to independently write in a chosen text type. Teachers use a range of resources to act as a stimulus for writing; including engaging videos and pictures. However mostly writing is based around a high quality class text, which in some year groups is linked to the term’s learning topic.

When planning a series of lessons leading up to an extended piece of writing, the following learning episodes will happen:

·         The class teacher will either find or create a modelled text ‘WAGOLL’ which is the same text type as the one the children will be writing in. Pupils are then given the opportunity to become familiar with the modelled example, analysing and identifying the text type’s key features.

·         Children will complete speaking & listening/drama tasks to develop spoken language and to further familiarise themselves with the text and genre.

·         GPAS lessons will be linked with writing and to the text type. For example, if a class are writing recounts the grammar lessons that week may focus on the past tense or using time adverbials.

·         Children will then plan their writing – this may be completed as a class with the teacher, in a group, in pairs or independently; this will largely depend on the learning ability of the individual pupil.

·         Using their plans and the modelled example, children will then write their first draft. This to be supported by the use of a success criteria which is on display on the board or printed as a writing checklist for the pupils.

·         Children will then be given an opportunity to edit and improve their work. When possible, children will then write a final draft.

 

Across the school you will also see

·         Dynamic grouping to ensure that teaching responds to previous learning/errors

·         Lessons with a spelling, grammar, and punctuation focus to pick up on gaps identified from marking and other assessments e.g. termly writing assessments. In KS2, this is recorded in English books and applied in a Curriculum book within cross-curriculum writing

·         English boards in classrooms provide support for children’s learning. This will include ‘magpie’ words, GPAS help, a good writing model (WAGOLL), and aspirational vocabulary available for reference. Some classes may also provide word banks or word mats to further support pupils.

·         We also have ‘Writing Walls’ where children’s best piece of work from the previous term and their current writing target are on display. This is here for pupils to refer to and to motivate them during writing tasks.

·         For extended pieces of writing, checklists are given as success criteria: KS1 focus more on the basic writing skills (e.g. capital letters and full stops) whereas KS2 include text type-specific features.

·         Editing is an important part of writing across the school which is evident in books. Where appropriate, children edit work using a purple pen or pencil. 

Assessment

Writing is currently assessed termly using an internally agreed assessment criteria. Pupils are assessed against age-appropriate expectations in line with the new curriculum- ranging from Stage 1 to Stage 6 (each divided into Beginning, Within and Secure). Each stage contains a short list of non-negotiable standards at the top which must be demonstrated consistently by pupils in their writing before they can be assessed against that stage. Please click on the links below to see the various criteria for each year group:

Year 1 expectations  Year 2 expectations  Year 3 expectations   Year 4 expectations   Year 5 expectations

pocket punctuation

Writing interventions / additional help and support for individuals

 There is a reason why writing attainment is consistently high at our school. We value it and our curriculum gives children exciting things to write about.

Writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone and if children need a little extra help, there are lots of ways that we help them to be successful.

 EYFS

Pupils who have difficulty with fine motor control have individual activities planned to support their development in this area. Write dance is also a very popular activity for all the pupils!

KS1

  • Write from the start
  • Sounds write
  • Handwriting Rescue Scheme
  • Writing boosters (specific skills focus) and fizzy (fine motor control) clubs are run by class teachers targeting specific children when necessary

LKS2

  • Phonics Precision Teaching focussing on specific phoneme-grapheme relationships (identified individually) have been successfully used to target and improve spelling
  • Precision teaching is also being used to address individual spelling errors for identified children
  • Identified SEN children may use supporting equipment such as Neo-writers/laptops, Talk Time boards, L&S Sound mats

UKS2

  • TAs are directed to work with small focus groups outside literacy /writing lessons, either before or after a teaching sequence, on key skills that are required
  • Longer independent pieces of writing may be completed following group planning, drafting activities with adult support

 Higher ability writers

Higher ability writers are challenged in the following ways:

  • Contributing to and use of vocabulary on display in classrooms
  • High expectation shown through planning, target setting and marking feedback
  • Developing writing targets with the teacher, practice independently and demonstrate that they are striving for their personal best
  • Alongside the 5Bs, pupils can provide a buddy service whereby they support and advise other pupils in developing their next steps