Writing

Devices

Vision

We believe the ability to write is vital in order to live in the modern world. That words are a powerful exchange of thinking between reader and writer. Words illuminate sentences and it is our duty to help children discover new vocabulary, so they can make meaning precise.

Good writing is carved from clear thinking. Our goal is to equip all children with the necessary knowledge to write their ideas with clarity and coherence. Our structured approach provides opportunities for them to capture both factual and imaginative ideas and record these ideas fluently in both formal and informal styles.

Our children are sentence stealers as well as word thieves. By combining the use of inspirational texts and quality first teaching, we model how to emulate what they see, sentence by sentence, enabling them to become proficient independent authors of their own writing.

Early Writing

Our children develop their early writing alongside our synthetic approach to phonics, using Read Write Inc.

Establishing fine motor control and correct letter formation is paramount for children to free up vital working memory, enabling them to focus on content.  During Early Years, children access fine motor activities during continuous provision and taught sessions alongside regular teacher-led letter formation development.

Similarly, early spelling places a significant load on working memory. To enable children to reach the primary goal of communicating their ideas effectively, it is important to minimise the extraneous load of spelling. Our children, therefore, are encouraged and supported in spelling both phonetically regular and high frequency irregular words correctly as early as possible. Our staff minimise the ingraining of incorrect high frequency words through quality first teaching and short keep up sessions.

The focus and status we place on developing handwriting and spelling sits alongside our desire to help every child believe in themselves as writers and enjoy the writing process. Our positive staff model that process, carefully picking up on errors outlined above, whilst encouraging phonetically plausible attempts at other words.

Plots, Intense & Intensity

We believe a rich reading curriculum that actively promotes a love of book must sit alongside an explicitly taught writing curriculum to develop effective communicators. We use quality books that provide a rich source of ideas and vocabulary to inspire storylines for writing. When planning to write, children need to ‘see’ the whole picture of what they are trying to create. They need support to move from visualising to writing. To do this, we help children identify common story plots and demonstrate how to use these to plan and build narratives. The children are supported in developing the highs and lows of narrative structures and shown how to make powerful language choices that will bring a story to life. This deliberate teaching of writing leads to confident independent writers.

Handwriting & Spelling

Our belief that fluent spelling and handwriting is key to freeing up the working memory permeates our curriculum from the early years and beyond. The Read Write Inc. programme ensures children have daily direct handwriting and spelling teaching. This sets the foundation on which children can build upon. Daily taught spelling sessions through the remainder of the primary years and handwriting sessions until year 4, ensure children develop their transcription knowledge.

Ideas

To move towards skilled construction of sentences and texts, children must first be supported in identifying and developing their ideas for writing. We do this explicitly by providing real and imagined experiences. We show children how to first ‘notice’ ideas, then select vocabulary that will build vivid images in the reader’s mind. We use nine key idea icons that help children to develop their thoughts, contexts, content and then vocabulary that capture their ideas for writing.

Independent Writing

Following the systematic building of writing knowledge through strong, incremental modelling, children are fully equipped to craft a piece of independent writing. This writing reflects the story plot or nonfiction shape that has been demonstrated during taught sessions. Regular independent writing enables children write for differing audiences, purposes and levels of formality so that they can become confident, effective communicators.

Structures & Devices

After first conjuring ideas for writing, children must then be confident in selecting grammatical structures to convey their ideas effectively. We believe the best way to show children this, is by modelling very closely how writing is constructed through the discussion and explanation of why one grammatical structure may be preferable to another. When modelling writing, teachers connect grammar to stylistic devices. Children are shown how these literary techniques can be used as a powerful descriptive tool. To ensure clarity, focus and deliberate selection of these structures and devices when writing, we link knowledge of structures and devices to symbols.

Assessment

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Writing @ wldps

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Devices

Year 1

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Year 6

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