At Manor we view the acquisition of language skills to be of the utmost importance and so the teaching of all aspects of English is given high priority. Writing is integral to our children’s whole language experience; it is a crucial part of thinking and learning. This policy outlines the purpose, nature and management of the teaching of writing at Manor. It states how we deliver the writing elements of the English National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage.
At Manor, we aim for ALL our children to become confident, fluent and effective writers who are able to use a wide range of writing tools and skills that are taught and developed through their journey with us.
At Manor, we ensure that all children see themselves as a writer. We follow ‘The Write Stuff’ style of teaching writing introduced by the teacher, author and education consultant Jane Considine. This style of teaching writing is used from Year 1 through to Year 6.
"The Write Stuff"
"The Write Stuff" brings clarity to the mechanics of writing and provides clear systems through which to focus the writer’s attention.
The combination of fiction and non-fiction units we have carefully selected to follow provide children with the experience of a wide range of high quality texts and authors.
In our lessons teachers follow a repeated pattern of three "learning chunks" :
‘Initiate’, ‘Model’ and ‘Enable’.
Initiate: In this stage children are given a stimulus (picture, video, artefact, page from a book etc) and asked to discuss and jot down a specific group of words that have been asked for that will be useful later in the lesson e.g. synonyms of the word happy. Any teaching of key skills will be explicitly taught here too.
Model: At this point in the lesson the teacher will use the words discussed and jotted down earlier to model an effective sentence using some of the key skills taught earlier in the lesson. Children will be asked to spot key features used and asked why it is an effective sentence.
Enable: Here, children are given the opportunity to create their own sentence based on a set of criteria (e.g. write a sentence about how Bob was feeling using a simile). For children who find writing challenging they can stick close to the teachers model sentence and change some parts of this or extend it slightly. Most children will use part of the model sentence or the idea behind the model sentence to create their own version which has little resemblence to the original model. Children who excel in writing will 'deepen the moment' by extending the writing and using extra tools and techniques e.g. adding in brackets, repetition or alliteration to make the writing more interesting and give the reader a deeper picture of the piece of writing.
The Writing Rainbow
There are 3 areas of writing that help children understand and develop the skills needed to become effective writers. They are the "FANTASTICs" "GRAMMARISTICs" and the "BOOMTASTICs". These are all part of our "writing rainbow".
The Fantastics offer 9 'lenses' with which to structure ideas and target children’s thinking. This supports children in developing variety in their writing by focussing on the vocabulary used, initiating ideas, provoking thoughts and igniting imaginations.
The Grammaristics are the tools needed to be an effective writer focus on the importance of accurate grammar where tools are taught and used immediately to help children develop fascination around language so that they can manipulate and carefully structure words into sentences.
The Boomtastics focus on the art of writing, using a range of literary devices and techniques to make careful choices, playing with language to add flair to our writing and achieve various intentional impacts on our reader, painting vivid pictures through our word choices.
see below for a picture containing the "FANTASTICs" "GRAMMARISTICs" and the "BOOMTASTICs"
High expectations are coupled with careful monitoring and scaffolding, ‘holding the hands’ of our children and looking at the mathematics of a sentence so that they feel ready to write independently using the wide range of writing tools they have been trained to use.
an introduction to "The Write Stuff".
Manor Writing Curriculum Documents
- Manor SPAG Long Term Plan handbook .pdf
- Manor Primary School Progression of Skills.pdf
- National Curriculum English .pdf
Non-negotiables for each writing unit, we will:
- Provide frequent opportunities to write.
Encourage children to write clearly, legibly and accurately with attention to punctuation, spelling and grammar. These will be corrected by the teacher during marking or immediate feedback. Pupils will correct these errors.
- Provide regular modelling of the writing process.
- Provide regular modelling of making judgements about the style, format and choice of vocabulary, for a specific purpose, audience and genre.
- Provide regular modelling of drafting, revision and proof-reading, for instance using visualisers.
- Provide time for children to reflect on the writing process and refine their work.
- Provide opportunities for children to produce independent writing and Big Writes, which will be clearly identified as independent (as a minimum twice per half term).
- Independent writing (Big Writes) will be assessed in a timely manner (within 5 days) against the agreed TAF sheets, which will be found in books next to the independent writing.
- Deep mark independent writing with a positive comment.
- Set individual targets for writing and assist children in reviewing their targets (and setting personal ones where appropriate)
- Provide opportunities for children to focus on specific targets through ‘Instant Catch Ups’ (ICU) and interventions.
- Provide children with opportunities to share their writing.
- Encourage children to take responsibility for their own writing development and progress. Surround children with a print-rich environment that they have helped to create.
- Reward and celebrate children’s efforts and achievements in writing.
- Provide opportunities for cross-curricular writing.
- Provide a wide variety of texts which cater for children’s diverse interests and needs, and act as a stimulus to their own writing.
- Provide each child in year 1-6 with a Author's journal to support their writing development.
Writing in the Early Years Foundation Stage
A variety of resources are used to encourage the development of the fine motor skills essential for pencil control and writing. These include play dough, cutting, threading and using a range of tools. The children are encouraged to mark make as they access a range of materials independently which are carefully planned to promote the development of writing skills. A wide variety of opportunities are provided for children to engage in writing activities including:
- Shared writing
- Role-play (e.g. an office or restaurant)
- Making books
- Writing letters
Their efforts at this emergent writing stage are valued and praised and as their phonic knowledge and handwriting skills increase, this will be reflected in their writing.
Daily teacher led activities take place that include shared writing activities. During daily phonic sessions, children are taught how to write the corresponding grapheme (letter shape). At this stage, wide lined sheets or lines on whiteboards are used to encourage correct letter formation and orientation and uniform letter size. As children make progress, they use a ruled exercise book which will include all other writing including creative pieces. Within the Foundation Stage, children have the opportunity to develop their writing skills in accordance with their development stage, ability and competence.
To ensure a smooth transition from the Foundation Stage, the Key Stage 1 class has a writing table where children are free to produce work from their own ideas.
There is also a role-play area which promotes speaking and listening and which provides further opportunities for writing (lists, prescriptions, notes etc.)
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation
Throughout the school, grammar and punctuation are given high priority. Aspects of grammar and punctuation are best taught in the context of real reading and writing activities, rather than through isolated exercises. This gives children the opportunity to see the relevance of sentence-level work and how real writers make such choices to help them communicate clearly. Sentence-level teaching is most effective when it is short, sharp and frequent, incorporated perhaps as a lesson starter or in the context of shared writing. punctuaiton and grammar is built into our writing through "The Write Stuff" as the "GRAMMARISTICs" (see below)
These skills are taught within a context for effective writing and practised and applied with high frequency so that children retain the knowledge of the correct use of grammar and punctuation. They can also begin to use the knowledge of grammar and punctuation to independently use more challenging skills such as the use of colons, brackets and dashes.
Assessment of Writing
Children’s writing is assessed at least once half-termly from Reception using assessment grids (TAFs) which are linked directly to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for each year group. These assessments then inform our target setting and are used as the basis for our planning.
Positive reinforcement of good writing is conducted through use of stickers and rewards, stars of the week and through our Achievement System. Writing is displayed in classrooms and around the school site.