Writing at Bawburgh Sept 2020
‘Above and Beyond for All’
Statement of intent:
At The Bawburgh School, we intend to create confident writers who develop stamina for writing throughout school. We aim for all of our children to be independent writers, building on a range of skills as they work through each unit of writing. Throughout this unit, we ensure the children of Bawburgh, are immersed in high quality texts, exposed to a range of genres and have a clear understanding of purpose. Our learners will have a secure understanding of the purpose of a text type, the purpose and intended impact of writing skills/tools and the ability to carefully select vocabulary with careful attention to the desired effect on the readers’ thoughts and feelings. Our learners are challenged and encouraged to take risks and view mistakes as another part of the learning process. Our learners will always set high expectations for themselves where they take pride in all aspects of learning and in everything they produce. Rich texts are at the heart of our teaching and a love for reading is promoted throughout the school.
The Bawburgh School:
- Recognises the effect that a confident, fluent and coherent understanding of English will have on a pupil’s progress, both inside and outside of the school environment.
- Understands how a strong grounding in English will impact the future learning and development of a pupil in all aspects of their life
- Provides a balanced and broad curriculum, which encompasses writing practice, including handwriting, spelling, widening vocabulary, and writing for different styles, purposes, and audiences, as well as focussing on spoken English, reading, grammar and pronunciation.
- Ensures that all staff members are aware of planning, assessment, teaching and learning requirements for the English curriculum.
- Ensures that all pupils know how to plan, practise, evaluate their work as well as carry out an effective edit and improve process.
- Ensures that all pupils understand all elements of English, as per the national curriculum.
Talk for Writing
As part of the planning process, teachers at The Bawburgh School use elements of the Talk for Writing approach to plan and teach units of work in English. Talk for Writing is a powerful tool as it enables children to imitate the key language and skills they need for a particular genre of writing. They complete activities and games which enable the children to rehearse language and grammar skills orally, before they start the writing process. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style.
It builds on the following stages of teaching:
1) Imitation – Children explore the model text and learn the language and grammar skills they will need for their final piece of writing. Children develop a ‘Writing Toolkit’ for the text type which is then referred to throughout the unit of work.
2) Rehearsal of skills – The teacher will focus on teaching the key skills the children will be applying in the unit of work. These must be related to the National Curriculum and should be taken from the ‘Writing Toolkit’ which is developed when exploring the model text. It is vital that children understand the purpose of the tool they are using and its desired impact on the reader. E.g. I will use contrasting conjunctions as this will help add detail for the reader in relation to an opposite point.
This is an opportunity for the children to fully understand the writing tool/s they will be using. Teachers will produce a guide to place on the class working walls for children to refer to.
3) Innovation/Planning – Children plan their piece of writing based on the stimulus/model text. Here, children are given a planning frame where they are guided into using the skills taught as part of the unit of work as well as high order vocabulary.
4) First draft preparation with focus on SPAG skills – Before a first draft is complete, the class teacher must lead a shared write with the children so that they will have an idea of where to lead their own writing. During the shared writing session, it is vital that the teacher ‘thinks out loud’, purposefully referring to the skills/writing tools and spelling rules being focused on. When children write their first draft, it is important that they are reminded to refer to their plans and refer to the working wall to help them in their writing.
5) Edit and Improve – Children will independently and/or collaboratively read back through their own writing and mark it against the ‘Writing Toolkit’. Whilst doing this, they will look for errors in punctuation, spelling and grammar.
6) Final Draft – As part of the editing process, it is important that the teacher identifies common errors in the children’s work and errors specifically related to the ‘Writing Toolkit’. The teacher then models correcting these errors through shared writing and examples of children’s work displayed on the board. Based on the feedback they have been given and the errors they have identified when editing, complete their final draft.
These are an extremely important part of the learning process as they provide children with a form of continuous provision they can keep referring to throughout the unit of work. These should detail the skills being taught, give explanations and model examples. These should be written clearly and placed where all children can see them. During the process, the working walls should be referred to regularly and often as a way of modelling their use. The children should see that teachers are using these as a form as of continuous provision. These should remain on the walls for as long as the children need so children are reminded and encouraged to use these skills in other writing.
As a school we use Spelling Shed to teach spelling. The scheme has been created following key National Curriculum objectives and takes children through the statutory and non-statutory spelling lists in each age phase. The whole-school scheme of work for spelling gives 100% coverage of the National Curriculum including all statutory words and spelling rules.
Spelling sessions in Years 1 – 6 are taught discretely at least once a week. These sessions are followed up with weekly activities and homework assignments to reinforce the spelling patterns which have been taught. Pupils take home weekly spellings to learn with a focus on a specific sound/spelling pattern. Weekly testing will ensure that areas of weakness are identified, and appropriate follow up sessions can be planned.