Principles for the teaching and learning of writing
“Writing is a tool for making children members of their classroom community. This challenges the traditional belief that writing is a solitary ability; rather, writing is a social activity that can represent a source of engagement for a child, who perceives it as meaningfully connected to his or her multiple experiences in the classroom community.”
How do we teach writing?
As a school, we aim to follow a 7-stage process to teaching writing. This will vary depending on Key Stage as to what needs to be adapted for the needs of the children and of course is differentiated where needed in each class. The 7 stages are as follows:
- Introduction to genre/text type - exploring audience and purpose.
- Exploring features of genre/text type - exploring language features (grammar / punctuation / vocab) and text features (structure).
- Practising - practise applying language and text features in context (modelling and shared writing).
- Planning - structure / style / grammar / punctuation.
- Drafting - (first write) differentiated examples.
- Editing / Re-drafting - informed by in-depth teacher marking / inclusion of next steps.
- Independent writing - Application of text features in different contexts. Teacher provides summative comment. Self / peer assessment evaluation.
The same approach to writing is used across the curriculum. Children write extended pieces of text in all curriculum subjects and these are planned and taught in the same way, attention being paid to the spelling, grammar and punctuation that should be being used by a child of that age. Writing in the foundation subjects is moderated to ensure that standards in writing are as high in other subjects as they are in writing in English lessons.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling and grammar (SPaG) are taught discreetly in additional short sessions within the week, however the bulk of children’s SPaG learning occurs within the context of teaching in English lessons.
SPaG objectives are carefully matched to units of work enabling them to be taught and learnt within a meaningful context. English starters are often linked to spelling and grammar to reinforce learning. Examples of SpaG will often be drawn out of whole-class guided reading sessions so that children can see how features of grammar can be applied to good effect in writing (i.e. how the experts do it!).
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening are vital for developing vocabulary and grammar and underpin reading and writing. They are taught and modelled by adults across the school. Staff have high expectations of how children speak and listen carefully to the spoken word; they support children in developing their competence and confidence in the spoken language through our talk for writing approach in KS1 and shared reading of a class text in KS2. The use of Standard English is encouraged in the classroom environment. Opportunities are created for talk in a range of contexts and forms: whole class discussion, small group discussion, paired discussion, individual contribution, role play etc.