At Scissett CE Academy, we strive to ensure that high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. We maintain through each key stage and year group that we want our children to develop their vocabulary understanding, write in a range of different genres and continuously develop their spelling, grammar and punctuation skills. As well as this, we want our children to understand the spoken word, use expression and participate as a member of society fluently and articulately.
To enable our children to write effectively and coherently we teach Writing using 'The Write Stuff' approach by Jane Considine. This approach is used from Reception to Year 5 and allows children to apply basic skills, vocabulary and grammar knowledge to write effective sentences, which are full of impact and keep the reader interested. 'The Write Stuff' brings clarity to the mechanics of teaching writing. It is introduced through the 'Writing Rainbow', using the three zones of writing:
From 'The Writing Rainbow', symbols are used to support children within their writing journey and to ensure that all children can use them in context as they move through school.
As part of the teaching sequence, teachers plan experience days; sentence stacking lessons and independent writing sequences. Experience days immerse children in experiences linked to their writing and drench them in vocabulary linked to the lenses in 'The Writing Rainbow'. From the experience days, children take part in the sentence stacking lessons. Sentence stacking lessons focus on writing three sentences with focuses on lenses of the rainbow.
Through 'The Write Stuff' approach and to enable children to develop the confidence in speaking for and writing in a range of genres, we want children to develop a love for books. To enable this to happen, we are strongly committed to developing a reading culture that involves students, staff, parents and the community. To support this, we have taken on a 'book focus approach' and books used within English can have a cross curricula link to Topic or Science, allowing children to use vocabulary and knowledge across all subjects. This includes words, sentences and text activities. Over a couple of weeks in Key Stage 1, children will be able to read as a reader, write for a purpose and/or audience, develop basic skills, as well as take part in speaking and listening opportunities and develop their knowledge of spelling rules. Throughout a unit, in Key Stage 2, children will work alongside the teacher to 'sentence stack' a piece of writing linked to a specific genre. Following the sentence stacking, children are given the opportunity to show what they have learnt in an independent piece of writing. Children will work through a planning phase; a writing phase; an editing phase and eventually they will have the opportunity to publish their final piece of writing. We are also committed to developing our children's vocabulary, which is supported through the 'Writing Rainbow'. We envisage our children leaving Scissett CE Academy with a vast knowledge of vocabulary that they can use correctly within context and within their writing, demonstrating stamina and writing which flows and has flare!
Modelling is very important in our classrooms. Children see our teacher's model writing and reading on a daily basis within a range of lessons. Our planning document enables teachers to plan, to engage and develop, using the symbols to support all pupils. They include links between the written and spoken language, as well as spelling rules and handwriting development.
Key Documents for Implementation
To support our planning and to ensure that our children develop and progress through basic skills, grammar and punctuation, we have created a 'Writing Progression' document. This document progresses from EYFS to Year 5 and supports fiction and non-fiction writing elements.
All year groups have a yearly overview, which include both Fiction and Non-Fiction texts for Writing. The texts chosen have been carefully considered to ensure children have access to a rich and diverse reading diet. The yearly overviews ensure that children encounter a wide range of text types throughout their school career and have the opportunity to build on prior learning within their current year group and year on year.
Children will progress through and eventually leave Scissett CE Academy being able to:-
- write for a range of purposes including diary entries, persuasion, story to name a few.
- use their vast knowledge of vocabulary to excite, inform or entertain the reader.
- understand a range of punctuation and the effect it can have on the reader in both writing and reading.
- understand and be able to use a range of grammatical devices.
- understand the various sentence types that can be used to support different genres.
- spelling using their phonetic knowledge and spelling rules put in place.
- to speak clearly, fluently and coherently, to be able to listen attentively with understanding, pleasure and empathy and contribute to group discussions effectively.
Support Learning at Home
Writing for a real-life purpose can be a great way of practising writing. Writing cards, shopping lists, or letters and e-mails to relatives can all be motivating real life reasons for writing. Children might also keep a diary or be encouraged to write short stories based on books they have read or toys they enjoy playing with.
For more information on how to support your child at home, Oxford Owl offers some helpful tips for parents and useful activities for children. Click here for more information.
Other useful websites include:-