High quality and engaging texts with the appropriate level of challenge are at the centre of all writing learning. By first engaging the children in the text and deepening their understanding of it as readers, we create a gateway into quality writing. The children are confident to explore the known text as writers and use this learning to develop into and express themselves as confident writers. One text is selected each half term. This is used to plan both the fiction and non-fiction work using CLE Power of Reading Teaching Sequences in all year groups. This ensures that the aims and expectations are clear and mapped against the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework or National Curriculum objectives (speaking and listening, reading and writing).
Below are the book choices for each year group for 2019/2020. These will change annually so that the texts are kept up to date and are chosen specifically to suit each cohort.
The teaching sequences engage the children with a story so that they can empathise and respond emotionally to it, explore, develop and sustain ideas about it through talk and re-tell and re-enact it.
In response, they then sequence and explore the story structure through storymapping and write with meaning and purpose in a variety of narrative and non-narrative forms through shared and independent writing.
The children write speech or thought bubbles, signs, letters or notes to or from characters in the story, cards, invitations, captions under illustrations/pictures from the story, fact files, questions to ask a character, class books and stories.
In Nursery, the children give meaning to the marks that they have made. In Reception, the children write simple sentences that can be read by themselves and others using graphemes that they know to segment words to write them and writing some common exception words that they have learnt.
They will also explore and interrupt the story further through creative activities including play, art, drama and drawing and through activities in continuous provision including mark making/writing opportunities inside and out using a variety of mark making materials.
Key Stages 1 and 2
Each unit of work has three parts.
In part 1, the children read the text and respond as readers to deepen their understanding. They participate in a range of speaking and listening activities (freeze framing, conscience alley) and record pieces of writing in response to these very often in role. Next, they respond to the text as writers.
They identify the plot type and create a paragraph plan to show the structure. They identify devices that the author has used to create the desired effect on the reader and use them to create a toolkit.
In parts 2 and 3, the children use this plan and toolkit to write. In part 2, they are taught how to do this through whole class modelled and shared writing and in part 3, they plan and write independently.
Proof Reading and Editing
At St Paul’s, we believe that it is very important that the children are active writers every time they write. Throughout the writing process, the children are proof-reading and editing by reading back sentences and paragraphs as they are writing them. They must understand clearly if they make changes to improve accuracy (spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure), they are proof-reading and if they make changes to make their writing more effective for the reader, they are editing. We want the children to cross out and add in using their pencil or pen during their writing time. Expectation from previous year groups are listed on a non-negotiable sheet for each year group and these support the children in their proof-reading.
At the end of their independent writing in part 3, each child is set a formal editing task by their teacher that they complete to improve the effectiveness of their writing based on their toolkit from part 1 when they responded to the text as writers. If the writing is being published for a purpose, the children will write up the whole piece of writing otherwise they will write up the edited part on a flap over their original writing.
Evidence is collected throughout each term across the children’s wide range of writing. It is collated together at the end and assessed formally.
The National Curriculum objectives are broken down into terms for each year group so that it is clear what standards the writing should be meeting to be at age related at that moment in time.
The writing must evidence statements in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (structure and purpose and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation).
Moderation sessions take place throughout the year within school, the MAC, the Consortium, the Catholic Primary Partnership and Services for Education. These ensure that our judgements are consistent and national guidance and exemplifications are understood correctly. They provide ongoing training for all staff in understanding these expectations and knowing how to decide upon next steps in learning in order to close any gaps and move children on with their writing.