Writing Intent: How we plan for this subject...
Structure of writing units
Across KS1 and KS2, our writing is panned in 3 week units:
Week 1 focuses on immersion
Week 2 focuses on scaffolding
Week 3 focuses on independence
Therefore, two units will be taught every short term, both with strong links to the class topic. One of the units will be based on foundation subject writing (science, geography, RE, history, DT etc.) The other unit is more likely to be fiction. Any extra weeks at the end of the term will focus on poetry.
Relevant vocabulary, punctuation and grammar are taught at the beginning of each week and recapped daily. Each day, children have a checklist of relevant features and differentiated SPaG objectives on their learning label which they edit during each lesson and which is also used by the teacher to provide feedback. The children receive daily written feedback in weeks 2 and 3 and are given time to edit and purple polish in response. Children are given 'next steps' to focus on each day within week 2 - they prove where they have applied this within their writing by underlining the evidence in blue pencil.
Time is provided for children to proof-read and edit their writing in order to create a final draft.
Within each unit, we also provide discrete lessons for free-writing (turbo writes) which give the children the opportunity to write in any genre or style they choose, without the restraints of features to follow or targets to meet.
The journey to becoming a writer begins in the early days of the children entering our school. We encourage the children to experiment with mark making, using a wide range of implements both inside the classroom and outside too. We encourage children to develop their gross motor skills alongside their fine motor skills. Daily ‘Funky Fingers’ or ‘Dough Disco’ activities are available to develop finger strength and co-ordination. As the children learn the phonic sounds, we teach them to recognise and form the corresponding letters. These are formed using a range of writing tools and developed over time. As children progress, we provide ample opportunities to record their ideas through play and structured adult led sessions. Here they can record their work using a blend of pictures, symbols and emerging letter shapes. As children develop, we enable children to record their writing independently as possible. We use a range of supporting aids and model the writing process. We celebrate the small steps that they take in becoming confident writers.
In KS1 children use Jolly Phonics to support their phonological understanding; their spelling practice at home is carefully sequenced to cover the phonics they have been taught in school that week.
In KS2 we use Spelling Shed to plan, teach and assess the children's spelling ability. The children have access to this at home and are set year-group specific spellings each week to practice. We involve a degree of competition within this practice - the children are able to see their position within league tables and to challenge each other to Hive Games.
Year 3 & 4 Spelling Focus:
Year 5 & 6 Spelling Focus:
At Cranham we have adopted a cursive handwriting style, where each letter has a ‘lead in’ and ‘feed out’. This style of writing helps children with joining their letters as they progress, and studies suggests that it may support the learning of spelling patterns. From an early age we talk about the positioning of the letters on the line and about using ‘finger spaces’ between words. We teach that capital letters do not join.
At Cranham Primary we recognise that writing is a tricky skill to master and that some children will require support more support than others. As well as differentiating the objectives on our learning labels, and displaying adult modelling in every unit, we offer support in a number of other ways including additional adult support and small group work. We also recognise the importance of children becoming independent. Therefore we encourage a range of table top supporting aids to enable this development. These will be age appropriate and may include word mats, common exception spelling sheets, punctuation prompts, editing aids, displayed models of writing, word journals, sentence type posters etc. These are readily available for children to access.