Manorfield Primary School

Writing Guidance

Writing

We believe that every child should leave Manorfield Primary School being able to communicate effectively through writing in a wide range of contexts. 

To achieve this, we must ensure that all children reach age-related expectations not just at the end of every year, but at the end of every term.

Any child who does not meet age-related expectations at any point must make accelerated progress in order to ‘catch up’.

 

How we teach writing

There will be a daily English lesson, where the focus is on the teaching of writing and speaking and listening.

Handwriting

A cursive script is used from Nursery to Year 6.

There should be one directly taught Handwriting session per week of 20 minutes.  This should be followed up by further untaught ‘practice’ sessions throughout the week differentiated dependent on the needs of the class.

Cursive writing is modelled by all teachers and TAs as well as in print around the school.

There is no formal handwriting scheme, but joins should be taught in groups as below:

Set 1   a,c,d,e,h,i,l,m,n,s,t,u

Set 2    a,c,d,e,g,i,j,m,n,o,p,q,r,s,u,v,w,x,y

Set 3   b,f,h,l,t,k

Set 4   f,o,r,v,w

 

First join: join letters in set one and set two eg in, ip, nd,ng,mp etc

Second join: join letters in set one and set three eg ill, ib, it, ck, ch, th

Third join: horizontal join – join letters in set four and set two eg og, op, on, oo, oa, fa

Fourth join: join letters in set four and set three eg ob, ot, old, wh

Handwriting should be recorded in the back of English books, where a copy o fall joins should be glued onto the back inner page for children’s reference.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Spelling

Punctuation and grammar

Storytelling / Pie Corbett / talk for writing

We follow a story-telling approach, incorporating the principles from the Pie Corbett Talk for Writing approach for both fiction and non-fiction writing

Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. 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.

The imitation stage

Once the teacher has established a creative context and an engaging start, a typical Talk-for-Writing unit would begin with some engaging activities warming up the tune of the text, as well as the topic focused on, to help children internalise the pattern of the language required. This is often followed by talking an exemplar text, supported visually by a text map and physical movements to help the children recall the story or non-fiction piece. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down. Once they have internalised the language of the text, they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the key ingredients that help to make it work. This stage could include a range of reading as-a-reader and as-a-writer activities. Understanding the structure of the text is easy if you use the boxing-up technique and then help the children to analyse the features that have helped to make the text work. In this way the class starts to co-construct a toolkit for this type of text so that they can talk about the ingredients themselves – a key stage in internalising the toolkit in their heads.

The innovation stage

Once the children have internalised the text, they are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. This could begin with more advanced activities to warm up the key words and phrases of the type of text focused on so the children can magpie ideas. Younger children and less confident writers alter their text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say, creating their own version. The key activity in this stage is shared writing, helping the children to write their own by “doing one together” first. This could begin with using a boxed-up grid (innovating on the exemplar plan) to show how to plan the text and then turning the plan into writing. This allows the children to see how you can innovate on the exemplar text and select words and phrases that really work. Demonstrating how to regularly read your work aloud to see if it works is important here. This process enables the children to write their own versions through developing their ability to generate good words and phrases and also, hopefully, develops the inner judge when they start to decide why one word or phrase is best. If, during this process a teaching assistant (or in KS2 an able child) flip-charts up words and phrases suggested, these can be put on the washing line alongside the shared writing so when the children come to write they have models and words and phrases to support them. Throughout the shared writing, the children should be strengthening the toolkit so they start to understand the type of ingredients that may help. Once they have finished their own paragraph/s children should be encouraged to swap their work with a response partner. Then with the aid of a visualiser, the whole class can also discuss some of the more successful work. Time now needs to be found to enable the children to give their own work a polish in the light of these discussions and perhaps to begin the dialogue about what works by writing their own comment on their work for the teacher to comment on.

The invention/independent application stage

The teacher now has the opportunity to assess the children’s work and to adapt their planning in the light of what the children can actually do. This stage could begin with some activities focused on helping the children understand aspects that they were having difficulty with and should include time for the children to have a go at altering their work in the light of what they have just learnt so that they start to make progress. This stage will continue to focus on the next steps needed to support progress so the children can become independent speakers and writers of this type of text. Perhaps some more examples of the text are compared followed by more shared writing on a related topic and then the children can have a go themselves on a related topic of their own choosing. Typically, teachers work with the children to set ‘tickable targets’ which focus on aspects that they need to attend to. Again this section will end with response partner and whole class discussion about what features really worked, followed by an opportunity to polish your work. This process also helps the children internalise the toolkit for such writing so that it becomes a practical flexible toolkit in the head rather than a list to be looked at and blindly followed. At the end of the unit, the children’s work should be published or displayed. The teacher will now have a good picture of what features to focus on in the next unit to move the children forward. It is important to provide children with a purpose for their writing so classroom display or some sort of publishing is useful.

Shared Writing – There should be weekly opportunities for whole class shared writing.

Big Writing – Once per week, the week’s teaching should culminate in a ‘Big Write’ with children demonstrating the writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting learning from the week.

Writing Journeys – Each child in the school has a hard back, lined ‘Writing Journey’ book.  There should be a piece of writing in the Writing Journey at the end of every term (6 pieces per year) from the start of Nursery to the end of Year 6.  The Writing Journey book travels with the children through the whole school, demonstrating the child’s progress in writing.

It is recommended to start each unit of work with a piece of ‘cold’ writing in the genre and format to be taught without teacher input, toolkit or guidance.  This can then be compared to the work in the Writing Journey.  The Writing Journey therefore becomes an aid to demonstrate both short-term and long-term progress and impact of teaching.

Power of Reading

Quality ‘Power of Reading’ texts are used as stimuli to support the teaching of writing and to link to the IPC Project.

Power of Reading plans are linked to NC requirements and cover different teaching approaches that support writing: drama, conscience alley, role play, poetry writing and performance, shared writing, art, music.  

Current Power of Reading core texts:

Year group

Power of Reading Text

Nursery

 

Reception

Naughty Bus

1

Man on the Moon / Beegu / Julia Donaldson

2

 

3

Charlotte’s Web / Gregory Cool

4

Ice Palace / Journey to Jo’burg

5

The Highwayman / Odysseus / Way Home

6

Ice Trap