Writing at Whiteheath
Writing is an essential tool in the learning process. Children write to express their emotions, to convey their thoughts and opinions and to present evidence of research. By developing these skills we can equip our children with the ability to use writing across a range of curricular activities in which they are involved. Indeed, we truly believe that writing is an act of courage.
Teaching approaches and organisation of learning:
Children have exposure to a range of different writing styles and genres. The organisation of the units is monitored by the English Leader to ensure breadth of coverage.
Children are to be taught Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) in English lessons daily depending on year group expectations of the National Curriculum. A SPaG focus is either overtly taught during a lesson or discreetly embedded into the appropriate lessons.
Children have the opportunity to share their work with members of the class and the wider school community, including parents, teachers and SLT. Learning intentions are shared with the children at the start of lessons and are written on children’s work. All success criteria relate to this as necessary. Teachers use a range of strategies to teach writing, including; note-taking, modelled writing, planning, shared writing, guided writing, independent writing, editing and assessment. Children will be modelled how to write or complete collaborative writing, sometimes supported by either the class teacher or teaching assistant as necessary. Pupils use green pens to edit and improve their own work when working in pairs or in a group.
Spellings will be set weekly as homework, and tested every week. Children are to complete spellings from their year group expectation which are differentiated appropriately. We also ensure that the children are constantly developing their vocabulary skills by pre-teaching tier 2 and tier 3 words before starting a book or topic. Children are also exposed to tier 2 vocabulary weekly to broaden and deepen their vocabulary knowledge.
Classroom environment for writing is important. Therefore, children’s work is regularly displayed in the classroom and around school. Children can also be rewarded with a writer of the week certificate to reward excellent effort and contribution. Children are also given resources and information about the unit being studied, writing prompts, annotated models of texts and vocabulary ideas to support their learning.
The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in English. We use many teaching methods including David Didau’s Slow Writing and The Hochman Method which are adapted to suit the needs of our children. We aim to build children’s confidence and develop children’s independence. We endeavour to encourage children to independently select resources to help with the writing process and to also challenge children of all abilities. We encourage children to enjoy writing and learn from teachers, peers and their own mistakes. Alongside this, we use The Gradual Release Model which ensures children have a supported learning experience.