Writing is a key aspect of the curriculum and along with reading, speaking and listening, it makes a significant contribution to the development of children as thinkers and learners. It is a central part of the academy’s role that all pupils develop their writing ability and enjoy the process of cultivating this lifelong skill. At Mersey Primary Academy we strive to provide children with exciting, purposeful and inspiring contexts in which to become writers. This policy aims to ensure that there is coherence, continuity and progression within our teaching throughout the school.
We aim to:
- Nurture the children’s sense of themselves as writers
- Create an ethos of achievement in writing
- Encourage children to become enthusiastic, confident and reflective writers
- Provide purposeful writing opportunities where children write for a variety of audiences
- Enable children to independently produce high quality writing across all curriculum areas
- Ensure children know, understand and apply their writing targets in all writing tasks
- Encourage children to play with language and write for pleasure
- Ensure children can write using a legible, joined script. In particular our teaching of writing will increase children’s abilities to:
- Write imaginative, interesting and thoughtful texts
- Produce texts which are appropriate to task, reader and purpose
- Organise and present whole texts effectively, sequencing and structuring information, ideas and events
- Construct paragraphs and use cohesion within and between paragraphs
- Vary sentences for clarity, purpose and effect
- Write with grammatical accuracy
- Experiment with adventurous and effective vocabulary which are appropriate
- Apply their understanding of phonics and spelling rules to all forms of writing
Strategy to develop writing at Mersey
KS1 and KS2
At Mersey Primary Academy, we believe that effective writing is developed through eight key elements.
- Modelling is an important part of the writing process where children get to observe and learn from how expert writers think about the writing process.
- During modelled writing, the teacher thinks aloud while writing and models strategies in front of the children, communicating the strategies being used.
- Teachers may model writing skills such as punctuating, rehearsing, proof reading, editing, word selection, sentence construction and paragraphing.
- This strategy can also be used in guided writing groups and should be used more frequently than modelled writing.
- In shared writing, the teacher skilfully invites contributions from the children and teaches writing skills such as rehearsal, proof reading and editing, and production of a final draft.
- Shared writing should be focused around smaller pieces of text in order to ensure that the focus is on the quality of the writing and deeper learning can take place around more focused content.
- In order to enthuse and capture children’s imaginations to want to write purposeful pieces for a wide variety of audiences, all writing units will start with hook/Immersion. This element of the sequence will give children the necessary desire and knowledge of content to be able to write high quality pieces of writing.
- Children’s prior experiences, knowledge and interests should all be taken into account when planning and ensure that children are not disadvantaged through a lack of the above outside of school.
- There is no expectation as to what the hook/immersion should be presented as; however, opportunities for speaking and listening, drama, research, ICT, debate, Talk for Writing.etc are all ideal vehicles in which should be used to immerse children into their writing.
- Good speaking and listening skills are crucial to the development of writing. Drama and role play opportunities are provided prior to writing. Teachers also plan for talking opportunities through drama, talk partners and group discussion to enable children to verbally rehearse their ideas before writing.
Understanding and applying genre specific grammar.
- Wherever possible, discrete grammar lessons should be focused around the grammar specific features of the genre.
- These tasks should link to the current unit of writing and be implemented alongside other elements of the writing such as shared writing or editing.
- If the genre does not lend itself to the grammar objectives that are being taught, every effort will be made to apply the grammar activities to the content and theme of the current writing unit.
Understanding and applying genre specific features
- Each unit will incorporate a focus around the features of the genre specific texts.
- Children will be presented with a variety of opportunities to engage with, analyse, and discuss the genre specific features that make up the unit.
- Children should see these features used across a variety of texts within the genre and be able to evaluate their effect and purpose, so that they can make informed decisions when creating their own piece of writing.
We believe that writing should be purposeful and children should have a final product in their writing that they take pride in.
- At the beginning of the unit, an example of the purpose of their writing will be shared with the class and placed on display for children to refer to throughout the unit.
- Every unit, children will have a final piece that they can eventually take home and keep. Some pieces may be used for projects or display work for a short amount of time.
- A copy of the final piece will also be placed into the literacy books.
Editing and Redrafting are considered essential elements of the writing process.
- Editing will often have a focus on syntax, spelling and basic punctuation; whereas, redrafting will have a more prominent focus around the vocab, composition and cohesion of the piece.
- Both of these elements need to modelled to children frequently in order for children to observe expert writers improving their own work.
The sequencing of these elements will vary dependent on the year group, genre and ongoing assessment and there is no preferred sequence, leaving this to the discretion of the class teacher. There is, however, an expectation that all units will start with hook and immersion and will end with publication.
The academy adapt a feedforward approach to feedback in writing. Research has found that marking consumes too much time and productivity and focuses on past work which cannot be changed. Instead, teachers will read through every book on a daily basis and make notes in their feedforward journal on
- Children producing excellent work and why.
- Students who may need more support.
- Common misconceptions/errors
- Spellings and other details such as presentation.
- Concepts to reteach or reinforce.
Teachers will the use this information to continue to plan and deliver effective writing lessons. The effectiveness of the lessons planning and feedforward assessment is monitored by the leadership team. Examples of feedforward planning can be found in appendix A.
Celebration and Recognition
The academy takes every to ensure that writing is celebrated inside the classroom and within the academy. Each half term, a celebration of class writing will take place in the form of an assembly.
Developing Writing Skills in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words. This understanding begins in EYFS through daily, high quality phonics lessons.
In the Foundation Stage, children are encouraged to attempt their own emergent writing and their efforts are valued and celebrated. As their phonic knowledge increases, so does their ability to write independently. At the same time, their knowledge of key words is supported through reading and writing activities, including shared reading and writing. Legible letter formation is explicitly taught and modelled on a daily basis. A wide variety of opportunities are provided for children to engage in writing activities and independently apply their phonic skills through role play, creative activities, computing and the outdoor area.