At Hunningley Primary Academy, we ensure that our reading curriculum intrinsically links with our writing curriculum so as to give pupils the maximum opportunities for developing a strong awareness of the reason for writing, audience, features and tone (RAFT) required to write effectively across a range of genres.
We use the United Learning English plans for each year group as a source for our ideas and follow the sequence in the long-term plan.
Two weeks prior to starting the unit, staff begin immersing pupils in the text type during their reading sessions. This is to give children ideas and expose them to the features of the text type, grammar features while building a bank of vocabulary. We ensure that whatever we want the pupils to demonstrate in their own writing, is present in the texts and other reading examples used in the immersion phase.
The whole process is responsive to what the pupils are writing and thinking on a day to day basis as teachers deliver each unit.
Phase 1: Reading Immersion – 2 weeks prior to starting
Phase 2: The Hook
Lesson 1: The Hook. Could be pictures, dressing up, treasure chest with clues, video clips, scavenger hunts picking up clues, teacher in role as someone from the text, hot seating all in an attempt to hook them in to the text so that they are interested and engaged and have some of the back story needed to understand the text.
Phase 3: RAFT (Reason for writing/Role of writer, Audience, Features, Tone)
Lesson 2/3/4: RAFT. Look at different examples of the text type. These will exemplify all or part of the RAFT. Pupils must unpick the text to identify the aspects of the RAFT themselves. This process, although guided by the teacher who knows exactly what to notice, needs to be an investigative process for the children, they have to work to find the RAFT features.
The next part of this stage is looking at examples of the text type and ranking up to 6 extracts to the RAFT. The children rank them in terms of their effectiveness. For example: Which is the scariest? Which uses show not tell most effectively? Some examples may contradict the RAFT altogether – e.g. might be a funny story not scary at all.
Phase 4: Detail Detectives
The purpose of this phase is to generate ideas, practise writing sentences and practise linking sentences. This phase will integrate all of the SPAG work: as the pupils are writing teachers weave skills in through their modelling in response to what the pupils produce.
Phase 5: Writing Coherent Sentences
The teacher models taking a noun and a verb and writing a simple sentence, they talk through what they are doing explaining the decisions they are making as they write. They model at least 3 to 5 sentences then provide pupils with a specific noun and verb to have a go at creating a sentence of their own.
As they are writing their sentences, teachers begin to bump into prior learning and model new learning encouraging pupils to make effective changes to their sentences.
Phase Six: Coherently Linking Sentences
When the pupils can write coherent sentences in isolation, teachers move on to developing cohesion. Depending on the ability of the children, they will take between 2 and 5 sentences and model connecting them coherently. That could mean reordering them, using conjunctions, connectives, fronted adverbials, reordering clauses etc. Staff ensure that they think aloud as they are doing this demonstrating that there are multiple things that can be done with the same sentences. Whilst the pupils are working independently, staff monitor the room and respond to what they are seeing and re-model where required.
Phase Seven: Story Line
The purpose of this phase is to give chronology to their writing. Using the same picture used in Detail Detectives, the teacher decides which parts of the picture they want the pupils to focus on.
Teachers then repeat Phases 4 and 5 at each point on the Story Line giving children time to generate sentences before choosing the sentences they want to crafting them into coherently joined sentences.
This process can be supported by the creation of structure strips which remind the children what they are writing. These strips are either created by the teacher or the child depending on their maturity as a writer and can be cut up and stuck in their books, in order, next to where the children will write.
Teachers then model editing by referring back to the RAFT and improving the overall effectiveness of the piece.
Children then independently re-read, referring back to the RAFT to check it still fits and proof-reading for basics such as capital letters, full stops, spelling and sense.