Writing

Intent:  

At Hunningley Primary Academy, writing is a crucial part of our curriculum with very strong links to our reading curriculum. It is our expectation that every child will leave our school with the skills of a proficient writer who is able to express their thoughts and ideas confidently and creatively thorough the use of the written word. Our aim is to create writers who have the following skills:

  • the ability to write with fluency, stamina
  • can write for a particular purpose taking into account the audience the writing is intended for
  • can imitate the language, structure and punctuation devices used in effective writing models
  • can use an extensive bank of vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques with which to communicate the written word with an appropriate authorial voice and tone
  • can display excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented, punctuated, and spelt correctly.
  • Can review, edit and proof-read their writing so that every piece of writing they produce is to the best of their ability and better than the last. 

 

Our writing curriculum is also planned in a way which promotes the cultural capital of all our children. We enhance our curriculum, especially for the most disadvantaged, by providing opportunities to write for a diverse range of opportunities including those which allow pupils to write about:

  • influential and inspirational figures,
  • people similar to themselves,
  • people and places from different cultures
  • historical concepts
  • current topics of interest and debate
  • Each year we plan to provide opportunities for pupils to take part in external writing opportunities and competitions

Implementation 

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 Process

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.

Impact

  • Through our very carefully planned and sequenced English curriculum, pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points. By the end of Year Six they will be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style in, and for, a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly, they will develop a love of writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education in Key Stage 3, 4 and beyond.

The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

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