Writing at Ironville and Codnor Park Primary School
Our intent is for our children to be confident and capable writers with a passion for writing for a range of purposes and audiences.
We want our children to be capable in the three overarching processes that are essential to writing:
- text generation, thinking of ideas to enable writing;
- transcription, the spelling and handwriting skills needed to transcribe those ideas;
- executive functions of planning, review and editing.
We are keen for children to write with a clear purpose and audience.
Since September 2022, we have implemented the ‘Jane Considine’s ‘The Write Stuff’ approach to teach the skills of writing from Year 1 through to Year 6.
The Write Stuff is based on high quality modelling and sharing high quality text, which enables the children to succeed when they come to do their own independent writing. It is a strong, dynamic, whole-class approach to teaching.
The writing process is underpinned by ‘The Writing Rainbow’: FANTASTICS, GRAMMARISTICS, BOOMBASTICS ‘lenses’ that embed grammar, writing techniques and ideas into every single lesson. The lenses give the children small, focused success criteria for each sentence they write, yet also supports children by giving them a starting point. The visual element of the approach, using the narrative map, poetry or non-fiction shapes, creates an inclusive scaffold for our SEND and EAL, while the lenses can be used to broaden and ‘Deepen the Moment’ for the more able.
Narrative writing is character led and follows a sequence of ‘plot points’, whereas non-fiction follow shapes. ‘Plot points’ or non-fictions shapes are taught through ‘sentence stacking’ lessons which are split into three smaller chunks of learning - providing the children with a deeper and more flexible knowledge of sentence structure.
The first ‘Initiate Stage’ is where the children, in learning partners and as a whole class, become ‘Word Collectors’ gathering a rich bank of vocabulary. This vocabulary is recorded on ‘The Thinking Side’ of the children’s books. The second ‘Model Stage’ is where the teacher shows the children what goes on inside a writer’s brain and discusses and shares how a sentence is constructed, using the vocabulary that has just been collected and one of the lenses. Once the modelled sentence has been completed, the children are expected to write their own sentence(s) in the style of the model. This is known as the ‘Enable Stage’ and the children complete this stage on ‘The Writing Side’ of their books. This process happens for each learning chunk over the course of the lesson.
Over the writing journey, the children will build upon their previous work and once a unit has been completed, they will have an entire piece of writing to show for it. In celebration of the children’s incredible writing each day, some of the sentences that have been written will be added to ‘The Sentence Stacking Wall’.
An independent write follows the Sentence Stacking lessons and ‘plot points’ or shapes will be planned for using the lenses and focussed sentences written. Independent writes will not use the writing that has been previously modelled but will be new writing in order to apply their sentence skills to develop their expertise and gives the children real freedom to develop their plot points independently. Children have opportunities to edit and improve their writing using three focus sessions: ‘Edit One’ - Spelling and Punctuation; ‘Edit Two’ – these are often “little” adjustments or changes and ‘Edit Three’ – The Reimagine when a writer wants to add more sentences to develop an idea further.
Experience days are planned immersive teaching to stimulate ideas. Experience lessons can take many forms - visits out, visitors in or drama conventions deployed to strengthen context and build imagination. The number of experiences included in a unit is at a teachers’ discretion. Experience lessons can be added or removed from a teaching sequence depending on the needs of the children and knowledge of their previous experiences.