“It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions (transcription and composition). In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.” (DfE 2013)
Writing - To become competent in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing: planning, revising and evaluating writing).
Following the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum, at Bolsover Church of England Junior School, we endeavour to stimulate a life–long love of writing. We provide our pupils with the knowledge and skills in order for them to become effective communicators in the world beyond Bolsover.
It is our intention to ensure that reading and writing are interconnected so that children can make purposeful links across their learning. It is for this reason that we place a significant focus on the study of literature from across the ages and genres. Our writing is underpinned by the standards of reading in our school, which supports vocabulary and the understanding of conventions and structures of a range of text genres. Vocabulary rich texts are chosen to both stimulate and challenge the children, leading to high-quality writing outcomes.
Our writing curriculum also builds on the development of accuracy in spelling and developing a progressive understanding of grammar and punctuation, which enables our pupils to clearly, accurately and coherently explain and write down their understanding and ideas.
Our pupils are given the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes to write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences. They develop this knowledge around three key aspects:
- Authorial intent (purpose)
- Precise and ambitious use of vocabulary
We want children to write clearly, accurately and coherently and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time at our school. Furthermore, we recognise that handwriting is part of our daily lives; it is on show to others and may be used to make judgements about us. Therefore, we encourage our pupils to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a legible, joined, handwriting style.
At Bolsover Church of England Junior School, we aim to foster a love of storytelling and writing right from the start through exciting and engaging our children in interactive learning.
In Year 3 and 4, we follow Pie Corbett's Talk for Writing approach to recognise the importance of discussion and the learning of language to develop our abilities as budding writers. Talk for Writing allows the children to engage in learning language-rich, high-level model texts through using pictures, actions and performances (click here to use our actions at home for your own interactive storytelling) to capture key patterns, structural techniques and challenging vocabulary for our own writing.
Adding to our BBR Crew approach to reading, Talk for Writing enhances the love of English our school possesses and fulfils our ethos in equipping children for their lives beyond Bolsover by creating confident writers who are inspired by their lessons. Through Talk for Writing, our children are given opportunities to immerse themselves in hearing, reading and re-inventing a range of texts and genres including stories, poems and non-fiction texts.
The process encourages children, first of all, to memorise the model text and rehearse it daily throughout the unit. They then imitate the model text and finally innovate and invent their own texts around the chosen style while continually reflecting on their learning. With the addition of exciting literacy games, this forms the basis for all of our writing units (see the process flow chart here).
During the writing process, our children are taught to ‘magpie’ interesting ideas, analyse the features of different text styles, box-up the structure of the texts and develop their learning in to quality pieces of independent writing. The children are all the while supported through shared and guided writing, verbal and written feedback and their internalisation of the model texts.
At the beginning of a unit of work, we set the pupils an unseen or taught writing task (a "cold task") to assess and set individual targets based on each child’s ‘cold task’ to show precisely what the child is already capable of achieving (click here to see the progression of skills in Talk for Writing). These targets form personalised planning through the entire process and, with regular verbal feedback and quality-first teaching throughout, the independent applications show allow pupils to show great progress in the final write (the ‘hot task’).
We believe that Talk for Writing helps provide our pupils with the skills and understanding to achieve highly in English as they move into Upper Key Stage 2 and beyond.