Intent for our Writing Curriculum
At Sawley Infant and Nursery School we want to develop a love of writing. We want our children to be independent writers who can write in a meaningful way for a range of contexts. We aim to develop our children’s confidence, vocabulary, stamina to write, understanding and engagement.
We want our children to take pride in their writing so they can clearly write and adapt their language for a range of different purposes. We want to ensure our children write in a purposeful way.
Our curriculum has been designed to engage children in writing and build their enjoyment for it as well as build their stamina and technical skills.
We aim for our children to write clearly, accurately and coherently in a range of different styles. We want to develop a wide and rich vocabulary and a solid understanding of grammatical rules and terminology.
Implementation for our Writing Curriculum
Teachers create a positive writing culture in our school. Writing is promoted, enjoyed and considered ‘a pleasure’ for all pupils.
We teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge as stipulated in the National Curriculum.
The approach we adopt to teach writing is based upon Jane Considine’s book ‘The Write Stuff’. High quality demonstration writing is the basis of this model whereby children are explicitly taught and shown how to craft the ideas, grammar and techniques of writing. Teacher modelling is an integral part of the process which demonstrates to children how to create their own high-quality pieces of independent writing, using all of the skills, knowledge and vocabulary taught previously. This leads on to children writing independently in the unit, applying their skills and showcasing what they have learnt. Throughout the learning process, children’s writing is celebrated and displayed in classrooms.
‘The Write Stuff’ uses a combination of ‘experience lessons’ and ‘sentence stacking lessons’ to help children develop their writing. ‘Experience lessons’ help to build children’s knowledge about a topic and ignite their imagination. ‘Sentence stacking’ refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. Children then have an opportunity to practice developing their writing, sentence by sentence. The sentence stack is displayed on the wall for reference.
plans are linked the high quality texts which show clear progression through the different year groups. In Each unit, Children journey through the book with their class and identify key 'plot points' as the story unfolds. At each plot point children are carefully guided by their teachers to use the 'Writing Rainbow'.
We use three essential components to support children in becoming great writers. These are presented through the use of the ‘Sawley Writing Rainbow’ (see below).
In Nursery the children are introduced to the FANTASTICs and become familiar with the writing lens through continuous provision.
In Reception, an individual lesson is broken in to 3 learning chunks and each learning chunk had two sections.
• Initiate – This part of the session is where the teacher acts as a narrator to introduce a plot point and with rich story-telling skills, cohesively joining plot points together in talk.
• Meaningful moment – This is a physical bag that includes real objects, artefacts and photographs to bring the children’s thinking into focus. The objects inside the bag are relevant to the content of the sentence the children will be writing. The clue clicker is used to introduce more technical inspiration eg. sound clips, film or animations.
• Grandma Fantastic – Grandma Fantastic is a puppet, with a basket, who brings words into the classroom that have been sorted into the nine ideas for writing. The words are grouped into feelings, asking, noticing, touching, action, smelling, taste, imagining and checking sounds. She always brings the most challenging words, that pupils will probably not be able to suggest themselves. Her function is to furnish pupils with more ambitious words, that are related to the ideas you are generating
• Chotting –‘Chotting’ is when pupils chat about words and jot their ideas down at the same time (chot). During the chotting section, pupils also borrow some words from Grandma Fantastic and make a note of their favourites.
• Model –The teacher always models a complete sentence, showing the writer’s brain in action. The teacher changes their mind, improves and rejects some of the vocabulary, to settle on a final sentence. This sentence guides the pupils’ own thinking, as they set out to write their own.
• Sentence writing –Pupils are challenged to write words/labels/captions or sentencse that captures key vocabulary from the text.
In Key stage 1, an individual lesson is broken in to 3 learning chunks and each learning chunk has three sections.
• Initiate – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
• Model – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
• Enable – the children write their sentence, following the model.
Handwriting is timetabled and taught on a weekly basis. Handwriting is modelled and practised in discreet handwriting sessions and then applied to their independent work.
In FS1, children are given lots of opportunities to make marks. Squiggle While You Wiggle, Funky Fingers and Dough Disco sessions develop the children’s ability to learn patterns and develop their fine motor development.
In FS2, daily handwriting sessions models letter formation. This links to their phonics learning. Children are taught letter formation using the Twinkl Rhymes so they understand where each letter starts and finishes on the page. Children are encouraged to practise these shapes large scale through Squiggle While you Wiggle and small scale, using handwriting books with grass, sky and underground lines.
In Year 1, daily handwriting sessions are taught. Squiggle While You Wiggle introduces the children to the letter writing families and children apply this letter formation to their handwriting books.
In Year 2, children continue to develop their letter formation through daily sessions. Once letter formation is consistent and letters are sitting correctly on the lines, children are taught basic handwriting joins and practise these daily in their books. The jungle joins display groups these basic joins and links the join pattern to a jungle animal.
In KS1, Spellings are timetabled and taught on a weekly basis. This links to the children’s Phonics teaching. Children are taught the visual spelling patterns in words. Daily spelling practise sessions are timetabled for children to see and learn the words. These spellings are also shared with parents at home. Children are encouraged to learn their spellings in lots of different ways.