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Editing at Westwood

At Westwood one of our aims is to teach the children to become better ‘editors’ of their writing. This takes place in two ways: editing lessons and editing stations. Throughout each half term, children will have short editing lessons where they will focus on a different editing skill such as improvement of vocabulary or removal of unnecessary description. Once a half term, children will have the opportunity to complete some ‘deeper editing’ of a piece of writing. This will involve the children rotating around four stations, two of which they will be led by an adult, to edit sections of their writing. The aim of this is to impact on subsequent pieces of work and encourage the children to always think of ways to improve their writing to have the most impact on the intended audience.

Writing - marking and feedback policy

Marking and feedback will celebrate children’s effort and achievement and will also enable the children to edit their work. On pieces of writing and levelled work it is expected that the teacher writes a positive comment. This could be based around the objective from the lesson or a personal comment relating to what the reader enjoyed. E.g. Brilliant humour used, A lovely description of…..

Mistakes (E1)

The teacher will indicate if there are spelling mistakes, punctuation errors or tense errors that the child needs to correct.  There is not an expectation that all mistakes are picked up on; the teacher will decide which ones are appropriate for that child.  Sometimes the teacher will indicate exactly where the mistake has occurred and at other times the teacher will ask the child to look for the mistake (for example writing sp for spelling in the margin or p for punctuation and indicating a particular paragraph).  If children have key spellings that they need to learn/spell correctly they should have these either on a word card / word mat or written on a white board so when a child is making a correction, they can ensure that their correction is correct. This vocabulary will be dependent on the genre being taught and the adventure at the time. The child will use a green pen to complete an E1 correction so that it is clear in their work.  At times it will be appropriate for the teacher just to write in a correction for a child. 

Improvement (E2)

The teacher will indicate that there is an E2 edit required where the child could have chosen a better word, sentence structure or piece of punctuation, or the presentation of the work could have been better.  The teacher might use the ^ symbol to encourage the child to add more detail or an adjective or a sentence starter and so on or they might underline a particular word that could be improved.  An E2 edit will sometimes involve the child writing out a whole sentence at the end of their piece of writing.  Sometimes it will be appropriate for the child to do an E2 edit on the original work (for example a word swap).  In this case, the edit will be completed in green pen so it is clear where the improvement has been made.

Re-draft (E3)

Sometimes it is appropriate for children to re-draft a whole paragraph.  Re-drafts focus on elements such as:

  • sentence order and construction
  • effect of different sentence choice in different situations
  • impact on the reader e.g. humour, atmosphere, persuasion, formal/informal
  • Fluidity
  • Appropriate use of vocabulary – overuse of adjectives / speech/ punctuation/ contradictions in descriptions/ repetitiveness

A re-draft will sometimes require some further teaching and a longer period of time will need to be allocated to enable the child to re-draft the work.  The planning should indicate how this is going to be organised.


The Deeper Editing Process

Effectively editing a piece of work can often be a difficult skill to master. Being able to identify where you have made mistakes and know how to improve something you have already finished can be difficult. However editing a piece of writing is something that all adults do, sometimes on a daily basis depending on where they work. For this reason we believe that the children at Westwood should learn to become independent editors of their own work by the time they leave Westwood.

The editing process involves children drawing upon everything they have learnt up to that given point. This can often be overwhelming for children and therefore time to reflect and prompts from teachers can often be needed. In order for children to become independent, effective editors direct teaching of this skill is needed. For this reason, at Westwood children will be taught how to edit in a variety of ways.


The Teaching of Editing

The direct teaching of editing will take place:

Key Stage 2 – 2 x per half term (evenly spread)

Key Stage 1 – Autumn term 4 x per half term (evenly spread)

                      Spring onwards 3 x per half term

This will be a planned editing lesson, using the new editing lesson plan format (see attached). The teaching of editing can take place in a variety of ways, across different genres and using different writing objectives. However the ultimate goal within these editing lessons is to help the children in your class make progress. Therefore tailoring these lessons to your class’s specific needs is crucial.


Ways to teach editing

  • Share a paragraph on the whiteboard that has been pre-written. Devise a checklist as a class for what they think would improve it. Edit the paragraph as a class.
  • Share a printed paragraph with each of the children and display on the board. Give children instructions for what to add or remove.
  • Share a paragraph either printed or displayed on the board that is an example of a ‘good one’ or ‘bad one’. Children to identify why it is good or what needs to be improved.
  • Share a paragraph that is a ‘good one’. They need to answer questions about why it was good or bad e.g. What helped you understand what the character’s personality was like?
  • Give each group a paragraph and edit it together using techniques they will use independently when completing editing stations.


Editing Stations

This type of editing takes up the time of a complete lesson and will take place once a half term for all children. Year 1 do not begin these longer editing stations until it is considered appropriate by the KS1 phase leader (around Summer 1). It is planned for in detail using the editing lesson planning format, see attached. Within an editing stations lesson, the children will rotate around 4 stations in Key Stage 2 and 3/4 stations in Key Stage 1. Every child will have the opportunity to spend time at each station. Each station will focus on a specific editing task. All children will be editing the same piece of writing during this time.


E1 – Station 1


  • Capital letters and full stops
  • Spellings (use of spelling mats or dictionaries)
  • Missing words
  • Checking it makes sense
  • Letter formation/handwriting
  • Incorrect or missing punctuation

E2 – Station 2


  • Better choice of vocabulary (use of word cards or lists tailored to the piece of writing)
  • Questions as prompts to add detail or for clarification
  • Punctuation checklist (for taught punctuation) chn to tick the piece of punctuation if included or try to add it if not

E3 – Station 3 Working with teacher


  • Impact of their writing
  • Humour
  • Atmosphere
  • Plot
  • Meaningful description of character and setting
  • Sentence order and construction
  • Fluidity
  • Removal or improvement of specific words, speech, sentences, phrases or contradictions

E3 – Station 4 Working with TA


  • Impact of their writing
  • Humour
  • Atmosphere
  • Plot
  • Meaningful description of character and setting
  • Sentence order and construction
  • Fluidity
  • Removal or improvement of specific words, speech, sentences, phrases or contradictions


Each of the stations above will need to be resourced in order for the children to be able to work independently on each task. In Key Stage 2 there will always need to be an adult on the E3 stations. However in Key Stage 1 adults will need to be organised depending on the tasks.

Orange Highlighting

The editing that will take place on the E3 stations will already have been identified by the teacher and highlighted in orange within the margin. This will look like an extended orange bracket around the chosen section. As these stations will involve editing longer sections of work and re-writing, this editing will take place on as separate piece of trimmed lined paper which is then stuck into books, within the margin, creating an overlay.


Children working within Key Stage 2 between a 1c and 2c may have slightly different editing stations. For example:

Teacher station – E2

TA station – E1

Station 3 – Spelling practice (spelling book or look, cover write, check)

Station 4 – Handwriting practice (handwriting book – these words, letters etc. already prepared in books)

Mixed Ability Groups

During the editing station lessons children can be grouped in mixed abilities. This will allow the teacher and teaching assistant to share out their 1:1 teaching evenly.