Menu
Home Page

Policies

Writing at Westwood

Writing Policy

Structure of lessons

The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:

  • Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
  • Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation

Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

From Year 1 there will be four Grammar and punctuation lessons. In Year 6 there will be a grammar and punctuation lesson every day. Handwriting will be taught separately to the writing lesson.

We believe that providing our children with a curriculum that is hands on, inspiring and engaging is key. All children should enjoy leaning and be passionate about what they are doing. Through our curriculum we want to generate a culture of ‘botheredness’. When learning we want our children to be immersed in what they are doing, to feel bothered, to care and to empathise. At Westwood we strongly believe that if we can create this sense of ‘botheredness’ our children will want to learn, want to engage, be passionate about what they are doing and in return make good progress.

At Westwood we place great value on the wider curriculum and through our way of working ensure that each and every subject including writing is wrapped up in our values and beliefs.

Each half term teachers decide from the long term what their driving subject will be. From this, teachers create an adventure/story which allows writing and foundation subjects within that half term to be covered. The purpose of the adventure/story is to create the ‘botheredness’. It allows children to feel a purpose for what they are doing. It provides them with the opportunity to care, to empathise, to problem solve, to generate enterprise, to be hands on, to be inspired and to be passionate. The adventure allows fluidity between all subjects, it allows cross-curricular links to be made and it allows children to become completely immersed in their learning for the half term. During each half term, every piece of learning the children are involved in links to the next. This means that the timetable for writing lessons is left flexible. Writing lessons could happen at any given point in the day or week. The order of writing lessons and when the occur completely depends on where the learning adventure takes them next.

It is an expectation that all children will be taught the same objective in the lesson unless a child has specific SEN needs which means they are unable to access that particular objective. The teacher and teaching assistant will have a guided writing group within writing lessons. Within writing lessons children should be given the opportunity to engage in activities such as:

  • text analysis
  • reading and research
  • spoken language
  • drama techniques
  • real life experiences such as visits
  • outdoor writing opportunities
  • practical, hands-on activities

It is not an expectation that children will be writing in every writing lesson as children need to develop their knowledge and understanding of the context as well as time to form and articulate their ideas.

In writing lessons there should be a balance between teaching and learning about different genres and their features, and the technical aspects of writing (sentence construction, grammatical structures, vocabulary, punctuation). All teachers are provided with a list of genres which must be covered and assessed throughout the year.

Children are expected to write an objective or title and date at the beginning of each piece of work.

Assessment and feedback

In Year 2 and Year 6, we use the statutory exemplification criteria. In all other years we use an assessment criteria devised from the curriculum. Two pieces of independent writing will be assessed every half term. When writing independently, children can be provided with a checklist to help them self-assess and improve their work as they are writing and when they finish. This check list will be dependent on what the children have already been taught.

When children have completed their independent writing, teachers will highlight where children have met previous targets, or where they have included some particularly good features or elements. The criteria for each year group will be ticked off so that teachers can see which elements of different levels they are achieving and where the gaps are. From each piece of independent writing, the children will be given a clear target which they should work on over the next few weeks.

In children’s writing books, the teacher will continue to use the marking policy- see separate marking policy for writing.

Spelling

The spellings for each year group are taken from the spelling patterns and from the list of common exception words (as listed in the curriculum). These are split up so they can be taught in blocks of two weeks over the year. All children in the class will be working on the same spellings and these will be taught regularly throughout the week in short bursts. Children will have a weekly test on the spellings. The same test will be repeated the following week to give the children an opportunity to improve on their score. Children will have an opportunity to practise the spellings independently every Friday.

Handwriting

Children in Reception and Year 1 must focus on accurate letter formation on the line. Children will be taught cursive script from the start of Year 2 and will be expected to have fluent, cursive, legible and speedy handwriting. There will be daily teaching of handwriting and an opportunity for the children to practise their handwriting independently on a Friday.

Handwriting Policy

Cursive Handwriting

Why Cursive handwriting?

  • Letters are produced in a flowing movement, which helps the development of a physical memory of how each letter is written.
  • Letters all start in the same place and flow from left to right, which reduces the chance of reversal mix-ups such as b/d and p/q.
  • Due to the smooth flow, writing becomes quicker and easier.
  • Brain mapping, as it is called, shows that during cursive writing both the right and left hemispheres of the brain are active, this promotes improved language and memory functions. This is something that is not present either while writing in print or on a keyboard.
  • A cursive style of handwriting is recommended by the British Dyslexia Association.

 

How will handwriting look at Westwood?

Reception - Letter formation and building fine and gross motor skills
Year 1 - In the Summer term children will learn the pre-cursive letter groups. Children may begin joining the letters in the groups.
Year 2 - Children will begin writing in cursive.
Year 3 onwards - Cursive, continuing to learn the different joins, improve speed, legibility and quality.

From Blossom to Oak children will have a handwriting book.
The children will use these books to practice individual letters, letter joins, whole words, phrases or sentences.
In these books the children will need to write the short date.
A stamp or sticker is not required but teacher intervention needs to be clear if child is struggling.

Classroom environment
As much as possible, everything around the classroom should be written in cursive as children will pick up on it and copy. This includes worksheets, displays, writing on the IWB and marking.

 

What does it look like?

 

All letters should be joined apart from the q and x

 

Marking and feedback at Westwood Policy

Rationale

We know that effective marking and feedback can have a significant impact on children’s progress and is an integral part of the teaching. At Westwood we aim to make all marking and feedback meaningful, manageable and motivating and our guiding principle is that marking is entirely for the benefit of the children, not for the benefit of the leadership team, Ofsted and outside agencies. 

Written feedback at Westwood consists of up to four different elements:

  • praise and acknowledgement of the effort or achievement shown in the work,
  • an indication of what corrections or improvements may need to be made
  • corrections or additions made by the teacher
  • a target to work on in subsequent pieces of work

There is not an expectation that every mistake needs to be corrected by the child or the teacher but rather that the teacher decides which mistakes it is appropriate to work on.  There is a clear expectation that all children should read all feedback.  No feedback should be written that a child will not be able to read unless the teacher intends to read that comment to the child.  Where the teacher has indicated that there are corrections and improvements to be made, all children will be given time to complete these corrections and improvements.  Where a teacher has indicated a target for children to work on in subsequent pieces of work, the teacher will look out for this and praise the child for achieving this target.

Praise

At Westwood we believe that all children should be praised consistently for their efforts and achievements.  This can be in the form of stickers, purple stamps, highlighting or written comments as well as verbal feedback.  Children should have a clear understanding of teachers’ expectations and if the work has not been completed to the expected standard, the teacher will indicate what improvements need to be made. 

Corrections and Improvements

There are three different kinds of corrections and improvements that children will make to their work over time (i.e. not all will be relevant or necessary for every piece):

  • mistakes that the teacher wants the child to correct
  • changes or additions or improvements or removals
  • re-drafts or a re-teach

These will be explained in more detail under reading, maths and writing.

Maths

All correct work will be ticked and there will be an acknowledgement of the child’s effort and achievement in their journals and work books (see praise). 

Mistakes (E1)

The teacher will put a dot next to any mistakes and the teacher will indicate with a “c” which mistakes they would like the child to correct.  This is an E1 edit.  Children should only be asked to make corrections if it is clear that they understand the work but have just made a slip therefore they will be able to complete the correction without help.  They only complete corrections for the mistakes that are marked with a dot and “c”.  Corrections will either be completed at the end of the piece of work or on the next page to give children space to set them out correctly (i.e. the question will be written out again) or they will be completed where the original question was.  In the latter case, a green pencil will be used to show clearly where the child has corrected the work. Any corrections in their Journals will need to be done immediately to ensure children are ready to move onto their independent workbooks. Corrections in workbooks will need to be completed before the next lesson.

Improvements (E2)

The teacher will indicate what the child needs to do when an E2 edit is required.  This is when the maths work can be improved by showing working out, setting the maths out more logically and clearly or in a more organised way.  It could also be when the presentation of the work is not of the expected standard for that child.  Children are taught that when the teacher has indicated an E2 edit is needed, they must choose a question to write out again with the necessary improvement.  E2 will mainly be used when teachers want children to show their working out and the different steps of the problem, rather than just writing the answer. Teachers may ask the children to complete an E2 from their workbooks in their journal as more space may be needed to show the clear steps and working out. If this is the case children can simply write Workbook ad the question number.

Re-teach of misconceptions (E3)

If a child has made many mistakes or there is a pattern in the mistakes or a clear misconception, a re-teach will be needed before the child can make corrections.  The teacher will write E3 and reassure the child with the comment “Don’t worry, we will come back to this”.  The teacher will then ensure that this re-teach takes place as soon as possible afterwards for example in the morning edit time, at the beginning of the next lesson or as a longer part of the next lesson as a main teaching group activity.

Targets

There is no expectation that children will be given a target to work on in subsequent pieces of work.  Where relevant, teachers may give children general targets (applicable to different areas of maths) such as improving number formation, showing more working out, setting work out clearly, using a ruler carefully and so on.

Greater Depth

Within the workbooks and journals there may be questions and tasks set that are at the Greater Depth standard for each year group. If children have completed these the question will be highlighted in green.

Reading

All correct work will be ticked and there will be an acknowledgement of the child’s effort and achievement in their books (see praise). 

Mistakes (E1)

The teacher will put a dot next to any mistakes and the teacher will indicate with a “c” which mistakes they would like the child to correct.  This is an E1 edit.  Children should only be asked to make corrections if it is clear that they understand the work but have just made a slip therefore they will be able to complete the correction without help.  It may be that they need to simply re-read something again. They only complete corrections for the mistakes that are marked with a dot and “c”.  Corrections will either be completed at the end of the piece of work or on the line underneath in green pencil. Children are to leave a line between each question to allow this to happen. 

Improvements (E2)

The teacher will indicate what the child needs to do when an E2 edit is required.  This is when a question may need an improvement. The question may be improved by things such as providing more evidence, giving another reason or explaining their answer more fully. Children are taught that when the teacher has indicated an E2 edit is needed, they must answer the question again with the necessary improvement in green pencil.

Re-teach of misconceptions (E3)

If a child has made many mistakes or there is a pattern in the mistakes or a clear misconception, a re-teach will be needed before the child can make corrections.  The teacher will write E3 and reassure the child with the comment “Don’t worry, we will come back to this”.  The teacher will then ensure that this re-teach takes place as soon as possible afterwards for example in the morning edit time, at the beginning of the next lesson or as a longer part of the next lesson as a main teaching group activity.

 

Writing

Marking and feedback will celebrate children’s effort and achievement (see praise) 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 sense 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 – 3 x per half term (evenly spread)

Key Stage 1 – Autumn term 4/5 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 twice a half term for Key Stage 2 and three times a half term for Key Stage 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

Examples:

  • 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

Examples:

  • 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

Examples:

  • 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

Examples:

  • 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.

SEN

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.

Targets

Children will always be given a target in their independent big writing (starred piece).  In addition to this it will sometimes be appropriate for children to be given targets in other pieces of work.  It is really important that the starred pieces of work are spaced out over the half term so that the children have time to work on the target from the first piece so that they can do it by the second piece of writing. On the second piece of writing if the children have achieved their target two ticks next to the gold star will indicate this. If children have not shown their target in their writing it may be necessary to give the children an E2 to allow them an opportunity to show this. When this edit has been completed the star can then be ticked.

 Highlighting in writing

Highlighting will indicate the teacher is pleased with the work for one of the following reasons:

  • the child has done what was in a previous target
  • the child has included elements that were part of the lesson objective (for example using inverted commas correctly)
  • the child’s writing is good for any other reason (good choice of word, inclusion of humour, extra detail)

This highlighting will be completed in yellow highlighter.

Greater Depth

If children demonstrate any greater depth features in their writing these will be highlighted in green.

Peer assessment

Peer assessment can be useful in the teaching, learning and editing process; children enjoy having an audience for their writing work and this can lead to fruitful discussion, particularly when children are given a focus for peer assessment.  In addition to this, children can often spot errors in another child’s work more easily than in their own work and this can lead to useful discussion.  At Westwood we do not ask children to write in each other’s books when they are doing peer assessment (the feedback is just done verbally) then the child can make corrections or changes themselves where appropriate.

Self-assessment

Self-assessment takes many different forms from simple checking for errors to critical evaluation of work.  In every lesson children should be reminded to check for simple errors (see COW time).  In some lessons, children may be given opportunities to think for themselves about the kinds of improvements that are described in E2 and E3 edits.  There are many ways that teacher can encourage children to do this, for example checklists with features of writing that the children should be aiming to include.

COW time

Children should be given time before the end of the lesson or at set points throughout the lesson to check their work for errors.  There should be a clear signal that it is time to do this checking and a clear expectation that the children do this properly and carefully.  Teachers will train children in how to check work and this may include a prompt (such as “Can you all check that you have a capital letter at the beginning of every sentence?”).

Editing time

Children will be given regular opportunities to edit their work (E1, E2, E3) and read the feedback that they have been given.  This can be at the beginning of the day or at the beginning of a lesson or at other points in the lesson.  When it is a longer task (E3), time will be built in to the lesson and this will be indicated in the planning.  Sometimes it will appropriate for the teacher to find other times in the day to take a child or a group of children aside to give further teaching for an E3 edit.  Editing time can also be given on Fridays when all classes are doing individual reading.

Codes

 

 

 

 

E1

Correction

T in circle

Target

E2

Improvement

sp

spelling

E3

Redraft or re-teach

p

punctuation

.

Incorrect

add a word or punctuation

.c

Incorrect and needs to be corrected

.f

finish

tt

Practise this letter

J

Your teacher likes this

 

 

Top