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Intent and Implementation of writing at Westwood

 

Intent

At Westwood we aim to teach children to become confident and competent writers. Through the ‘adventure approach’ to the curriculum we provide the children with a purpose and desire to write as they feel invested in what they are doing. All writing is cross curricular therefore children begin every piece of writing being able to draw upon prior knowledge taught. This allows them to create links across the curriculum. Expectations of writing remain high across all subjects developing a sense of pride within the children.

Throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 the children are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes, genres and audiences. Over the year they have the chance to revisit writing for a certain purpose to show progression in their writing.

Through writing we aim to extend and enrich our children’s vocabulary. We believe that having a wide vocabulary helps children communicate their ideas in a more engaging way and boosts their power of persuasion and the impact on the intended audience.

 

Implementation

At Westwood, we believe that providing a curriculum which is engaging and hands on is key. Through the whole curriculum we want to create a culture of ‘botheredness’ so the children are fully immersed in what they are doing. In order to do this, we deliver our lessons through learning adventures where each key stage follows an adventure, which has a strong narrative running through it, where all subjects are taught following the same story. This includes writing, which allows children to feel a purpose for their writing and have the necessary information and motivation to produce excellent pieces of cross-curricular writing.

From Early Year to Year 6 we use a range of teaching strategies to engage and inspire the children in the writing curriculum:

Imagineering

When using Imagineering in writing the children can fully immerse themselves in the writing, allowing them to feel a purpose in what they are producing. Imagineering may offer the children a ‘problem’ that they need to solve and they can explore this through their writing. It can be used to develop a clear understanding of a setting, character or situation through the use of drama. Imagineering also provides opportunity to ‘hook’ the children into a piece of writing.

Outdoor Learning

Through the use of the outdoors real life experiences and writing hooks are created. This gives the children an insight into what they are writing about and builds on their imagination.
Active Learning

Active Learning within writing motivates children and enhances their learning experience. This combines cross curricular learning (including writing) with moderate to vigorous physical activity as children are taught whilst moving around the classroom or outside. In writing, children complete a range of active learning activities ranging from the teaching of the genre, the specific writing objective for the writing lesson and generating ideas to include within their writing.

Real life experiences
We endeavour to ensure that our writing curriculum is enriched with real life experiences ranging from trips, visitors or hands on practical learning to ensure all our learners are starting their writing from the same advantage point. We believe every child should have the opportunity and access to a wide range of experiences.

Writing buddies

Every child in the school is partnered with a buddy who they share their writing with each half term. They are inspired to produce writing to the best of their ability in order to show their buddy and receive positive feedback and praise.

 

Genre

It is not an expectation that children will be writing in every writing lesson as they 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.

Early Years and Key Stage One

Entertain

Inform

Persuade

Discuss

Story

Character description

Setting description

Report

Recount

Instructions
Letter

Diary

Advert
Invitation

Evaluation

 

 

Lower Key Stage Two

Entertain

Inform

Persuade

Discuss

Story

Character description

Setting description

 

Report

Recount

Instructions

Letter

Diary

Biography

 

Advert

Leaflet

Invitation

 

Evaluation

Explanation

Argument

 

Upper Key Stage Two

Entertain

Inform

Persuade

Discuss

Story

Character description

Setting description
Playscript

 

Report

Recount

Instructions

Letter

Diary

Biography or auto-biography

Eyewitness account

 

Advert

Leaflet

Invitation

Letter

 

Evaluation

Explanation

Discussion

Newspaper report

 

 

Poetry

At Westwood, along with focusing on poetry through reading lessons, we celebrate poetry in a ‘Poetry Week’. During this week the children will write a range of different poems based on the adventure they are doing, focus on poetry during guided reading lessons and work towards a performance of a poem in a poetry celebration assembly.

Poetry types

Acrostic

Shape

Haiku

Nonsense

Limerick

Sonnet

Kenning

Narrative

Rhyming

 

Marking and feedback

We know that effective marking and feedback can have a significant impact on children’s progress and is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. 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. Marking and feedback will celebrate children’s effort and achievement and will also enable the children to make corrections and improve their work.

Editing

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. For this reason, we will ensure the children at Westwood learn to become independent editors of their own work by the time they leave Westwood.

In order for children to become independent, effective editors, direct teaching of this skill is needed. At Westwood children will be taught how to edit in a variety of ways: editing lessons and editing stations. Editing lessons focus on the different skills children need to acquire to edit their own work. Editing stations allow the children to apply the skills gained in the lessons into improving a piece of their own work. This type of editing takes up the time of a complete lesson and is planned for in detail. The children rotate around each of the four stations and each one will focus on a specific editing task (see marking and feedback policy for examples and more information about the deeper editing process).

 

Assessment

Twice a half term, children complete a ‘Big Write’. These pieces of writing are assessed by the teacher to see what level the child is working at. The ‘Big Write’ is an independent piece of writing. This piece remains in context to the adventure the children are currently working on.

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. 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 assessment criteria for the appropriate year group will be ticked off so that teachers can see which elements 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.

 

SPAG and handwriting

At Westwood we equip the children will all the skills they need to be capable writers. Each year group has a spelling word list, that is taught over the year, taken from the spelling patterns and 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. The spellings 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. Explicit grammar and punctuation lessons are taught from Year 3 onwards. In addition to this, every writing lesson has a grammar or punctuation-based objective.

In handwriting, children in Reception and Year 1 focus on accurate letter formation on the line. Children are taught cursive script from the start of Year 2 and are expected to have fluent, cursive, legible and speedy handwriting. There will be daily teaching of handwriting and many opportunities for the children to practise their handwriting.

Writing Teaching Strategies

 

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At Westwood, we believe that providing a curriculum which is engaging and hands on is key. Through the whole curriculum we want to create a culture of ‘botheredness’ so the children are fully immersed in what they are doing. In order to do this, we deliver our lessons through learning adventures where each key stage follows an adventure, which has a strong narrative running through it, where all subjects are taught following the same story. This includes writing, which allows children to feel a purpose for their writing and have the necessary information and motivation to produce excellent pieces of cross-curricular writing.

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3

At Westwood, we use a technique called ‘Imagineering’ to inspire and engage the children in their learning. When using Imagineering in writing the children can fully immerse themselves in the writing, allowing them to feel a purpose in what they are producing. Imagineering may offer the children a ‘problem’ that they need to solve and they can explore this through their writing. It can be used to develop a clear understanding of a setting, character or situation through the use of drama. Imagineering also provides opportunity to ‘hook’ the children in to a piece of writing.

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Picture 2
Picture 3

In writing lessons at Westwood, we create experiences which are exciting, hands on and memorable. This gives the children rich and varied lessons that provide them with opportunities to immerse themselves in what they are writing. We do this through the use of outdoor learning, where writing hooks or ideas take place outdoors. The children engage in practical, hands on activities where they can create before writing about what they have produced. We also provide them with real-life experiences where they can gain a level of insight into what they are writing about and build their imagination.

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Along with generating ideas through engaging, stimulating and exciting ways, we also provide children with the skills required to produce well-written pieces of writing. For every piece of writing children are given a clear writing objective for them to try and achieve in that piece. The objective is taught as part of the writing lesson and is in context to the adventure therefore providing children with work that can lead directly into the piece of writing for that lesson.

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Physical active learning is an approach used at Westwood as a method to motivate children and enhance their learning experience. This is achieved through a whole school approach called ‘Burn 2 Learn’. This combines cross curricular learning (including writing) with moderate to vigorous physical activity as children are taught whilst moving around the classroom or outside. In writing, children complete a range of ‘Burn 2 Learn’ activities ranging from the teaching of the genre, the specific writing objective for the writing lesson and generating ideas to include within their writing.

Policies

 

Click on each of the tabs below to have a look at our amazing writing from this year. You will find writing for the different purposes and evidence of the teaching strategies used to teach the different genres.
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