A challenging and inspiring 'book led' approach
Over the last two years we have reviewed our whole school writing curriculum, linking it to key texts to use as a stimulus for writing. Many of these texts have been chosen to engage and inspire all children to develop their reading and writing skills. We have combined our clear SPAG progression content with this book led approach so that learning builds up overtime and all aspects of the National Curriculum are covered.
At Spurcroft Primary School, we follow the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to our English teaching and learning. Our aim is for children to master the craft of writing to allow for independent application of language patterns and text features from using a shared example as a stimulus to their own writing. Our aim is to encourage our children to become confident and self-improving writers.
We aim to select high quality texts with careful consideration of the independent application stage. Teachers will carry out initial assessments through using ‘Cold Writes’ with the children to understand their starting points. These allow children to make progress on the types of language and grammar features required in the unit by teachers deliberately building in opportunities for the children to practise the required skills before their improved ‘Hot Write’.
The internalisation of vocabulary, language and sentence patterns in the chosen text serves as a scaffold for writing later on. Children develop their word and general knowledge to enable then to talk articulately and with knowledge about their text. Teachers plan opportunities for children to hear and rehearse language patterns and sentences. They may use drama activities or develop internalisation of patterns through oral rehearsal. Teachers will use ‘text maps’ with symbols to prompt key events within the text. The children can then internalise generic story structure and success criteria for achieving a desired effect so that they can apply these ideas to wider contexts later on.
The innovation stage is used to scaffold support to write at the desired standard. In this stage the knowledge the children have gained from the imitation stage is now applied to another context. The children often complete ‘shared writing’ during this stage where a teacher model can be adapted with their own ideas or ideas generated as a whole class.
Independent Application Stage
Throughout this stage the children take their knowledge of the structure and their understanding of the success criteria of the text type and are able to independently apply it to new contexts. Children will now let go of the text scaffold and will start to map, talk and write their own version. Throughout this stage the children are encouraged to work on their own targets but will also use the ‘toolkits’ for the given text type to remind them of expectations.