At Unsworth Primary we believe in providing children with a range of different opportunities to write across the curriculum. Within our English lessons we aim to teach children the necessary skills to become confident and fluent writers. When children enter our Reception class they begin their writing journey, starting to learn how to write individual letters and words, which turn into captions and sentences as the year progresses. By the end of KS1, children are writing their own full texts, developing a continuous cursive style of handwriting and starting to select precise vocabulary to interest the reader. Across Lower KS2 children consolidate their handwriting style, develop an understanding of controlling paragraphs and vary the types of sentences and language that they apply to different text types. By the end of KS2, we aim for our children to be confident writers who can independently select different text types for different audiences and purposes.
To achieve this our teaching of writing focuses on 4 key elements as set out in the revised National Curriculum.
- Composition-the development of writing stamina, composing sentences and editing work.
- Transcription-the spelling of words and application of spelling rules.
- Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation-the mechanics of writing.
- Handwriting-the development of a fluent continuous cursive style of handwriting by the end of Year 3.
Below is a video that one of our Y6 children created independently to share the types of writing that go on within our school. He wanted to share the video with David Walliams, who has inspired him to consider being a writer in the future.
Within the classroom, children will experience 3 types of writing and below is a definition of each.
Shared Writing–Shared writing involves the class or small groups. During shared writing, the teacher initiates and models writing, while children contribute their ideas. Teacher and pupils work together to compose messages and stories. The teacher models how writing works, the processes that are involved and draws attention to letters, words, and sounds during the writing. The object of shared writing is to demonstrate and teach the necessary skills and conventions of fluent writing.
Guided Writing–Guided writing involves very specific and focused instruction. It can be one-to-one or with small groups of children with similar needs. Each child in a group composes an individual piece of writing with the intense support of the teacher. They hold the pen and have ownership over their writing. Mini-lessons are planned to reflect the specific needs of the children that are determined through ongoing assessment. The aim is to support children in becoming independent writers through building on the writing behaviours focused on in modelled and shared writing sessions. Children can usually produce more detailed and complex texts in these sessions than they can on their own.
Independent Writing–In independent writing children take responsibility for their own writing. It provides an opportunity for them to demonstrate the processes and strategies that have been demonstrated through the other elements of the writing block. It is crucial that sufficient scaffolding of the processes and strategies required to successfully complete the task have occurred prior to children working independently. Some children will require more support than others and may need to be part of a small group constructing a joint text using interactive or an independent piece using guided writing.
Across the week children will experience the different types of writing and at the end of every 2 weeks, they will write a full independent piece to ensure that they are able to develop their writing stamina and have an opportunity to use the skills that they have been learning. Within our enquiry curriculum children are also given opportunities to write, using a range of different text types that they have learnt. The aim of this is to give children a real sense of audience and purpose for their writing, as well as giving them content that they can use. In every class from Year 1 to Year 6, the children follow our school writing route map, which is displayed on our writing working walls. The idea of the route map is to provide children with a clear idea of the steps they need to take to develop an understanding of a particular text type. Below are some examples of our writing working walls.
- E-learning resources for writing
- Year group writing overviews
- Helpful hints to support writing at home