Here at Princecroft, our ultimate goal is for all children to see themselves as writers.
Children are gifted with inquisitive minds, enthusiasm and creative imaginations. Our approach to writing aims to harness these qualities and nurture them, alongside exposure to high quality texts, vocabulary and key knowledge to help them shape exciting new ideas.
We cannot emphasise enough how important the link between reading and successful writing really is. Children who have been exposed to lots of high-quality literature encounter significantly more vocabulary and ideas, meaning the ability to tell stories is greatly improved. This is a huge part of the rationale for developing our reading spine for whole-class reading lessons.
Children first learn to write words alongside being taught sounds and their spellings in phonics lessons. For this we use Sounds~Write.
In our daily writing lessons, we follow Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing method across the school. We alternate between teaching a fiction and non-fiction unit based on each key text as set out below.
You will notice that some of these texts have previously been taught as part of our reading spine. The decision to revisit some of our well-known texts as a writing stimulus is intentional.
We know that for many children, getting their words down on the page can be daunting. Writing requires many thought processes and decisions and has a high demand on working memory.
The Talk for Writing sequence ensures that text exploration, direct skills teaching and planning sessions give children the building blocks they need to prepare for such a task. Lots of discussion, drawing and sharing takes place well before writing their first piece.
The teaching sequence for each unit is split into 3 main stages:
Learning a key text by heart and studying its features and structure
Making changes to the original text – e.g. new characters or setting – in order for children to write a similar version of their own
Make further changes, moving away from the original text content, but keeping the structure to write an independent piece
We also ensure children are taught the skills of editing and redrafting their writing – they know that nobody’s first attempt is perfect. We draw on well-known authors and the role of editors/publishers to emphasise that this is also the case in the real world.
Children will always return to their writing to edit for mistakes and make improvements by reshaping sentences and paragraphs of their work.
We see writing as one of the most important life skills we can teach our children.
Being confident in literacy skills unlocks so many doors of opportunity for children as they move through the education system and beyond. Not only is it a vital method of communication, but we also want children to enjoy writing and see it as a way to express their thoughts and feelings in various different forms.