Learning to write is one of the most important things that a child will learn. Children use their writing in almost all other subjects of the curriculum. Good writing also gives children a voice to share their ideas with the world.
For a child, learning to write can be a tricky business, not least because good writing involves handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation not to mention what we want to write and who we are writing for.
Curriculum and Planning
At Kenilworth, we use The Write Stuff as the basis for our English teaching. Our long term curriculum plan has been mapped out to provide opportunities for the children to revisit genres for progression across the year groups and contains linked core texts for each genre, developing a core reading spine for each class.
The Write Stuff
At Kenilworth Primary School we have adopted "The Write Stuff" by Jane Considine to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing. "The Write Stuff" follows a method called "Sentence Stacking" which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken in to 3 learning chunks. Each learning chunk has three sections:
- Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
- Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
- Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the model.
Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ which requires them to independently draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.
"The Write Stuff" uses three essential components to support children in becoming great writers
The three zones of writing :-
- IDEAS - The FANTASTICs uses a child friendly acronym to represent the nine idea lenses through which children can craft their ideas.
- TOOLS - The GRAMMARISTICS. The grammar rules of our language system and an accessible way to target weaknesses in pupils grammatical and linguistic structures.
- TECHNIQUES - The BOOMTASTICs which helps children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual.
The Write Stuff is based on two guiding principles; teaching sequences that slide between experience days and sentence stacking lessons. With modelling at the heart of them, the sentence stacking lessons are broken into bite-sized chunks and taught under the structural framework of The Writing Rainbow. Teachers prepare children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar or techniques of writing.
Handwriting is a key component of writing and at Kenilworth we use Letter join to support the development of handwriting within school.
How can I help at home?
Reading: A fundamental way to support your child’s development with all aspects of English, is to read regularly with your child at home.
Give your child a reason to write: It is really important to give your child lots of opportunities to apply their writing, for example: letters, diaries, shopping lists…
Support your child with spellings:
- Revisit the phase and high frequency word lists with your children – these can be found on each classes website page.
- Use their phonics in a fun way by playing games online.
The following websites are all recommended for parents to support their children at home
- Cbeebies (guide for parents and free games): http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/the-alphablocks-guide-to-phonics
- Phonics play (free games): http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/
- BBC interactive games: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/
- ICT Games, interactive games: http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html
Support your child with Handwriting: To support with handwriting, help your child develop their gross motor skills (throwing and catching etc.), fine motor skills (sewing, threading, using tweezers etc) and pen control.