English - Writing
At Bournes Green School, we enable our pupils to consider themselves as ‘writers’, to encourage confidence and the motivation to want to write and to have sufficient control over the mechanics of writing to allow for skilful development of the writing process. We aim to develop fluency, legibility and an extensive repertoire of vocabulary that will enable children to express clarity of thought and manage language appropriately.
We have adopted ‘The Write Stuff’ approach to our teaching and learning of writing to ensure clarity to the mechanics of composition. Following a method called ‘Sentence Stacking’, the approach places emphasis on sentences being ‘stacked together’ chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. Within each genre of fiction and non-fiction studied by the children, they will learn to sentence stack, focusing on the style of the author and impact of words and sentences most appropriate for that particular genre.
Within each writing lesson, pupils learning is ‘chunked’ into three distinct parts for a writing lesson; initiate, model, enable. The initiate stage is a time to inspire: through the use of a stimulus, pupils are immersed in a rich language discussion and activities to provide a wealth of vocabulary to aid their writing. Vocabulary is ‘taught not caught’, therefore, the children will have a highly developed repertoire of words at their disposal. The model stage is the chunk whereby the teacher demonstrates the thoughts and processes of a writer and articulates writing choices. The enable stage is the opportunity for pupils to showcase what they can do within particular writing parameters known as The Three Zones of Writing: FANTASTICs, GRAMMARISTICs and the BOOMTASTICs. The Three Zones of Writing are essential components to support pupils in becoming great writers. Through the nine idea lenses known as the FANTASTICs, pupils focus on intended purpose of a sentence. The GRAMMARISTICs allow pupils to focus on the grammar element of writing which focuses on sentence structure, grammar rules and punctuation. The BOOMTASTICs allow pupils to capture and create a vivid visual for the reader through the use of poetic devices. Throughout the writing process, children edit and redraft their work in response to feedback from their teacher and peers.
Spelling is taught daily through the systematic programme ‘The Spelling Book’ which allows children to investigate, discover and learn life-long spelling strategies. Phonics is at the heart of this programme, looking at spelling patterns as well as etymology. We make links and connections with words the children come across in all subjects, developing and increasing their repertoire of words that they can spell accurately.