At Cross Farm writing is seen as essential in the all-round development of the child and is vital for underpinning every area of the school curriculum.
Alongside reading, speaking and listening, we teach children to write so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Through writing, children have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
We teach writing through the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach, by following the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage expectations.
‘The Talk for Writing’ approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.
We aim to use a range of exciting stimuli including texts, film clips, artefacts, visitors and meaningful real-life and first-hand experiences which we hope will excite the children and encourage them to be writers.
At Cross Farm we use a four-step approach that follows the ‘Talk for Writing’ sequence:
1. A cold task or a ‘have a go’ task. An interesting and rich starting point provides the stimulus and content but there is no initial teaching. The aim of this is to see what the children can do independently at the start of a unit, drawing on their prior learning. The teachers assess this writing to determine what to teach the whole class, different groups, and adapt the model text and plan.
2. The imitation stage. Children are introduced to a text that is pitched well above their level and has built into it the underlying, transferable structures and language patterns that they will need when they are writing. This is learned using a ‘text map’ and actions to strengthen memory and help children internalise the text. Activities such as drama are used to deepen understanding of the text.
3. The innovation stage. Once the children are familiar with the model text, then the teacher leads them into creating their own versions. A new subject is presented and the teacher leads pupils through planning. This is based on changing the basic map and retelling new versions
4. The invention stage. Children now independently apply what has been taught and practiced by writing their own text.
Throughout our lessons, teachers model the writing process and demonstrate the high standards expected of all children. Guided writing sessions and appropriate resources are provided to help scaffold and shape the children’s writing
Each classroom has a ‘Working Wall’ which is built upon and changed regularly to support the children to become independent in making choices to enhance their writing. The ‘Working Wall’ contains key vocabulary related to the texts covered.
Grammar is taught during the guided and modeled sessions based upon examples within the model text, as well as discretely when introducing a new skill.
In handwriting we teach children to use the correct letter orientation, formation and proportion. As the children’s handwriting develops the four basic handwriting joins (diagonal and horizontal joins to letters, with and without ascenders) are practiced. Children are encouraged to begin joining at an appropriate time for the individual.
Phonics – Please see our reading page for further information regarding our approach to phonics.
Children will develop an enthusiasm for writing and understand that it has many purposes.
Children will have knowledge of grammar and punctuation appropriate to National Curriculum expectations.
Children will demonstrate the ability to write independently in a variety of situations, for differing purposes and audiences.
Children will demonstrate a phonetic awareness in their spelling alongside an awareness of common exception words.
Children will be aware of the conventional forms of spelling appropriate to National Curriculum expectations.
Children will be aware of grammatical terminology and how to use grammatical functions appropriate to National Curriculum expectations.
Children will use neat handwriting that is legible.