Our vision and ambition for Writing at Hemingford Grey Primary School
We believe in immersing children in a magic world of tales and story whilst enriching their language skills, developing their fine motor and adopting Greg Bottrill’s approach with Drawing Club and The Message Centre, as a vehicle to engage children to mark make and write. This encompasses an approach to literacy that uses high quality texts to develop skills, share ideas and have a creative approach to their writing. These skills are then linked to continuous provision using secret messaging starting from emergent mark making through to simple sentences. It gives our children the confidence and joy they deserve as writers and develops a culture in which children discover the delight in reading and writing.
Year 1 to 6
From Years 1 to 6, we have adopted ‘The Write Stuff’ to bring clarity and consistency to the mechanics of writing and to enable our children to write effectively and coherently.
As a school, all children from Year 1 to Year 6 learn to write through the Write Stuff approach. It is a fun, creative and rigorous approach to develop children’s writing. This approach allows children to apply basic skills, vocabulary and grammar knowledge to write effective sentences, which are full of impact and keep the reader interested.
In The Write Stuff approach to writing, the children explore high level, rich vocabulary and are taught grammar in context through different writing lenses on the Writing Rainbow. There are three lenses used to support children with their writing:
Fantastics – ideas for writing
Grammaristics – tools for writing
Boomtastics – writing techniques
‘The Write Stuff’ is based on two guiding principles; teaching sequences that slide between experience days and sentence stacking lessons.
As part of the teaching sequence, teachers plan experience days; sentence stacking lessons and independent writing sequences. Experience days immerse children in experiences linked to their writing and drench them in vocabulary linked to the lenses in ‘The Writing Rainbow’. From the experience days, children take part in the sentence stacking lessons. Sentence stacking lessons focus on writing three chunks with focuses on lenses of the rainbow.
‘The Write Stuff’ follows a method called ‘Sentence Stacking’ in which sentences are stacked together 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 one plot point from the text, broken into three learning chunks:
1. Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence
2. Model section – the teacher models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
3. Enable section – the children write their sentences, following the teacher’s model.
This part of the unit is heavily scaffolded with lots of teacher input and modelling of vocabulary use, sentence construction and use of grammar with reference to the 3 writing lenses.
During the initiate section, children ‘chot’ (chat and jot) down their ideas from stimulating resources, such as pictures, music and drama. The children are encouraged to use ‘kind calling out’ where they call out examples of vocabulary, adverbs, onomatopoeia etc.
During the Model section, the teacher prepares children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar and techniques of writing taken from the writing rainbow.
In the Enable section, pupils write their own sentences, taking the opportunity to deepen the moment. ‘Deepen the Moment’ is where children are challenged to independently draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.
Following the sentence stacking, children are given the opportunity to show what they have learnt by planning and writing their own independent piece of writing. After they have written their independent piece, each child is given the opportunity to self-edit.
‘The Write Stuff’ provides a balance of narrative, non-fiction and poetry writing throughout each term.
Having followed ‘The Write Stuff’ approach to developing their writing skills children should be able to:
write for a range of purposes including diary entries, persuasive letters, stories, poems and recounts to name but a few.
use their vast knowledge of vocabulary to excite, inform or entertain the reader.
understand a range of punctuation and the effect it can have on the reader in both writing and reading.
understand and be able to use a range of grammatical devices.
understand the various sentence types that can be used to support different genres.
spell accurately using their phonetic knowledge and apply spelling rules.
to speak clearly, fluently and coherently, to be able to listen attentively with understanding, pleasure, empathy and contribute to group discussions
Mrs Vicki Read
Mrs Danielle Gaynor
Please support your child at home by creating opportunities for regular reading; links below are some questions which you can use to support discussion at home.