The Teaching of Writing at Kirby Hill CE Primary School
At Kirby Hill, we want our children to be competent and accurate writers who write with flair and enthusiasm and pupils who speak confidently and listen carefully so they are sufficiently skilled and ready for the next stage in their education.
The Long Term Plan for English
Our English lessons are carefully planned to complement our Cornerstones curriculum, ensuring that our topic and English lessons are planned in unison, taking into account the children’s interests and any links to class novels. Here are examples from the English Long Term plan of a unit of work, covered over a half term:
Example KS1 unit Example KS2 unit
This has really helped the children to develop enthusiasm for their writing because they have fully immersed themselves into the topics.
The Writing Journey
We have worked really hard to refine the journey that the children will go on through their writing unit. We have introduced explore, develop and compose: explore the text type, develop the relevant skills and compose writing based on what we’ve learnt.
We noticed that a number of children were struggling to apply the skills they learnt in their English lessons to their end piece of writing so we introduced sentence stacking. We were inspired by reading Jane Considine’s ‘Write Stuff’ and have taken the approach of sentence stacking to help children to apply their knowledge of the text type and of punctuation, sentence structure and grammar into a piece of writing. Sentence stacking is a process where the children develop and share lots of new and interesting vocabulary, watch a teacher composing a good example of sentence/s with a focussed technique, sentence structure or punctuation mark and then apply this new learning to their own version of the sentence/s. The process is heavily focussed on the children improving their writing continually to make it the best it can be. We want our children to be really proud of the work they have achieved, following our school motto, ‘If you believe it, you can achieve it,’ and this process really helps the children to do this.
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A unit of writing
We have placed the sentence stacking lessons within the unit of writing as our trial of it was such a success. In each unit of writing we will mainly include:
- Pre-unit assessment – to assess what knowledge and skills the children have already.
- Explore: engaging the children with a stimulus
- Explore: reading & analysing high-quality examples of the text type
- Develop: focusing on at least 1 aspect of related grammar/ punctuation,
- Develop: gathering content/planning
- Compose: sentence stacking
- Compose: independent writing (End of unit assessment)
- Compose: proofreading/editing
- Compose: if appropriate, publishing/using it for the intended purpose
Purpose for writing
Where possible, we want children to be writing for a real life purpose. This helps to engage the children and build their enthusiasm for writing. For example, after learning how to make pizzas in DT, the children created a persuasive pitch for the cook to persuade her to cook their pizzas on the school menu. The winning pizza was then chosen and cooked as a special on the school menu.
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We are amazing writers
Here is a selection of the fantastic writing the children have produced at Kirby Hill School. We are so proud of all their hard work and we hope you enjoy looking at it too!
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For further information on our teaching of English, please click on the link to see our overview: