At Clifton CE Primary School, we follow the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach.
Talk for Writing is based on how children learn. It places the learner, through formative assessment, at the heart of the planning, teaching and learning process. The term Talk for Writing not only describes all the talk that surrounds the teaching of writing, but also the wider learning within a unit. It helps the children become better speakers, listeners, readers, writers and thinkers. It includes the way in which an effective teacher thinks aloud, articulating thought processes as well as demonstrating readerly and writerly approaches. The children are engaged in talking through ideas and refining their spoken and written expression. By involving them in explaining to others, it enables the children to develop their understanding of whatever is being studied. And, of course, in the process it improves the children’s reading: the more familiar you become with the tune of a text, the easier it is to read that sort of a text because the generic language patterns have been internalised.
The underpinning Talk for Writing process moving from imitation through innovation into independent application can be applied to any type of writing.
Nine key story types- Wishing, Warning, Beating-the-Monster, Journey, Portal, Losing, Suspense, Fantasy and Change.
Seven key story features- Description, Setting, Suspense, Action, Characterisation, Dialogue and Openings and Endings.
Six Non-Fiction Genres- Recount, Instruction, Information, Explanation, Persuasion and Discussion.
A range of poetry across the year groups.
Our writing is driven through quality model texts of different genres and class core texts, which maybe inspired by other areas of the curriculum. Writing across the curriculum ensures pupils have purpose to their outcome, such as imagining the experiences of a WWII evacuee by writing a letter as a WWII evacuee or recounting the events of the Great Fire of London as a newspaper making writing an enjoyable experience.
SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) objectives for each year group are incorporated into our daily English lessons and taught either as explicit stand alone lessons or incorporated into our writing lessons. In Year 1 and 2, Jolly Grammar 1 and 2 are taught. Progression to Grammarsaurus is made in year 3. To ensure coverage of the English National Curriculum objectives for each year group, we carefully assess pupils' knowledge termly through standardised assessments and carefully plan to ensure there are no gaps, revising and building upon prior learning.
Handwriting begins in Reception with basic letter formation and continues to evolve in Key Stage 1. Staff explicitly model letter formation and joins depending on their year group. The frequency for teaching handwriting is cohort dependent and varies across the school based on need. This could be in the form of both whole class teaching and individual sessions.
Handwriting in Key Stage 1
Fast handwriting in Year 1 develops our pupils’ letter formation as they start to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place, including capital letters. Letter and number formation should be directly taught. Left-handed pupils receive specific teaching to meet their needs; teaching and developing the pre-cursive letters required for the next stage of their learning
As the children progress to Year 2, teaching focusses on the use of diagonal and horizontal strokes to join letters. Children begin to join letter patterns and practise the joins before writing them in context (e.g. a simple sentence). Letters which are best left un-joined are introduced and modelled appropriately b, g, j, p, y, x and z, ensuring children join and break words in the right places. As part of fast handwriting, children practise: days of the week, months of the year and common exception words; moving on to the Continuous Cursive handwriting in year 2.
Handwriting in Key Stage 2
As the children gain fluency and build speed, they check that their letters are consistently sized, joins are used correctly, ascenders and descenders are parallel and there are regular spaces within and between words. Children are taught about break letters g,j,y and the letters x and z which are never joined to or from.
Fast handwriting in KS2 builds muscle memory and addresses handwriting misconceptions. Children write fluently, legibly and with increasing speed before developing their own style.
We teach cursive handwriting in order to benefit children in the areas of both spelling and writing as Continuous Cursive presents a fluid style that is easy to learn and is neat and legible.