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Children write every day in school, whether it be as part of an English lesson or cross-curricular writing. We have also adopted ‘Talk for Writing’ as a strategy for developing writing skills. This is based on the principles of how people learn, moving from imitation to innovation to independent application and can be adapted to suit the needs of learners from Foundation Stage up to Year Six. 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. Children learn to use techniques such as storymapping, oral rehearsal and using ‘magpie’ books for storing a bank of vocabulary and phrases, which will then stay
with them through school like a writer’s notepad.

Children are given creative writing opportunities which may follow a set text as its source of inspiration or linked into a cross-curricular theme. Year groups link a theme with a ‘Wow’ experience, whether that be within school or a trip, this may be at the start or the end of a unit of work. They also use a variety of text types in other subject areas including Religious Education, Science, History, Geography and ICT. Children are taught how to edit to correct and improve, with an increasing level of expectancy as they go through school, and are expected to use editing skills to improve their writing technique. Grammar and punctuation are taught through the Talk For writing strategies. They are also taught discretely on a weekly basis, following the national curriculum at both their year group curriculum expectations and that which is applicable to their own level of writing development. They are expected to use the skills taught within their independent writing.

We have a ‘Starwriter’ system in school, whereby a child from each class is chosen as a starwriter either because they have produced a fantastic piece of writing or because they have excelled in a piece of writing in regards to their own level of writing development. The pieces of writing chosen are displayed in the front entrance and they receive a certificate in assembly. We also publish these on our website for parents to see. ‘Starwriters’ are chosen every second week. 

Our school is also a ‘Pobble’ school. This is an online writing website, where our children’s writing can be published and shared to a worldwide audience. They in turn, have access to a wealth of writing from other ‘published’ writers of school age across the world. It also has a variety of writing stimuli and resources for the children and staff to access to broaden their writing experience and opportunities. We actively engage in termly writing competitions to give our children a purpose for their writing.