Writing at Abbeymead: Our Vision
Writing at Abbeymead is closely linked to our reading, as we believe that great readers make great writers! Our writing units are based around high quality texts which link, where appropriate, with our topics. We balance writing units and extended writing outcomes, with SPaG teaching and 'Slow Writes', which focus on technical and grammatical accuracy in writing.
Over the last year, we have been embedding the approach R2W (Reader to Writer) into our English lessons; we use the reading dog Arlo Author to help us read like a writer and consider how we can write for effect, considering the impact on our audience.
We believe in engaging children across the school using creative approaches, including the use of art, drama and roleplay. At Abbeymead, we follow Pie Corbett's Talk 4 Writing approach in KS1 and continue to use some aspects of this in LKS2. We also use many of the strategies from the CLPE Power of Reading scheme throughout the school from EYFS up to Year 6.
Writing Teaching Sequence
We use the following teaching sequence for a unit of writing:
Watch this SPACE
Throughout writing units and particularly when the children come to plan a piece of extended writing, we focus in on five key components of writing: Structure, Purpose, Audience, Composition and Effect. Children plan their writing with these five elements in mind.
At Abbeymead, we have developed our own poetry phases that work alongside our 5E writing process. Our phases are:
Phase 1: Reading and appreciating (explore as a reader)
Phase 2: Gathering ideas (explore as a writer)
Phase 3: Independent outcome (evolve)
Take a look at what happens in each phase below:
Below is a look at some of the poems and type of poetry each year group may explore throughout the year:
At Abbeymead, we realise how important it is for our children to have access to an extensive vocabulary, to be successful both as a reader and as a writer. The meaning of words and new vocabulary is taught and explored through all aspects of our English curriculum; reading, writing and oracy (speaking and listening). Vocabulary activities are also built into all other subjects across the curriculum and vocabulary lists have been created for every foundation subject within the curriculum.
This year, we have changed our approach to spellings and use a phonic approach all the way up to Year 6. We have removed the accountability from the parents by moving to an approach that is classroom based. We have created lists for each year group that focus on one phoneme per week by analysing what the children are taught in KS1 and the spelling rules and knowledge required as per the National Curriculum in KS2. We have three, ten minute spelling sessions a week that reflect the following structure:
Day one: Highlighting the phoneme in each word and sorting into a phoneme grid
Day two: We analyse the words and break them down into individual sounds using buttons and bars
Day three: Sound sort! The children are given a blank grapheme grid and have to sort the words as they are read aloud. It's important to celebrate the correct grapheme for that week's sound.
Day four: Spelling test
Additionally, these lists are shared on Spelling Shed. Children have access to the app 'Spelling Shed' in school and at home, where they can practise their weekly spellings as part of their homework if they wish.
Useful Websites and Resources for Parents
Grammar and punctuation terminology explained:
Picture and video stimulus for writing at home:
Other useful websites:
Apps for supporting teaching of handwriting at home:
Apps for supporting story writing at home:
Supporting your child to write at home
Early writing activities:
- Encourage children to look for print in their environment - road signs, food packets, shops etc.
- Try activities to develop fine motor skills e.g. cutting, using playdough, tracing, using tweezers or clothes pegs to pick things up.
- Use a chalkboard to write family messages on.
- Make labels for things around the house.
- Write a shopping list - real or imaginary! Or any kind of list.
- Letter formation - practise forming letters using paint, in sand, using playdough or pastry.
- Let your child write their own Christmas cards or birthday cards to people.
- Use magnetic letters - your child can leave you a message on the fridge.
- Encourage and praise early squiggles which show your child is beginning to understand writing.
- Write party invitations
- Encourage children to write thank you letters after birthdays and Christmas.
- Write postcards when on holiday.
- Write simple sentences from pictures (Pobble is a really good website for this!)
- Email or write a letter to a family member or friend.
- Write short stories involving real life experiences.
- Write an information leaflet about something they find interesting e.g. a favourite sport, dinosaurs etc.
- Ask them to correct a sentence you have written with a deliberate mistake e.g. a spelling mistake or missing punctuation.
More confident writers:
- Write a diary.
- Write a story for a younger family member, in the style of their favourite author.
- Write a holiday journal.
- Write a recipe or instruction manual e.g. how to play a game.
- Write to the local newspaper about an issue they feel strongly about.
- Look out for writing competitions! e.g. Radio 2's 500 word story competition.
- Encourage them to proof read and edit their writing (could be homework) once they have finished. Ask them to check that spelling, punctuation and grammar is accurate.
Mead Road, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL4 5YS