Writing 

The Lime Writing Curriculum aims to provide children with the experiences, knowledge and skills so that they develop into confident writers able to write across a range of genres or text types and for a range of audiences and purposes. As a Trust, we us The Write Stuff Program from EYFS through to Year 6.  

In the EYFS, teaching focuses heavily on creating a language rich environment in order to develop speaking and listening skills, listening to and responding to a range of stories and non-fiction texts and starting to make the links between phonics and writing for a purpose. From KS1 upwards, each year group completes 12 writing units. The journey of units has been mapped out carefully so that the children experience a broad range of genres, text types and themes as they move through school. As each unit is specific to the year group, this ensures that we also have a clear progression of skills and knowledge. A unit comprise of 3 types of lesson: experience lessons, sentence stacking lessons and independent writing. Experience lessons provide children with stimulus that helps to build quality vocabulary and ideas to apply to writing. Sentence stacking lessons are based around a key plot point in the story. It builds up in small steps called learning chunks – within each chunk, time is made for discussion and collation of vocabulary and ideas, quality instruction around knowledge and skills and time for the children to apply those ideas, vocabulary and skills independently within sentences. The focus of these lessons is very much on quality rather than quantity and we encourage children to ‘deepen the moment’ rather than push on with the plot. Finally, the independent sequence of lessons, gives children time to consolidate what they have learnt and apply it to their own piece of writing. 

The Write Stuff 

The Write Stuff programme by Jane Considine is a system that sharpens the teaching and learning of writing within the classroom. It is a clear and systemic approach to the teaching of writing, providing a step-by-step framework to convert struggling writers into successful writers. The Write Stuff involves a method called ‘sentence stacking’, which refers to sentences that are stacked together chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing.  

Key benefits of The Write Stuff: 

  • Support for teachers so that they have a deeper and more flexible knowledge of sentence structure. 
  • Pupils who understand how to apply sentence scaffolds to their independent writing as they develop their expertise. 
  • Standards improve because many worked examples are provided over the year that extend understanding through a wide range of genres and non-fiction text types. 
  • Children have a clear view of what high quality writing looks like and their learning is structured clearly and misconceptions dealt with. 
  • Pupils know how to improve their writing and make it more focussed and actionable feedback is provided to guide their learning. 
  • Children have a concept of how to build, plan and complete a piece of writing due to narrative maps and non-fiction shapes. 
  • Teachers have clear pathways of how to guide pupils in weak areas such as cohesion and paragraphs. 

What does teaching look like? 

Each year group completes 12 writing units. The journey of units has been mapped out carefully so that the children experience a broad range of genres, text types and themes as they move through school. As each unit is specific to the year group, this ensures that we also have a clear progression of skills and knowledge. Although each individual year group does not complete every text type/genre, there are opportunities to cover all of the skills and knowledge across the year/key stage. 

A unit comprises of 3 types of lesson: experience lessons, sentence stacking lessons and independent writing. Experience lessons provide children with stimulus that helps to build quality vocabulary and ideas to apply to writing. Sentence stacking lessons are based around a key plot point in the story and are broken in to 3 learning chunks. Each learning chunk has three sections: 

Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and promote discussion around ideas and quality vocabulary to set up a sentence. 

Model section – the teacher models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques. 

Enable section – the children write their sentence, including the writing features and techniques outlined in the model section, whilst applying their own ideas and vocabulary from the initiate section. 

At the beginning of Year 1, this process is scaffolded, to help the children to understand the process and build confidence with writing independently. As most children move through key stage 1, this scaffolding is slowly removed, it does however remain in place for those children who need the additional support. 

The Write Stuff uses three essential components to support children in becoming great writers 

The three zones of writing: 

IDEAS –  The FANTASTICs uses a child friendly acronym to represent the nine idea lenses through which children can craft their ideas. 

TOOLS – The GRAMMARISTICS. The grammar rules of our language system and an accessible way to target weaknesses in pupils grammatical and linguistic structures. 

TECHNIQUES – The BOOMTASTICs which helps children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual. 

At the end of a writing unit, the children spend quality time planning, writing and editing their own story or text. This piece of text is then assessed against year group expectations. This helps class teachers to see where children have been successful and where they may need additional support. 

To moderate our assessments, we use comparative judgement. Comparative judgement is a process where you compare two responses (pieces of writing in this instance) and decide which is better. Following repeated comparisons, responses (pieces of writing) are placed on a scale of relative quality. Teachers can then determine thresholds for on track and greater depth. Research has proven this method quicker and more reliable than more conventional methods of moderation. 

 

 

 

 

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