At Larkfield, the primary aim of the writing curriculum is to ensure that children are able to communicate effectively through their writing for a variety of purposes.
The process of writing usually begins with the examination and analysis of a modelled piece of text.
In fiction writing, this involves considering the positive and negative intentions or emotional responses of the main character, whilst in non-fiction texts the ‘shape’ or structure of the text is identified. These models also help to support children when they begin to write their own independent pieces.
The children are taught to consider the audience and purpose of writing, as well as carrying out research about specific subjects as the task demands.
Written work inspired by class novels is also a key part of the writing curriculum at Larkfield as it is only by reading and appreciating good authors that children can attempt to emulate the techniques and devices used by the same. With this in mind, whole class book study within Key Stage 2 not only allows children to become immersed in books they may not necessarily choose themselves, but also creates a sense of shared ownership and investment in the text. Wherever possible, class novels are chosen to complement the topic area during each term, thus engaging the pupils fully in a specific era or location.
Vocabulary is crucial when it comes to developing effective writing and with this in mind, the teaching of writing at Larkfield places huge emphasis not just on the meaning of words, but the appropriateness, intensity and effect of the word in context. Children are encouraged to create pertinent vocabulary lists via whole class teaching and refer to the same when planning their own independent pieces. During writing lessons, teachers support and provide instant feedback with regard to pupils’ ideas either accepting or rejecting words with explanations as to why; thereby demonstrating how language changes and enhances meaning.
As pupils progress through school, a greater emphasis is placed on the use of punctuation for effect and the way in which higher level punctuation can subtly change the meaning of a piece of writing. Once again, these skills are modelled repeatedly by members of the teaching staff to enable children to become confident when incorporating these ideas into their own writing.
Once children in Key Stage 2 have completed an independent piece of work, they are given the opportunity to edit their writing. Pupils are generally assisted by their peers who will read, review and annotate their work in order to bring attention to potential errors. The children are then able to review their writing and improve it using dictionaries and other classroom resources.
Throughout their time at Larkfield, the children will become familiar with a variety of key concepts which are designed to help focus their ideas for writing. The first tier of concepts is introduced towards the end of Reception and these are then gradually built upon as the pupils move through the school, thus enabling them to become embedded in their long-term memory.
Ultimately, our aim at Larkfield is to provide all pupils with the tools to become not just competent writers, but great writers.
C Davies (Writing Lead)