At Rice Lane Primary school, our ultimate aim is for children to become confident, critical and imaginative writers who independently apply their skills across a range of genres.
Children are given opportunities to apply their skills across the curriculum through a range of cross-curricular writing. We believe that a confident, critical writer should be one that can write for a range of purposes across a range of genres. Children in year 1 to year 6 complete atleast one piece of cross curricular writing each half term.
Individual writing targets are shared with the children and changed when the class teacher feels it is appropriate, any changes are shared with the child.
Assessment for writing follows the whole school approach for assessment using Target Tracker and national curriculum statements.
We meet regularly as a year group to compare our judgement. Teaching staff also attend external meetings with local schools to confirm judgements to ensure consistency.
Book Based Approach
At Rice Lane, we follow a book based approach in our English lessons. Through a high quality text, we teach a range of writing outcomes over a number of weeks which can vary depending on the book.
Often without a model, some children can be unsure what is expected from them. At Rice Lane, we model writing as often as possible and this can be done through different ways: a guided write where teachers lead the write, modelling their thought process as a writer or shared writing which is much more collaborative and children offer their suggestions and ideas frequently. Whilst this can easily be done in an English lesson, it can also be done across the curriculum.
“I’m stuck” can be something heard when writing. However, more often than not, the children do understand the task they have been given they just don’t know what to write. Authors naturally have a range of sentences they can pick from but we need to train the children to think like authors, using a range of sentences to move their story on.
These work by visually giving the children a bank of sentences to choose from. It also serves as a way of checking their work uses a variety of ideas and doesn’t move on too quickly. By ‘deepening the moment’ using a range of FANTASTICs, they are more likely to engage their reader.
In EYFS, the children can use the FANTASTICs to build their vocabulary when discussing moving on to writing their own sentences by the end of the year.
Within each idea of writing, every sentence can be loaded with either positive or negative intent. For example you might choose a negative seeing sentence to describe a wood:
“The moon loomed over the deep, dark wood.”
The language choices fit here as they are all negatively loaded words.
If instead I said:
“The beaming, bright moon shone on the deep, dark wood.”
The sentence doesn’t have the same impact as beaming, bright and shone are loaded with
By getting the children to think of their writing as positive or negative, it will help them take ownership of how the reader feels when they engage with their writing.
This then helps children build their comprehension skills, especially in KS2 as children start to understand author intent through language.