At Chandlers Field Primary School, we believe that it is vital that children are equiped with the skills to communicate confidently and eloquently. In accordance with the National Curriculum, we want pupils to develop a strong command of the written and spoken word, as well as a love of language and reading.
Children from Nursery to Year 6, receive English teaching every morning, covering a range of writing styles and skills. For our Nursery children this could begin by learning a Nursery Rhyme or song.
Talk 4 Writing
At Chandlers Field Primary School, from Nursery through to Year 6, we are using Talk 4 Writing in our English lessons. This enables children to imitate the language needed orally before reading it, analysing it and then the best bit: writing their own version. The Talk 4 Writing learning concept reflects the following pattern within a sequence of lessons:
- Cold Writing task: where children are given a promt to write about, with very little adult input – this is to assess their knowledge and any gaps within the genre and shows the progress the children have made by the time they write the hot task.
- Imitate – Story map images of the text are drawn by an adult, the children learn it by heart along with actions for the images.
- Innovate – Children make slight changes to the text.
- Invent – Children write their own version.
- Hot Writing task: Children create thier own inventions
At Chandlers Field Primary School we carefully select the texts we use with the children so that they are age appropriate, engaging and provide opportunities specifically teach end of year expectations for grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary (appropriate for the writing genre).
The children love acting out the actions and find the visuals from the story maps really help them learn.
In addition to this the following aspects also help the children to maximize their learning success:
- Shared writing – the teacher models how to innovate and invent in front of the children, talking through their thought process.
- Boxed up plans - a method of segmenting the text which can be used throughout the process to enable children to plan their ideas and refer to the original text
Imitation, innovation, invention and shared writing takes place almost daily, with the exception of features, sentence and punctuation lessons which can be woven throughout the sequence of lessons.
Success for all:
Scaffolding: story maps and actions enable all children to access high quality writing. The use of story maps stuck in books offers less confident learners a guide to help them to innovate and invent. Less confident learners are encouraged to use the model text and to make slight changes until they are ready to reach the invention stage.
Challenge: model texts embed sufficient challenge and opportunities for most pupils but are easily extended for more confident learners to venture further from the model text.
Learning Environment: flip chart paper is used and learning is presented on the learning walls for children to easily refer to.
In addition to our writing lessons, we develop pupils’ reading skills through reading sessions, where pupils may work in small groups to develop their word knowledge, comprehension and analytical skills. We want to encourage your child to not only be able to decode words and understand the meaning of a text, but to also ask questions of the text and to be able to infer meanings (“read between the lines”) - vital skills in the modern world! Studies show that reading, above all else, is the key to academic progress, we believe that by encouraging a love of reading, the more we open up the world of learning to our children.