Subject Statement – Intent, Implementation and Impact
Subject Lead: Shelley Barham
At Victoria Junior School, we believe it is integral to provide children with the necessary skills and mechanics of writing so that they are able to communicate their ideas effectively. We think that being able to write effectively is crucial because it is a method to present factual information and creative imagination, as well as a form of self-expression for our children. The Writing curriculum should be rich and relevant to the pupils at our school and should ignite pupils’ passions and curiosity. Our vision for Writing lessons is for them to be a place where pupils are given opportunities to push themselves, be challenged in their way of thinking and to be engaged in memorable teaching that develops their learning.
To raise standards of our writing teaching, we use The Write Stuff (TWS) approach. The Write Stuff’s systems allow teachers to teach the mechanics of writing explicitly. TWS influences how teachers sequence learning with a more practical approach to writing. We feel that this approach embeds a whole school approach by providing supportive structures for pupils to map out their writing and capture the process visually. As part of the TWS approach, all children are introduced to the Writing Rainbow.
The Writing Rainbow is organised into three zones: Fantastics, Grammaristics, Boomtastics.
The three zones help us to teach sentence structure and different grammatical structures by chunking a piece of writing.
Each Writing unit is divided into individual plot points (fiction) or shapes (non-fiction) to allow the children to focus on each individual sentence and paragraph they are writing.
Each lesson is then divided into three learning chunks: Initiate, Model, Enable.
The initiate stage is when the teacher inspires learning and provides children with a stimulus to aid writing. The children use their Composition Books to jot down vocabulary gained from these stimuli (pictures, objects, videos, etc) ready to be used in the next stage.
The model stage is when teachers model the sentence structure, grammatical function or literary devices that the children need to use and how it could be applied in a sentence. Children are encouraged on occasions, even at this ‘modelling stage’, to support the teacher with creating a sentence.
The enable stage is when children independently construct their own sentence using the inspiration and tools given to them from the previous stages.
The initiate, enable and model learning chunk is repeated three times to create a writing lesson. This process is completed until a full piece of writing has been crafted.
For most units and year groups, once the children have completed a modelled piece of writing using the Initiate, Model, Enable format, children are given the opportunity to apply the skills they have acquired more independently. We use the same genre of text and the children work through the various stages of writing (planning – writing – editing) to create their own piece of writing. This is used as part of our assessment of the children’s writing ability.
Grammar is weaved throughout the writing lessons but all year groups teach a discrete lesson of Grammar on top to ensure that there are opportunities to teach specific skills needed before applying it in the writing or to address misconceptions that have been picked up on during a Writing lesson.
The children’s progress is measured by the skills and knowledge they have gained, and these are built on as the children progress through the school. As children move through the school, they have the opportunity to cover a range of genres. The children also develop a rich bank of vocabulary, which they are able to apply across the curriculum, as well as strategies to present their knowledge in a creative way. Assessments include book monitoring, teacher judgement and phase/year group moderation. Schools will also be given the opportunity to join cluster moderation meetings with local schools in the borough.