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Writing

Writing at Churchtown

At Churchtown Primary, enabling children to become purposeful writers is something we value greatly. Rather than restricting the subject to the knowledge of the rudiments of writing (the rules of spelling and grammar), we focus on children being able to use the knowledge they have to produce purposeful, well-crafted, creative written work. Central to our philosophy is that writing must be for a purpose, linked tightly to our thematic approach of teaching.

What is writing?

“Words matter because they create our world and ourselves. Without words, thought is a meagre crumb.” Pie Corbett

In Early Years the children begin their writing journeys through Talk fro Writing. They 

  • listen to and learn texts and stories;
  • take part in role-play;
  • draw and story map;
  • collect words and language strategies

Talk for Writing is an innovative approach to teaching writing developed by the literacy specialist and writer Pie Corbett (www.talk4writing.co.uk). It uses high quality model texts to introduce the children to different story/text types, which they then learn off by heart.

Talk for Writing continues across KS1 and KS2 to be an essential part of a child's writing journey but alongside this our model of teaching writing, is based on 4 main types of writing 

Writing to entertain;

Writing to inform;

Writing to persuade;

Writing to discuss.

To support structuring the curriculum in this way, we have a writing document from Y1 – Y6  that demonstrates how the National Curriculum content can be covered in each section. This includes some elements of whole-text ideas, suggestions for sentences and grammar, notes on punctuation to include, and also some examples of conjunctions and adverbials.

Top Tips For getting your child to write 

  • Build a climate of words at home.  Visit places and see things with your child, then talk about your experiences.
  • Let older children see you write often.  Make sure children see you write notes and letters and perhaps stories to share.  Perhaps read aloud what you have written and ask your child their opinion of what you’ve said.  Making changes in what you write confirms for your child that revision is a natural part of writing.
  • Be as helpful as you can in helping your child to write.  Talk through their ideas with them; help them to discover what they want to say.  Give them help when they ask for help with spelling and punctuation.
  • Provide a suitable space for your child to write.  Perhaps provide different kinds of pens and pencils, pads of paper and stationery, a book for a diary or journal, a dictionary  and thesaurus appropriate to their age.
  • Encourage frequent writing and be patient with reluctance to write.  Frequency of writing is important to develop the habit of writing.
  • Praise your child’s efforts at writing, resisting the temptation to focus on errors of spelling and punctuation.  Emphasise your child’s successes.
  • Share letters from friends and relatives and urge them to write notes and letters to your child, no matter how brief.  Writing is especially rewarding when the child gets a response.  Write thank you notes alongside your child.
  • Encourage your child to write for information, free samples etc.
  • Be alert to occasions when your child can be involved in writing, for example, helping with shopping lists, taking down telephone messages, writing notes to friends, helping plan trips, drafting notes to school for parental signature and writing invitations for family get-togethers.

 

Writing for real purposes is rewarding, and the daily activities of family and friends present many opportunities for purposeful writing.  Involving your child may take some coaxing, but will be worth the effort!