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At De Beauvoir Primary School, we want our pupils to be confident, creative and independent writers who can communicate their ideas clearly in writing for a range of purposes. We believe it is essential for children to experience high quality texts and modelling and to have a clear purpose for their writing, linked to the wider curriculum wherever relevant.
In English (speaking and listening, reading and writing), we follow the National Curriculum whilst adopting a unit based approach. Pupils spend a number of weeks immersed in a particular text type or novel linked to their topic learning and Destination Reader. High quality texts have been chosen to support pupils’ understanding of their topic. Pupils are also given opportunities to experience a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction.
Our writing cycles usually follow a similar structure:
Immersion: At the beginning of a unit of writing, we need to captivate the imagination and stimulate curiosity. This will engage learners and motivate writing. This could be through a thinking question or a fully immersive experience. The key is that is draws in the learner.
Creating a Hook, Audience and Purpose: Before children are asked to complete writing, it’s crucial that they have opportunities to read extensively in the given genre. For children in upper Key Stage 2, helping them to unpick, evaluate and have an understanding of a text helps them to have a deeper understanding of the outcome. For children who do not read widely, helping them to tune into the linguistic and organisational features through reading will help to secure rich and detailed writing. Children need opportunities to explore vocabulary through shared reading and begin to read as writers, helping to secure a writer’s voice.
Planning: Planning can take a variety of forms, and some forms are more complex than others. Allowing time for children to carefully plan out their writing is crucial for them to complete a successful piece of writing.
Grammar Workshop: Understanding the ‘mechanics’ of writing, and analysing how grammatical structures impact on its quality will improve pupils’ ability to use and apply them. Teaching grammatical skills within the context of writing helps children to see the purpose of using certain writing skills and therefore embedding them into their overall writing.
Rehearse Sentence and Text Level: Exploring, applying and rehearsing the skills needed for successful writing is crucial. When children begin to apply their writing skills, along with grammatical skills, it’s important that they have the chance to rehearse these orally and in writing.
Write: When children first write, the teacher clearly models the thought / writing process needed to create a high standard of writing, sharing a model text with the class or modelling the writing process to them.
Review, Edit and Write: Once the children have started their writing, the expectation is that they check their work before it is seen by an adult. This helps them to self assess and identify improvements. Following this, pupils have chance to further edit and improve work based on key focus areas given by the teacher in their model/feedback.
Publish / Perform: It is important that children have regular opportunities to publish or perform their finished piece of writing. This gives them a further reason for writing, contextualises the process and gives children the opportunity to focus on handwriting and presentation.
Look at some of the amazing writing we have been doing:
Year 1 – Toys – Traction Man Year 2 – Great Fire of London
Year 2 – Ancient Egypt- Flat Stanley Year 3 – Stone Age- Description of a flint knapping
Year 4 – Vikings – Description of longships Year 4 – Victorians – Frankenstein
Year 5 – Black History Month – Floella Benjamin Year 6 – The Mayans – Beans to Chocolate Bar