Writing at Red Hall
When we designed our Writing curriculum at Red Hall, we were determined to ensure it enhanced the National Curriculum and that it was bespoke for our children. We did this, to ensure that children are given the best opportunities to build resilience and to make progress when completing pieces of writing.
Our children and their needs are at the centre of this curriculum, and it has been driven by them. It is our intention that children develop a love of writing, through being given high quality model texts which embrace their own fascinations and interests, making learning more relevant and exciting. Our Red Hall Writing Journey ensures that children are exposed to a variety of genres throughout their time here.
Our intent is simple and clear:
- To improve our writing attainment to be in line with national average,
- To ensure children make at least good progress from their starting points with us,
- Offer an interesting and engaging English curriculum, which follows the curiosity and wonders of the child and which is guided by the knowledge and expertise of our passionate
- To foster and develop deep curiosity, potential and the ability to recognise that they are already capable of so much more than they realise.
- To create warm, trusting relationships and partnerships which are built on mutual respect, in every Writing lesson. Consequently, giving children the confidence to ask questions and succeed.
- To learn more and remember more, through mini reflection activities and pre-genre checks**
- And, most importantly, to ensure children are proud of their efforts and achievements.
**pre-genre checks – please see, ‘How we teaching Writing at Red Hall’, for more information.
Why Writing at Red Hall is so important
Writing at Red Hall has always been a priority. Our data does not reflect the effort which is put in from our staff and children. We understand that writing can be tough for many our children. This is why we go above and beyond to ensure our children have access to a tailor-made curriculum, perfect for the children at Red Hall.
As our children are only 11 years old, by the time they leave us in Year 6, many have not had the real-life experiences needed to be able to produce an engaging piece of writing, using precise language and feelings. However, who would be able to write a setting description about (for example) the beach, including your 5 senses (touch, smell, taste, see and hear), if you haven’t even been to the beach, smelt the fish and chips, heard the waves crashing and felt the sand tickle your toes? Exactly! That’s why we do not only teach children to write, we also teach them about places, through visiting these places / experiencing these things, or through photos, videos and our experiences, if we are unable to take them there to experience this for themselves.
Opportunities and experiences to enhance writing, at Red Hall
We ensure that all children will receive opportunities and experiences at Red Hall Primary School, which other primary schools may not offer.
As a pupil at Red Hall, your child will have access to the following experiences:
- A school setting where emotional health, well-being and happiness is our priority for pupils, staff, parents and the wider community.
- High quality teaching from teachers and TAs.
- Real life experiences, e.g. trips to the beach, trips to Roseberry Topping, events in school.
- Hooks into writing e.g. parents coming into school for a ‘surprise’ event.
- Whole school writing events e.g. book reviews, short story competitions.
- Class competitions where effort is rewarded, instead of just the finished product.
- English ‘Star of the Week’ certificates given out on Fridays in our ‘Celebration Assembly’.
- Opportunities to have efforts celebrated on social media.
- A “what you need to succeed” booklet (Year 2 – 6).
- And most importantly, staff who are continually upskilled, to ensure ways of teaching are forever being developed.
How we teach writing at Red Hall
At Red Hall, we have created our own bespoke Writing Journey, based upon the Talk for Writing Approach (by Pie Corbett). This journey can be seen here (UNDER CONSTRUCTION). This approach ensures that all pupils are given the opportunity to act as REAL writers, through planning, drafting and Editing. In Autumn 2021, we introduced our brand new Proud Books. In these, we copy our final edited pieces of writing to show off the amazing progress we have made!
We follow a Whole School Genre Overview, meaning all year groups cover the same genre at the same time. This allows all staff to support one another and to see the level of challenge they are offering their own class. See, our staff are learning, just like your children! Below is a link to the Whole School Genre Overview and an outline of how children are taught our approach to Talk for Writing.
Please click here (UNDER CONSTRUCTION), to access the English Genre Overview.
How Writing is taught in EYFS
Our Two-Year-Old, Nursery and Reception children are given many opportunities to share stories and to develop a love of reading, writing, role play and drama. In our EYFS setting, many weeks throughout the academic year, are focused around stories, which interest and fascinate the children. This allows them to be challenged to think about the story in a much deeper way, meaning curiosities are sparked and the children want to investigate and explore more books independently and with others. The love of writing is also reflected in many areas within our EYFS. The children love to tell each other stories, they love to act out a story they have been read and they look the play invitations, provocations and hooks which the staff plan for them, to excite them more.
By the end of Reception, children begin to follow the Talk for Writing structure, of learning a model text, through acting it out, they then innovate this text to write their own sentences and stories.
How Writing is taught from Year 1 – Year 6
From Year 1 – Year 6, we follow the Red Hall Writing Journey. We feel this approach allows our children the opportunity to see many different ways of how their writing should look, before they complete their own assessed piece of writing – see key steps of the process below.
How we plan Writing lessons
- Each writing unit, is planned once the cold writes have been marked. Teachers then look at what the children need to learn and then plan lessons around this.
- As you can see, there are lots of writing opportunities, to ensure children are writing as often as possible.
- Planning and drafting writing is a focus for all of us in September. We are going to strengthen the children’s ability to plan, draft and re-draft, and allow them to see that this is a reflection skill, not because their writing was not good enough.
- Planning is edited daily, depending on the success of the children, meaning no child in left behind.
How Parents / Carers can help at home
- Encourage your child(ren) to write whenever possible: whether this is birthday cards, thank you letters, text messages!
- Play games with your child(ren), e.g. you write a sentence and see if your child can improve
- Plenty of praise.
- Listen to your child. Encourage them to tell you more about their writing and what they’ve written at school. Foster their enthusiasm.