Writing Curriculum Narrative
Writing across Flourish Federation is centred around a high quality story that hooks and captures the children’s interest from the start. The model that is used to teach writing is an approach based around best practice taken from ‘The Write Stuff’. We foster and nurture a love of stories and language through the use of drama, oracy and explicit language development.
The research of Jane Considine (The Write Stuff) was a development initiative in 2018, to enhance current provision and practice in writing. The focus remains on a love of story, enrichment and language. Children are immersed in a key text, revealing plot points one at a time through the ‘slow reveal’ to maintain the excitement of revealing the story.
From Nursery, children are immersed in an environment rich in text and pictures. Talk is encouraged and nurtured as they hear stories, sing songs and chant rhymes and poems familiarising them with words and patterns of language. Even before they can write, the children are securing their understanding of words and their meanings through pictures.Their curriculum centres on a high quality picture book with the aim to instill in them a love of and enthusiasm for stories. Children quickly learn that print carries meaning.
In Reception, children continue to experience a language rich environment, with stories at the core of their learning. The FANTASTICS (see picture below) are used to focus the children’s ideas about what can be seen, fuelling their senses and broadening their vocabulary. The children are taught through ‘word collecting‘ activities to discover ambitious vocabulary.
Once the children can segment sounds, they begin to label the pictures they see with words and soon they use these words to form sentences. The children are supported to apply their phonic learning to their writing, follow a simple sentence structure and to use basic punctuation. As children hear stories, they then become writers themselves. They begin ‘sentence stacking’; connecting ideas about characters to create stories. By the end of their Reception year, the children have embarked on their journey as writers.
Story Scribing – helicopter stories – Anna Ephgrave approach
Additionally in Reception and Year 1, practitioners promote writing through play using story scribing. We call these; helicopter stories. The child will often want to illustrate it. Pupils peg-up their stories on the story washing line for safekeeping and later act them out with their peers during a carpet session.
We are a Storytime phonics school
To enable children to write we follow the storytime phonics programme based on Letters and Sounds to teach phonics in a way children will love and remember.
In Key Stage 1 children continue a method called ‘sentence stacking’. Sentence stacking refers to the fact that sentences are grouped together chronologically to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can apply immediately to their writing. Children learn to sentence stack, focusing on the style of the author and impact of words and sentences. An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken into three separate chunks:
- INITIATE – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence
- MODEL – the teacher models a sentence using a lens from the Writing Rainbow, making the writer’s thinking processes and choices explicit for the children
- ENABLE – the children write their own sentence following the model and have the opportunity to ‘deepen the moment’ by exploring the plot point and writing further creative sentences
The Three Zones of Writing: The FANTASTICs (Ideas), The GRAMMARISTICs (Tools), and The BOOMTASTICs (Techniques) support their learning to write.
The FANTASTICs system, which is also used in the teaching of reading, allows children to identify the nine elements that make up all text types. When pupils are familiar with these nine elements, they are able to ensure that they are incorporated into their own writing. The FANTASTICs help children to sharpen their understanding of their own and others’ writing by encouraging them to be observant and reflective.
The GRAMMARISTICs cover National Curriculum requirements for the teaching of grammar and punctuation.
The BOOMTASTICs capture the nine powerful ways to add drama and poetic devices to writing. They help children to showcase their originality and style and to take risks in their writing.
Once children have followed the central character through a number of plot points they have the opportunity to independently plan and write their own creative story. The lenses in the Writing Rainbow are also used to teach poetry and nonfiction. Our children are encouraged to see writing as a journey with scaffolding to help in leading children to plan, write and edit their own independent pieces of writing. They are given opportunities to write cross curricular pieces for a range of purposes.