At Haddenham Community Junior School we believe that all children have the potential to become great writers, be able to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and be proud of their accomplishments. Our aim is to inspire a love of writing through exposure to exciting, stimulating texts and opportunities that ensure the progressive development of knowledge and skills and an appreciation of our rich and varied language. Writing allows for creativity and self-expression and we want our children to be confident in writing across a wide range of contexts and be able to adapt their language and style to suit those. We recognise the importance of speaking and listening as a key tool for developing writing and we have adopted approaches to support this. We have high expectations of all children and we encourage them to challenge themselves, believe in themselves and develop the confidence and skills to prepare them for their next steps.
Our writing approach is based on The Write Stuff by Jane Considine. This approach was developed to ensure writing is taught alongside reading, modelling, drama, creativity and oracy, thereby maximising engagement and progress. Units are often linked to other areas of the curriculum, or relevant current affairs, and/or based on quality texts/stimuli.
High-quality texts from this scheme are selected to complement the HCJS curriculum so that our children engage in meaningful discussion, learn key vocabulary, understand grammar and punctuation skills and how to apply these and inspire independent writing. The key aspects of The Write Stuff include:
To build pupils’ confidence with sentence structure.
To widen the repertoire of writing options for our pupils.
Allowing children to gain an understanding of the ‘whole’ piece that they are writing.
To ensure that the organisation of their ideas and cohesion between them is strengthened.
We believe that for a child to write creatively and produce a successful piece of writing, it is essential that they see a writer in action. This is why our teachers will constantly model, self-assess and correct their own writing in front of the children during a writing lesson. At HCJS we embrace errors in our writing, to identify and better these errors is the key to success - ‘Dare to fall, learn to fly’.
For those children who thrive on challenge, we encourage all to ‘Deepen the Moment’ in their writing. Resources in the classroom and our class challenge boards assist with this. We encourage children to think further and deeper into the story and use the lenses in the Writing Rainbow to further and develop their writing. Teachers may use shared and group writing techniques to support the children during this process. Throughout units children are taught to edit and reflect on their writing process, producing a final published piece which is shared and enjoyed by the school community and beyond.
As a school we decided to also embrace the writing talents, creativity and expertise of our teachers. Therefore, to keep our Literacy curriculum varied, we gave the teachers the opportunity to also plan and deliver their own writing units. This has proved a great success as the teachers and children are not only gaining the literary expertise covered within The Write Stuff, but the teachers are also sharing and developing their own creative writing plans and topic linked units.
The impact of the writing process and teaching at HCJS will be:
Children moving to secondary school confident in their ability to form and create texts, in preparation for the KS3 curriculum.
High levels of grammar and vocabulary development
High levels of engagement in the writing process
The ability to adapt and develop their own writing ideas
An understanding of the writing process and its links to oracy, reading and writing for pleasure
At HCJS it is expected that children are given the time to edit and publish their work. This is then shared with their peers and wider members of the school community to ensure children gain a sense of purpose from their work and a belief in their own ability.
Units are planned to be immersive, and link to relevant areas of the curriculum to maximise opportunities to extend knowledge, vocabulary and engage children. This is further enhanced by school visits and author workshops and the use of technology to fully explore audience and purpose through publishing.