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Writing

Writing can be such a complex process. It incorporates handwriting, orientation and direction, spelling, grammar and of course the ideas which form the composition.  

At Stoke Minster we believe that ideas can be generated from our reading and that the craft of writing can be learnt from studying the tools that authors employ within their writing 

Our aim is that writing which is undertaken by children has a clear purpose and audience, and children are able to articulate the intended impact of the writing.  This is achieved in many ways.  We follow the ‘Talk for Writing’ (Pie Corbett) approach. Talk for Writing is an approach to teaching writing that encompasses a three-stage pedagogy: ‘imitation’ (where pupils learn and internalise texts, to identify transferrable ideas and structures), ‘innovation’ (where pupils use these ideas and structures to co-construct new versions with their teachers), and ‘invention’ (where teachers help pupils to create original texts independently). These tasks aim to improve writing ability by giving pupils an understanding of the structure and elements of written language.  In practice, a new area of writing is introduced by way of a hook. Story and text maps are routinely used and practised to aid sequencing and the use of ‘story language’.  The purpose is established early on in the unit and all the learning that takes place cumulates in the writing outcome. This way of working provides a structure which is beneficial for our children.  

 At Stoke Minster we teach Grammar in context so that it is meaningful to the children as well as through discrete lessons, where needed.  

Our children are taught to write pre cursively from Nursery and as they progress through the school their cursive handwriting becomes joined. Our children take great pride in the appearance of their handwriting.  

Teachers are aware of their children’s spelling strengths and weaknesses through regular analysis of their writing. In addition to this they grow to understand the ‘types’ of speller their children are, e.g. do they visualise words in pictures, do they learn through rhymes and songs, do they have strong visual memories and can see words in their heads.  By getting to know the children's learning styles, the teacher can tailor their spelling teaching to the needs of the class. Children practise their spellings in many different ways to suit the needs of the children.  Children are also asked to practice their spellings at home.  

The school has adopted Babcock’s No Nonsense Spelling Programme (NNSP).  This sets out a clear and progressive system to teach children all the rules and patterns they need to be successful spellers.  Teachers follow the age-expected lessons as they are set out while also finding time to teach to the gaps discovered through the close marking of children’s writing. 

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