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Being an Author

"You can make anything by writing." C.S.Lewis

 

Lead Author: Claire Mills

 

Intent

At CCI we aim to provide opportunities for children to learn to write that both excite and motivate them. We are keen to ensure that all children develop as enthusiastic, independent writers confident to move onto our partner junior school with the tools they need to become fluent, passionate writers. Children come into our infant school developing both their large and fine motor control and with a wide range of experiences of the world before school. We are keen to use their interests, play inside and out and also structured sessions to develop their writing skills.

 

Implementation

What does writing look like at CCI?

 

EYFS
PhonicsPhonics is taught each day - This is an opportunity for children to practise phoneme / grapheme correspondence, learn new sounds and revisit and use those sound they have already learnt.  As part of our sessions, we take time to support each child with their letter formation and apply those phonemes and graphemes taught each day whilst sitting at tables to develop that all important writing posture. 
Writing SessionsChildren have the opportunity to work alongside adults in their class each week to practise writing skills – building sentences and employing their phonic skills to build words as they write. 
Modelled WritingAdults in EYFS model how to write from left to write and how to form letters with the children though both phonics and writing sessions.  We begin using our writing tools such as our ‘superstar writing checklist’ with our younger children so that they are experiencing editing and improving from the very beginning. 
Continuous ProvisionChildren have a range of writing tools (pencils, chalk, whiteboards and pens, sand to write in) both inside and outside their classrooms, giving them the opportunity to use their developing writing skills as they play. We try to make those opportunities as ‘real’ as possible by encouraging them to apply those skills as ‘Scientists’, ‘Engineers’, ‘Designers’ and also role play that they see at home – shopping lists, birthday cards, thank you notes. 
Gross and Fine Motor skillsChildren develop their large and fine motor skills though daily activities that are fun and engaging both indoors and outdoors.  For example, Go Noodle, Dough-disco, using the bikes and trikes and using the apparatus in the hall.
Stories and rhyme timeEach week children have a new ‘rhyme of the week’ that they learn as a class to develop their communication and language skills.  During our story time, teachers provide weekly opportunities for storytelling to engage and inspire their imaginations.  
Talk for WritingChildren learn a bank of different stories throughout the year which support their verbal retelling.  They innovate and create new stories using the story patterns to encourage skills as storytellers.  
 
Year 1
Phonics and handwritingPhonics is taught each day – This is an opportunity to build on the skill learnt in EYFS. Revisiting sounds and also introducing further sounds. Children are taught that there are alternative ways of making some sounds and how these are represented in words. Children are encouraged to practise their cursive letter formation and to join digraphs, helping them develop some joined writing.
Writing SessionsChildren are encouraged to write each day, with the support of an adult initially and becoming more independent as the year goes on.  They are encouraged to write for a variety of purposes – keeping the writing meaningful and engaging. Children are encouraged to make story maps and box up texts to structure their writing.  Every time they write, they are given a ‘remember to’ checklist to support and scaffold the expectations as well as ‘superstar writing checklist’ so that they can edit and correct their writing as they go. 
Modelled WritingAdults in Year 1 model how to write more complex sentences, including accurate punctuation as children develop as more confident writers.
Independent writing opportunitiesChildren are encouraged to ‘have a go’ at writing independently through activities that are enquiry based.
'Rhyme Time' and 'Talk for Writing'Children learn new rhymes each week that they can recite to support their language and communication skills.  Termly ‘Talk for Writing’ units are taught to encourage children to learn story patterns and innovate their own stories when writing. 
Publish their writingEach term children are given the opportunity to pick a piece of writing that they are really proud of and to publish it using our ‘X-Factor’ style paper.  We want children to celebrate their hard work and success within their writing.
 
Year 2
SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) and handwritingSPaG is taught each day and these skill sessions feed into writing session when children can use the skills they have been learning. These session include learning about prefixes, suffixes and punctuation patterns. Children are encouraged to develop their joined handwriting style with correct formation of each letter increasing the flow.
Writing Sessions

Children are encouraged to write each day, they are becoming more independent writers and write as a whole class. The children are motivated to write by our shared text that they learn inside out  - using story maps and drama.

Modelled Writing

Adults in Year 2 model how to write more complex pieces, including paragraphs and a variety of punctuation to create interesting writing that will engage an audience.

'Rhyme Time' and 'Talk for Writing'Children learn new rhymes each week that they can recite to support their language and communication skills.  Termly ‘Talk for Writing’ units are taught to encourage children to learn story patterns and innovate their own stories when writing. 

Creative Writing

Year 2 children also have creative writing books, where they can express themselves and write freely. These books are not marked by a teachers and so can be a real expression of their own ideas and learning.

 

 

Spellings:

Spellings is seen as an integral aspect of developing as a successful author. 

 

We begin with giving children ‘key words’ in EYFS to develop their reading fluency.  In term 5, children are given words and activities/games to take home that support the transition from ‘phonetically plausible’ to accurate spellings of those high frequency and tricky words. 

 

 In Key Stage one, children are taught using a mastery approach.  Spellings are built upon each week so that children become secure with a fewer number of spellings as opposed to being overwhelmed with long lists.  The words are given from the list of ‘common exception’ words.  Daily activities to give children the opportunity to be successful and practising these words are provided each morning in a range of fun and engaging ways.  Spellings are also explicitly taught through structured phonics and SPaG sessions in Key stage 1.  Within our marking, recognition of correctly spelt words is valued through the school rewards policy such as a Headteachers award or class tokens/ paw prints. 

 

A yearly Spelling Bee competition towards term 6 is organised to create an air of challenge and fun. 

 

Impact

Writing progress is monitored each writing session as teachers support and provide next step feedback to children as they are writing.

 

Termly assessment ensures that children are all developing their skills steadily and provides feedback about any gaps that need additional provision to fill. Children are all encouraged to choose their own level of challenge in writing and termly reviews allow teachers to also stretch learners to reach their full potential.

 

As a school we moderate writing across year groups, across the school and with other schools in our hub, ensuring our assessment is both accurate and fair.

 

 

 

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