Writing is an essential life-skill. Being literate enables us to function in society as responsible adults and future citizens and writing is an important element of the majority of school curriculum subjects. We endeavour to foster a writing culture which ensures children develop a lifelong, healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards writing. We aim to develop an understanding of the processes required to craft successful writing so that children become confident and capable at communicating in a range of different writing styles. The writing we do is purposeful, aiming to reach a variety of audience types, encouraging expression and higher order thinking skills. We aim for all writing to be engaging, enjoyable and constructive to read, showing a variety of skills and techniques specifically chosen for their effect on the reader.
At Robert Miles Junior School we want to develop children who are excited to read, write and express themselves. We follow Talk for Writing (TfW) as a whole school approach: TfW is rigorous, progressive and adopts a sequential approach, with ambitious aims to help all children achieve their potential as writers. The aspect that children and teachers alike love is that it is fun and creative, with a proven track record of deepening children’s learning. TfW teaches children how to be writers, not just how to write, supporting them in generating ideas by drawing upon their reading. It focusses on the impact of their writing, enabling them independently to master the skills of reviewing, editing and improving their work.
TfW begins with enjoying and sharing stories, all of which are selected from our own Robert Miles Reading Spine – a collection of carefully selected books that we wish to expose all children to during their time at the school. Some of the books are read by the class teacher purely for enjoyment – there is nothing better than seeing a whole class of children hanging on every word read as the story approaches a cliffhanger! Others have been incorporated into our TfW teaching and act as stories from which we imitate and innovate (see longer document on Writing at Robert Miles for more detailed information about the process). TfW’s power comes from the early part of the process, which enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular genre of writing orally, before reading and analysing it in order to write their own version. Less confident writers can ‘hug’ closely to the model text whilst more confident can use it just as a skeleton structure on which they build and hang their own ideas.
We are currently using the TfW process for the fiction blocks of writing and are working towards adding in the non-fiction units and poetry.
We place a strong emphasis on handwriting believing in the value of having pride in our work and the way it is presented to others. Handwriting is prioritised in Year 3, from the moment children arrive in our school, as direct teaching encourages correct sizing and letter formation as well as consistent joining. High expectations continue throughout the school leading to high quality handwriting throughout the curriculum, ensuring pride and achievement for all.
It is clear to see, from talking to our children, that they share a love of writing as a way of expressing their knowledge, ideas and creativity. They are proud to share and discuss their writing, in English and across the full range of curriculum subjects. Increasing editing and drafting techniques to improve writing, as well as greater stamina for longer pieces, can be clearly seen across a range of purposes, styles and audiences as children explain the art of crafting their writing as well as producing polished work.
We were proud to secure strong, local authority moderated, writing outcomes in June 2023.