Writing at Chilwell Croft Academy
At Chilwell Croft we aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. To support the teaching of writing we use our own planned Chilwell Units combined with ‘sentence stacking’ techniques from ‘The Write Stuff’ by Jane Considine.
At the start of a writing unit, the children participate in a ‘wow’ activity and then complete a ‘Cold Write’ for the teacher to assess their needs and set targets. They then take part in a variety of activities to immerse them in the text type, including rehearsing writing through ‘sentence stacking’. At the end of a unit of work, children write at length in an independent writing session (‘Hot Write’), which is used to inform teacher assessment. Each unit takes between 3 and 5 weeks.
In writing from years one to six, the children complete between 6 and 9 units of writing covering a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts.
In Reception the children are taught basic skills from the Early Learning Goals to enable them to become confident writers as they progress through the school.
Cross Curricular Writing Opportunities
Teachers make cross-curricular links to enable pupils to practice and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through writing lessons to other areas of the curriculum. The same standard of writing is expected as in their writing books.
We use the Nelson Handwriting Scheme in school to help children develop fluent, clear and legible joined up writing. Children work hard to achieve a pen licence in from Year three, which encourages them to take care in their presentation and pride in their work.
Vocabulary and Spelling
We encourage our pupils to have a wide and growing vocabulary in a number of ways, these include:
- Spelling lists/ key words to take home and learn
- Display of key words linked to topics and subjects
- Using the correct vocabulary orally
- In-depth spelling based lessons looking at patterns
- Using dictionaries and thesaurus
- Carrying out systematic testing and providing feedback to pupils
- Targeted one to one/ small group support, where appropriate
In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 our phonics teaching makes strong links between blending for reading, segmenting for spelling and handwriting. We encourage all of our pupils to apply their phonic knowledge when writing. Our focus on teaching spelling across the school embraces the knowledge of spelling conventions, patterns and rules. We also teach spellings through combining spelling and handwriting as in the Nelson Handwriting Scheme. Our teaching of spelling includes common exception words, high frequency words and topic words.