At The Orchards School, we want our children to be able to write at length for a range of audiences and purposes, with a positive attitude. We want them to take on the role of a writer and understand how to fulfil the role successfully using a variety of tools. The “thinking out loud” approach which drives our reading lessons, flows into our writing lessons. We believe children should approach their writing as readers in order to carefully consider the authorial choices they are making. We want our children to be able to talk confidently about their writing in order to discuss their work reflectively and act upon feedback that they have received – as well as giving meaningful feedback to their peers.
Writing at The Orchards School is taught by focusing upon a skill-based curriculum. Unit plans start with breaking down the key skill being taught within the unit and then teachers explore which audience and purpose is going to best showcase the skill being taught. Our ‘progression of writing skills’ allow children to continuously build upon their knowledge and skills so that they can approach written pieces of work with a variety of ‘writing tools’. Sequences of learning; opportunities and models for greater depth; and an age expected model are all thought through within the unit plan. Throughout the sequence of learning, teachers ensure that writers have plenty of opportunity for deliberate practise as well as opportunities to reflect and discuss their written work.
In order to fully become ‘writers as readers’, the children use the expert tips from their reading lessons within their writing lessons. This helps them to make connections between authorial choices they have learnt about in their reading lessons and how they could use them within their writing to suit a range of purposes and audiences.
Grammar teaching largely takes place within written sequences of learning where it can be applied within context. However, there are some year groups where grammar is taught discretely, particularly when there is a large amount to cover or there is a big jump in curriculum expectations, such as years 2 and 4.