Following the T4W scheme developed by Pie Corbett, the children will complete a baseline assessment (cold task) at the beginning of each topic. Year 1-6 will teach an hour-long English session daily, with grammar incorporated into lesson starters and teaching. The overarching principle is that if a child can tell a story, they will be able to write it.
Following the baseline assessment, children will progress through a three-phase model: Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application.
A theme is introduced with a ‘hook’ which generates creativity and imagination before reading the model text. During this phase, the pupils learn the text using actions and story maps. Pupils internalise the text type through repetition and rehearsal. The vocabulary of the model text is defined and activities help the child to first ‘read as a reader’, fully comprehending and understanding the text. After which they then move onto ‘reading as a writer’, identifying the writing techniques and features used to make this an effective piece. Sentence structures are explored and practised. A shared class Toolkit is gradually created as pupils identify the features needed to successfully write in the style of the genre.
In this stage, the model text is adapted with the children through shared writing. Changes to the text will vary between year groups, it may involve a simple change of character, or more complex concepts such as changing the viewpoint of the story. Children will make changes to their story maps, and practise orally rehearsing their innovated story. Following the shared writing, children will write the innovated story in manageable sections, as well as receiving daily feedback. It is a very supportive and structured approach to allow children to gain confidence and know what they need to do to improve.
This is the final stage where the children use all the skills they have learnt to write an independent piece. This is referred to as the ‘hot task’. There is the freedom to draw upon their own ideas and experiences, or they can ‘hug closely’ to the shared text should they need to.