At Bearbrook we have passionate teachers who plan and deliver a book led curriculum which aims to engage and motivate children in their writing. By providing a range of high quality and authentic texts as a stimulus, we give our children a context for their writing, ensuring that it is seen as meaningful and relevant, with a clear audience and purpose.
Our aim is for all pupils to confidently and effectively communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions across the curriculum. We enthusiastically strive to help our children become articulate and imaginative communicators and authors, who leave us well-equipped to be life-long learners, able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
- By sharing a range of high-quality relevant and authentic texts with our children, we provide them with the context and conditions for writing in an inspiring and motivating way. We ensure that within such texts, the craft of writing is modelled effectively and that they show examples of what is good.
- In lessons, our children explicitly ‘read as a writer,’ identifying the literary techniques an author has used, in order go on to create and further develop their own writing (‘write as a writer’).
- Development of the writing process (gathering ideas, planning, drafting, editing and publishing) takes place throughout the school:
- Here teachers regularly model writing skills and use shared writing (alongside the children) in order to compose and edit a collaborative passage that is cohesive and meets the needs of the audience and purpose
- Children regularly reflect on their own writing and the writing of others’ through peer and self-assessment, and by critically looking at work together under the class visualiser. This process enables them to become more independent in their ability to identify their own areas for improvement, going on to edit their work more effectively.
- By hearing and discussing content rich, complex texts, our children are exposed to rich language (verbal, visual or both) which promotes a broader understanding of more sophisticated vocabulary for use in speaking and writing.
- Where possible, grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through our chosen texts, ensuring that the learning is relevant for the intended writing outcome and that grammar is seen as a choice to change how the writing communicates to a reader, rather than just as a set of rules. When necessary, teachers will focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as independent lessons, starters or therapies if the class, or specific groups of children, need additional input to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
- There are opportunities for writing in a range of genres, for different audiences and purposes, across the wider curriculum, based on the books and texts chosen.
- Writing is appropriately scaffolded so that all children can succeed, through oral rehearsal, word banks, modelling, drama, planning organisers etc. Oracy skills are modelled and developed to help all children express themselves coherently and effectively prior to writing.
- Time is spent on preparation for writing. Some of the pre-writing activities we use to support and prepare the children for writing include: drama strategies such as hot seating, conscience alley and freeze framing; developing characterisation through role on the wall; ‘stepping a story’ and visualisation.
We use the Just Imagine - ‘Take One Book’ approach to teach our curriculum.
The structure below explains how we sequence learning across the school:
Setting up the learning to engage and motivate the children
Activation of prior knowledge, building background knowledge and key vocabulary
First encounters (Reading aloud, exploring ideas, checking literal understanding, clarifying and explaining, expose thinking)
Digging deeper (Expanding thinking)
After and during reading
Review and reflect
Termly PiXL assessments and data are used to identify areas for development in SPaG, with specific groups receiving targeted teaching through PiXL therapies.
PiXL progression grids are used on-going to support the planning and teaching of skills and knowledge for effective writing.