WRITING at Berrybrook

How do we teach writing?

Talk for Writing - EYFS and KS1

Talk for Writing enables children in EYFS and KS1 to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style.

What is Talk for Writing?

The structure of our writing units is:

    • Cold task – (completed prior to the start of the unit to ensure that targets can be generated, and planning tailored to meet the children’s specific learning needs).
    • Creative Hook – used to excite the children and engage them into the writing journey.
    • Model Text introduced with a story/text map to support the learning –which has been tailored in light of the cold task.
    • Vocabulary focus – vocabulary is discussed with children at every opportunity, exemplified and put into context. Vocabulary is displayed around the environment.
    • Oral retelling and immersion of the text
    • Comprehension – reading as a reader to understand the text.
    • Identifying the underlying structure of the text (Boxing up)
    • Sentence level skills work – short burst writing linked to vocabulary, grammar or text structure highlighted from targets.
    • Innovation – pupils make changes to the text. They learn, rehearse, and write a new version of the text.
    • Independent application – Pupils must have the opportunity to independently apply the skills they have learnt in English and whenever possible be given the opportunity to apply these skills across the curriculum.
    • Publishing and celebrating –  Children are encouraged to show case their work through different publishing and presenting opportunities. We have regular corridor displays of children’s writing.

Linked English - KS2

Linked English gives the children the opportunity to write for an authentic audience and have a real purpose. It encourages the children to consider the purpose, audience, form and intention (PAFI) of their writing. 

Linked English uses the 6Rs to enhance children’s writing through relate, read, rip, rehearse, write and review. 

  • Relate always goes at the beginning to give the children a strong base to build their new learning upon. They connect what they already know to what they will soon be reading about.  
  • Read allows the children to immerse themselves in the text, ensuring they read widely and link to other texts they may have read.  
  • Rip requires the children to read like a writer and make sense of the author’s choices and how they have crafted their writing.  
  • Rehearse allows the children to practise using vocabulary, grammatical structures and text structure in their writing. Also, rehearse will allow the children time to plan their writing.  
  • Write is where the children are ready to spend time crafting their outcome, with a clear focus on the purpose, audience, form and intention.  
  • Review allows the children to reflect upon if their writing has achieved its intention. 

Relate is always at the start and review is always at the end of a writing unit. However, the other links are interchangeable and sometimes more than one may be completed during a lesson. 

How do we teach handwriting?

Kinetic Letters

Handwriting is a physical activity that involves movement and recognition skills that need to be learnt and become part of the automatic cognitive skill set of the pupil.  To achieve this, Birds Bush has chosen the Kinetic Letters handwriting programme.

Handwriting is of fundamental importance to educating our pupils because pupils who do not learn to read and write fluently and confidently are, in every sense, disenfranchised.  The mastery of automaticity in handwriting is therefore one of the key priorities of the school.

Click here for more information and videos about how to support your child with their handwriting.

The key principles of the programme are:

    • Building physical strength underpins handwriting and concentration. This knowledge informs the working positions that children use for writing and the strengthening targets they work on.
    • Pupils are not expected to do anything before they are developmentally ready for it.
    • The different components of writing are mastered individually before being used in combination.
    • Letters are learnt as movements, not as visual shapes, and movement remains central to developing automaticity in letter formation, flow and fluency.
    • Posture is important in developing the correct position for handwriting and so children are taught how to organise their working position and paper position to enable comfortable and fluent writing from the start.
    • Correct pencil hold is taught from the start (ie as soon as a tri-pod grip is developmentally appropriate).
    • Reading and writing are reciprocal processes; strengthening handwriting skills will support reading and writing development.