Writing at St Mary’s
At St Mary’s Primary School, we have adopted “The Write Stuff” approach by Jane Considine to ensure clarity to the mechanics of writing. Following a method called “Sentence Stacking” the approach places emphasis on sentences being ‘stacked together’ chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing.
“The Write Stuff” uses a variety of texts, including narrative, non-fiction, and poetry, this ensures that the children get a rich diet of texts over the course of the year. Throughout the writing process, children edit and redraft their work in response to feedback from their teacher and peers.
An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken in to 3 learning chunks. Each learning chunk has three stages:
Initiate stage– This is a time to inspire: through the use of a stimulus, pupils are immersed in a rich language discussion and activities to provide a wealth of vocabulary to aid their writing.
Model stage – This is the chunk whereby the teacher demonstrates the thoughts and processes of a writer and articulates writing choices, through modelling.
Enable stage – This stage is the opportunity for pupils to showcase what they can do within particular writing parameters known as ‘The Three Zones of Writing: FANTASTICs, GRAMMARISTICSs and the BOOMTASTICs’.
Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ throughout the sentence stacking lessons, this requires them to independently draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.
The Three Zones of Writing are essential components to support pupils in becoming great writers.
Through the nine idea lenses known as the FANTASTICs, pupils focus on intended purpose of a sentence.
The GRAMMARISTICs allow pupils to focus on the grammar element of writing which focuses on sentence structure, grammar rules and punctuation.
The BOOMTASTICs allow pupils to capture and create a vivid visual for the reader through the use of poetic devices.
Once children have followed their ‘central character’ through the story, they have the opportunity to plan and write independently using their previous learning to shape their creative stories. The children are encouraged to see writing as a journey; re-drafting and editing are used before writing is published. Writing extends across the curriculum with children being given opportunities to write for a range of different purposes outside of the writing lesson.
Due to the coherent structure of our writing, pupils will compose a range of texts with a variety of purposes and audiences.
For each purpose, the audience and effect on the reader will be considered. Children will be expected to explain why they are writing and for whom. They will also be expected to make informed choices as to how they can achieve the effect using a text type and language features.