At Smarden, we aim to create writers with the knowledge and experience to be able to write across all areas of the curriculum.  As a school (and with the support of TKat),  we carefully select high quality cross-curricular texts which will enable children to develop the vocabulary and style used by a variety of authors which they will, with practice, be able to apply to their own written masterpieces. 


What does this look like?

We have a very carefully mapped out curriculum which builds on knowledge and skills as children progress through the school. Our goal is that, by the end of their time at Smarden, every child will have the skill and confidence to write effectively for a range of purposes and across a variety of subjects. It is important to us that children see the writing process as important in all curriculum subjects and not solely for a “writing lesson”.

We currently follow the Talk for Writing structure which supports children to internalise the language structures needed to write. 

Step 1 - Imitation 

After creating an engaging ‘hook’ for the topic, the children immerse themselves into a model text and are able to internalise the type of language that they need. This is then followed by talking through a model text, supported visually by a text map and physical movements (mainly EYFS and Key Stage 1) to help the children recall the story or non-fiction piece. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down. Once they have internalised the language of the text, they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the key features that help to make it work. 

Understanding the structure of the text is easy if you use the boxing-up technique and then help the children to analyse the features that have helped to make the text work. In this way the class starts to co-construct a toolkit for this type of text so that they can talk about the features of the genre


Step 2 - Innovation 

Once the children have internalised the text, they are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. This could begin with activities to get the children thinking about the key words and phrases of the model text so they can magpie ideas. Younger children and less confident writers alter their text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say, creating their own version before writing it down. More confident writers may wish to use the boxing up to plan new texts. 

The key activity in this stage is shared writing - helping the children to write their own by “doing one together” first. This allows the children to see how you can innovate on the model text and select words and phrases that really work. These key words and phrases are displayed in the classroom and children can then ‘magpie’ these for their own independent writing. 


Step 3 - Invention/Independent Application 

After having time to peer assess work and polish the innovation, children now have the opportunity to write their own version of the model text independently. Less confident writers may hug relatively closely to the model text, however those who are more confident will be encouraged to explore further ideas. Their final writing will be, once again, peer assessed and shared. 


How does Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling work?

We have a mapped out GPS curriculum which is progressive. Each year we revisit key objectives from past learning in addition to teaching new content which children can then use to further improve their writing across the curriculum. 

For grammar and punctuation, this is weaved into our English lessons; a grammatical feature is taught and practised before the children then use this in a piece of writing linked to their current model text. Once a week we have a separate spelling lesson in which the children are explicitly taught the spelling pattern for the week and have the opportunity to play with the words and understand how to use them. 


What is the impact of this?

The writing journey at Smarden is key to the children’s success. For each unit completed, the children will have explored a high quality text, rehearsed it orally and internalised the language structures, vocabulary and grammatical features.

At the end of a unit, the children will have completed a written masterpiece which will have been assessed and evaluated. Staff will have a good understanding of the performance of their class and can plan accordingly. 

Children will then be able to apply these writing skills across other areas of the curriculum, where the expectations on written content will be the same as in English lessons. 


Writing Overview including GPS 23-24