We are passionate about wonderful writing at Higham Ferrers Junior School and so our approach to English lessons is so much more than just putting pen to paper. During English lessons, things can get a little noisy! We encourage our children to talk and share ideas in English lessons as we firmly believe that being able to discuss ideas and verbalise their thoughts makes the learning clearer in their heads and therefore clearer on the page.
In English lessons, children are taught to be creative and confident writers through this structure:
Reading for writing – Pupils read and analyse high quality examples of texts. This allows the pupils to be curious about what a good one looks like and enables them to be ambitious in what they aim to achieve by the end of the unit.
Grammar – Pupils are then taught the grammar skills they need to know in order to write the genre they are being taught. Teachers make these lesson interactive and fun and pupils are given the chance to be creative in producing their own revision tools for display to help them with their writing later on.
Planning – Pupils now gather information or come up with ideas for their writing. Teachers use different stimuli to inspire pupils: from pictures and film clips to music, drama and artefacts, pupils from year three to year six have real experiences to motivate them to be creative and write.
Writing – Using their knowledge from the reading for writing lessons, their skills from their grammar lessons and their ideas from the planning lessons, pupils now put pen to paper and write their genre. Teacher ‘live model’ an example so pupils can see how to put all they have learnt together. This means our lessons are both supportive and challenging as learners have an example to help them whilst enabling them to aim high to achieve something of a similar quality themselves.
Editing – Classrooms are set up with different stations for pupils to edit specific elements of their writing. There are lots of resources available to pupils to use to edit the spelling, handwriting, vocabulary, sentence structure and punctuation in their writing. This element of our teaching structure teaches children to be resilient and shows them that making mistakes is okay because we learn from them and improve.
Gold write – This is the best bit! At the end of the unit, pupils pull together everything they have learnt and create and publish a fantastic piece of writing which they can feel proud of. Teachers then assess this piece of writing and set targets for each child ready for the next term.
Exceptional pieces of work will get chosen by the teacher to go on the prestigious ‘Gold Write Wall’. This means that the child’s work will be on display for the whole school to see as an example of excellent writing. As well as this, they receive a certificate in assembly and a most coveted gold fountain pen which can be used in lessons.
At Higham Ferrers Junior School, we love to write! From Years 3-6, we all work hard to write everything from poems to newspaper articles, stories to biographies, poems to non-chronological reports. These writing assessment sheets help us to keep track of the skills we are learning and demonstrating in our writing. They help us to know what our targets are and to see how much progress we are making.