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How we teach Writing at Selling School

How do you teach writing at Selling School?

Writing is not just one skill that is taught in further down the school and then practiced. It is a progression of skills that start as soon as your child picks up a pencil or crayon at home and it continues well on into secondary school. At Selling School writing is taught across the curriculum in all subjects and there are clear expectations of presentation and letter formation.

Writing has many elements; phonics, spelling, grammar, genre (type), handwriting and presentation. All of these develop through a child's learning and some elements may be easier to pick up than others. Writing can be taught at word level - the type of words e.g. verbs, nouns adjectives and at sentence level, statements, commands and questions and then how it is structured.

Writing is closely linked to reading and phonics. Once these are developing the child then is able to apply this knowledge into different contexts or genres. These are styles of writing e.g. a story, a report or a playscript. Another aspect of writing is grammar which is once again taught throughout the school. The more reading opportunities a child has the more their writing will develop.

PDF icon How to help your child with writing

PDF icon Grammar Glossary for parents

What does it mean when I am told my child needs to develop their vocabulary or use 'wow words'?

As soon as children are writing we encourage them to use exciting words. We want them to use imaginative vocabulary and not use what we call 'boring' words. Initially these words will also be simple, but as the children read more books with more challenging words and their speaking and listening, develops they will come into contact with more advanced vocabulary and will be able to use this in their writing.

Examples

Level

Examples of Wow words

1

first.. so.. because.. next.. exciting.. afraid.. lonely.. interesting

2

beautiful.. awful.. enormous.. fierce.. adventure.. accident.. magic..

3

gigantic.. weird.. freezing.. quietly.. silently.. bravely.. happiness.. joy.. sadness.. fear.. transport.. shelter.. baggage.. companion.. vehicle..

4

thunderous.. fearful.. marvellous.. attractive.. generously.. echo.. nervously.. worriedly.. patiently.. feelings.. courage.. experience.. peak.. patience.. wasteland.. container.. furnishings.. robe..

5

sensitive/ly.. timid/ly.. aggressively.. imaginatively.. unfortunate.. murderous.. echoing.. doubtful.. emotion.. anxiety.. longing.. progress (noun).. system.. communication.. ingredient.. vibration.. prefer.. nourish.. demonstrate.. enjoy.. leap..

6

outstanding/ly.. tender/ly.. biological/ly.. formidable.. outspoken.. stern.. comical.. pathetic.. yearning.. dwell.. dine.. progress (verb).. create.. adore.. foreboding..

What are connectives?

Connectives are words that link clauses and parts of sentences together. Like wow words they develop as a child's work matures. The position of the connective will also change, sometimes at the beginning of the sentence rather than the middle.

Examples 

Level

Examples of connectives

1

and - Often this is repeated again and again in a piece of work.

2

but, so, then, because, when

3

If, after, while, as well as, although, however, also, besides, even though, never the less

4

in addition to, contrary to, despite, so as to

5/6

Use complex sentence structures appropriately. Vary sentence length and word order to keep the reader interested.

My child says their ‘opener needs to be good.’ What does this mean?

Closely linked to wow words and connectives, the opener is the start of a sentence, paragraph or piece of writing. We teach the children they need to grab the reader's attention at the start and then show off their reading.

Level

Examples of openers

1

The.. My.. I..

2

First.. Then.. Next.. So.. Last.. But.. Another thing.. The last time.. Soon.. At last.. If.. Another time.. Because.. After..

3

Another thing.. After awhile.. Although.. Afterwards.. Before.. Eventually.. Sometimes.. Often..

4

Never.. Always.. Besides.. Even though.. Before the/they.. Meanwhile.. Before very long.. However.. In addition.. Despite.. An important thing.. We always.. If/then.. I felt as.. Although I had.. I discovered.. Having decided.. I actually.. Despite.. Due to.. As time went.. Use of adjectives e.g. The golden sun.. The grumpy old man..

5/6

Having.. Use complex sentence structures appropriately. Vary sentence length and word order to keep the reader interested.

What punctuation should my child be using?

As with all the other skills, punctuation develops as a child writes. Pupils should be taught to proof read as they go through the school, this is where the children check for spellings, punctuation errors, omissions and repetitions.

Level

Examples of appropriate punctuation

1

.

2

. ?

3

. , ? !

4

' . , ... ? ! ""

5/6

" " ; , . ... ( ) : ? !

Handwriting

Children in school should be taught to write legibly in both joined and printed styles with increasing fluency and speed and use different forms of handwriting for different purposes.

Genres

There are many different genres of writing or types of writing and by the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6) the children are expected to know the main styles and structure of each kind.

The teachers often talk about levels and sub levels but what does this mean?

When we assess children we give them a level and within each level is a sub level. The levels are numbered from 1-6 in primary schools and each sublevel within these is either a, b or c. c is the lower level, b is mid level and a is higher level. Below is a link to another website which has a good example of leveled writing and what is needed for the next step.

Levelled writing and advice

Useful Documents

  • Progression in Reading and Writing
  • How to help your child with writing