Writing and Spelling at Newhall Juniors.
At Newhall, we strive to provide a world-class education to your child/children. To ensure this, we began to pilot an alternative Writing method last year in year 4 and year 5. This was a huge success and has now been rolled out whole school as of the start of term. Research driven, engaging and with a focus on vocabulary, we have seen children’s attitudes to writing shift drastically and we want to continue this with every year group.
The Write Stuff.
Our writing lessons use an approach called ‘The Write Stuff’. Created by Jane Considine who is: ‘an Education Consultant who energises and inspires thousands of teachers every year, helping them to transform the teaching of writing in the primary education phase. Jane’s research informed and evidence based systems provide structures for success, enabling teachers to deliver outstanding results.’
Children will take part in experience lessons, where we bring their learning to life. Whether the classroom has been transformed into a setting or they taking on roles as characters from their text, it gives the children a real life experience, one which can help them with their writing. They will take part in sentence stacking lessons, using rich vocabulary and important features in their writing. The children thrive here as they have the chance for their sentences to feature on the class ‘sentence stacking wall’.
Along with looking at how characters feel, how the story can take us on an emotional rollercoaster and how to use vocabulary effectively, children will build up to creating their own fiction piece.
We will also use The Write Stuff for non-fiction, planning our own units in The Write Stuff style and using some of Jane’s fantastic units too. Children will write a range of styles from newspaper reports, recounts and persuasive writing during their time at Newhall Juniors. They will have 1 hour of Writing per day and will cover fiction, non-fiction and, once a term, a poem.
Spelling has also been changed slightly too. We will be focusing solely on the platform of Spelling Shed moving forwards as this scheme will meet our children’s needs more so than previous methods. Their week for spelling will look as follows:
During a spelling lesson, children will be exposed to the spelling pattern/rule that their spellings have. They will also take part in activities to help them practise their spellings in an engaging way, such as word searches, crosswords and playing games such as battleships.
When they bring their spellings home, they will look as shown below:
This has the date it has been sent home to you, the Stage (which refers to the year) and the list number. If applicable, it will have the pattern or rule displayed as well to aid understanding of what they are learning.
Your child may need to complete spellings from a Stage (year) below their current one. This is from evidence from an initial test that there are gaps in their spelling knowledge. We strive to help close them by giving them the spellings they need.
All of their lists are on Spelling Shed. They simply need to select their stage and then the list number.
Please note that the lists will not be taught in order. This is due to particular patterns/rules being taught in preparation for their Grammar, punctuation and spelling assessments. Therefore, list numbers could be completely random from week to week.
Spelling Shed at home.
Spelling Shed at home will continue as before. For new starters, they have their Spelling Shed personal login in their red reading diary. They will be able to access their spellings for the week and take part in games. Then, once a week, during their rewards assembly, the top three children from their class will be awarded a certificate as well as being rewarded with prizes for their avatar on Spelling Shed. We hope to build a sense of competition between the classes and year groups to win each week too.
If you have any questions regarding our Writing or Spelling approach here at Newhall Juniors, please do not hesitate to contact me through the school office.
Miss L Moore.
Leader of Writing.