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Why do we use the scheme we use? 
At Wadhurst we follow the Talk for Writing Approach. This approach is an engaging teaching framework which is based on the principles of how children learn. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version. The Talk for Writing approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully. 

Teaching Sequence

English structure
1. Baseline assessment and planning – the ‘cold’ task 
Teaching is focused by initial assessment. Teachers use what is known as a ‘cold’ task or a ‘have a go’ task. The aim of this is to see what the children can do independently at the start of a unit, drawing on their prior learning. Assessment of their writing helps the teacher work out what to teach the whole class, different groups and adapt the model text and plan. Targets can then be set for individuals.  
2. The imitation stage 
The teaching begins with some sort of creative ‘hook’ which engages the pupils, often with a sense of enjoyment, audience and purpose. Writing challenges, such as informing Dr Who about how the Tardis works or producing leaflets for younger children about healthy eating, provide a sense of purpose. The model text is pitched well above the pupils’ level and has built into it the underlying, transferable structures and language patterns that students will need when they are writing. This is learned using a ‘story map’ and actions to strengthen memory and help students internalise the text. Activities such as drama are used to deepen understanding of the text.  
Once students can ‘talk the text’, the model, and other examples, are then read for vocabulary and comprehension, before being analysed for the basic text (boxing up) and language patterns, as well as writing techniques or toolkits. All of this first phase is underpinned by rehearsing key spellings and grammatical patterns. Short-burst writing is used to practise key focuses such as description, persuasion or scientific explanation. 
3. The innovation stage 
Once students are familiar with the model text, then the teacher leads them into creating their own versions. A new subject is presented and the teacher leads students through planning. With younger pupils, this is based on changing the basic map and retelling new versions. Older students use boxed-up planners and the teacher demonstrates how to create simple plans and orally develop ideas prior to writing. Ideas may need to be generated and organised or information researched and added to a planner. Shared and guided writing is then used to stage writing over a number of days so that students are writing texts bit by bit, concentrating on bringing all the elements together, writing effectively and accurately. Feedback is given during the lessons, as well as using a visualiser on a daily basis, so that students can be taught how to improve their writing, make it more accurate, until they can increasingly edit in pairs or on their own. 
4. Independent application – the ‘hot’ task 
Eventually, students move on to the third phase, which is when they apply independently what has been taught and practised. Before this happens, the teacher may decide to give further input and rehearsal. Students are guided through planning, drafting and revising their work independently. It is essential to provide a rich starting point that taps into what students know and what matters so that their writing is purposeful. Writing may be staged over a number of days and there may be time for several independent pieces to be written. With non-fiction, students should apply what they have been taught across the curriculum. The final piece is used as the ‘hot’ task, which clearly shows progress across the unit. 
It is important that at the innovation and independent application stages, the writing becomes increasingly independent of the original model rather than a pale copy. Whilst four-year-olds may only make a few simple changes, older students should be adding, embellishing, altering and manipulating the original structure. From Key Stage 2 onwards, almost all children will be using the text structure and writing tools to write, drawing on the model, their wider reading and experience so that they are writing independently at a high level. This has to be modelled in shared writing. 
5. Final assessment – building on progression 
The quality of the model texts is crucial to progress. The models should be short and provide excellent examples of the key linguistic features being focused on, and they should increase in difficulty. With younger children, the imitation stage will take longer, as the children need to establish the language patterns that will underpin their learning; this is so that they can see how to innovate on a text and write their own version independently. As they get older, more sophisticated ways of imitating text and a greater range of models can be used, and there will be a greater emphasis on ensuring that the innovation stage helps the pupils to move away from the initial model, so that they become increasingly skilled as independent writers. 
When the children are first taught a text type, they will co-construct the toolkit to help them understand the ingredients to consider. As they progress up the school, these toolkits should travel with them so that, year-on-year, they are refined as the pupils develop their skills. Over time, they should internalise these toolkits so they select appropriate features automatically and no longer need a visual support to scaffold their writing. 

Our Principles For Great Teaching In English

English Implementation

If our children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the reflection on what they know and remember in regards to our mapped knowledge goals for each year group, tracking knowledge in pre- and post-learning challenges and through ongoing formative assessment opportunities in and across lessons. The impact of our English curriculum is that our pupils are equipped with the knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the next stage of their curriculum and for life as an adult in the world outside the classroom.
We expect that when children leave Wadhurst children will be able to:
  • Fully understand the writing process and are able to draw upon their understanding of different text types to write for a range of audiences and purposes.
  • Take pride in their learning by writing legibly
  • Apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught in their writing
  • Have a wide and varied vocabulary gained from across the curriculum and applied in their writing
  • Have a solid understanding of grammar and punctuation and how to apply this in their writing
We will be able to evidence that children have achieved this through.......
  • Recorded  learning 
  • Carefully designed lessons that provide opportunities for adults to continually assess for understanding both in English and across the curriculum
  • Marking and feedback to assess for understanding against small steps
  • Comparative assessment tasks e.g. Cold and hot tasks at the beginning and end of units
  • Writing moderations both in house and working collaboratively with other schools that allow teachers to be secure in their professional judgements 
  • Feedback/ case studies from interventions- provision maps
Beyond Wadhurst
We believe that when children leave Wadhurst CE Primary they will be confident writers and effective communicators. They will therefore be equipped to continue their learning journey at Secondary School and beyond to participate fully as a member of society.
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