This year at Brentnall, writing is our main focus point. We aim to equip children with the effective skills needed to write, be proud of their work and to see themselves as authors.

We have recently implemented a new and creative way of teaching writing at Brentnall. The Power of Reading is an English programme that ensures that the teaching of writing is delivered in a creative, stimulating and cross-curricular way, linked to high quality texts.

The Power of Reading:

  • Helps schools create a whole school reading ethos that allows children to engage with and progress in Reading and Writing.
  • Places high quality children’s literature at the heart of the English curriculum.
  • Uses creative approaches to enrich teaching and learning
  • Provides schools with the subject knowledge and the tools to deliver a high quality, creative English curriculum.

Children are exposed to a range of different writing genres, which have been specifically tailored for their year group. Through the cross-curricular teaching sequences, children are immersed in high quality texts so that they are continuously developing their language and the skills needed to produce their own high quality pieces of writing.

The Power of Reading teaching sequences follow the structure:

The PoR sequences build up to creating a large and purposeful piece of writing. The writing environment is prepared, purpose for writing is given and sufficient time is provided for children to write at length. The following session focuses on editing and improving that piece to produce a polished and improved piece of work. In these sessions, children develop the skills needed to proof-read and edit their work, constantly working towards taking those next steps to improve their writing. Excellent pieces of writing can be published on Pobble, displayed on our ‘Writing’s on the Wall’, taken to show other teachers or presented in Celebration Assembly.

The teaching of Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) is also an integral part of all English lessons and children are taught how to structure and punctuate their writing correctly, becoming fluent with the relevant terminology. Children are taught using a Teach, Practise, Apply model in classes to ensure that they can apply the skills they have learnt in their writing. Each class have a set of non-negotiables for GPS that are displayed on Steps to Success during lessons and feature on classes English Working Walls. Working Walls are used throughout school to display the journey that each class have taken through a teaching sequence. Children refer to the working walls throughout lessons for inspiration, to up-level their language and to
check their work.

Handwriting skills are taught and developed every day throughout Year 1 to Year 4 and then in regular sessions throughout Year 5 and Year 6. These lessons are taught using a Teach, Practise, Apply model. Different styles of handwriting can be seen displayed around school to ensure children are exposed to different fonts. All adult handwriting across school is in line with our new handwriting policy.

Alongside our English lessons, children are also enjoying Writing Focus Tasks. These are weekly stand-alone writing lessons that are devised from a range of creative and engaging stimuli. With these, children have chance to apply their own personal writing flair, combined with all of their GPS skills learnt, to create exciting pieces of writing that they are proud of.

This year we are also encouraging more writing across the curriculum. All classes will be writing through other subjects such as Science, Geography, History, Art, Design Technology, Religious Education and PSHE. Writing helps children remember and embed the skills and vocabulary that they have learnt in these lessons and increases the depth of knowledge on a subject. It also allows children to apply their writing skills to wider topics and genres.