Our Approach to Writing
At Longney, we adopt a Try, Use, Refine mastery approach to teaching writing which concentrates on starting with raw basic skills (through a purposeful and engaging context), drilling them and practicing the isolated skill (Try It), then giving children a wide range of opportunities to apply those skills in a variety of writing opportunities (Use It) and writer’s licence is given through the completely independent selection of task and stimuli (Refine It).
This approach enables children to focus on individual skills before needing to consider the wider toolkit of writing; this greatly enables writers with previous low-confidence to flourish. As children embed a skill over the course of unit of lessons, learning is remembered and application of previously-taught skills are systemic. The mastery approach encourages a depth of understanding, encourages application of skills in more than one way and exercises metacognition in the writing process.
Precise and effective modelling, application opportunities, strong AfL strategies and live feedback are key to the Try, Use, Refine approach to writing. Children’s oracy around their writing – considering audience and purpose, unpicking other writer’s choices, verbalising their own choices as writers and discussion about their and others’ writing – forms an integral part of their writing journey.
The immersive stimuli and contexts for writing include the use of high quality books and creative teaching approaches, such as role-play, hot-seating, freeze-framing, conscience alley, reader's theatre, story mapping and writing in role.
At Longney, we feel strongly about supporting children to be confident spellers. We understand the importance of children learning to spell correctly, but we also want to engage and inspire children with a love of words. This is why we have implemented the Jane Considine approach to spelling which puts the children's love of words at the heart of learning to spell.
Lessons encourage children to look deeply at words, draw and build upon their knowledge of phonics from KS1 and make connections with spellings or letter patterns that they may already know.
Starting in Year 2 and into all our KS2 classes, the children will complete spellings on a two-week timetable.
During Week 1 the children will have a spelling investigation to complete and will practice the spellings of 6 focus words. The investigation is where the children explore proving or disproving a spelling hypothesis.
During Week 2, the children will have five 10-minute sessions that will work on children practising and applying spellings under time pressure to support their ability to spell more accurately in lessons and other real-life writing scenarios.
This approach is about helping children make plausible spelling choices in their writing that make sense and, even if not correct, have phonetical reasoning at the heart of the letter choices being made.