The Write Stuff
From Years 2 to 6, writing at Bridge School is taught through The Write Stuff approach by Jane Considine. This method allows pupils to focus on the structure of their sentences and enables them to widen their vocabulary, whilst deepening their understanding of authorial choices. At Bridge, we want our pupils to express their thoughts, opinions and imaginative creativity through access to high quality texts, rich vocabulary and the ability to use grammar and punctuation accurately to clarify their meaning. This is achieved through the Write Stuff approach by modelling good writing to the pupils, creating experiences for the pupils to immerse themselves in and involving the children in the writing process, demonstrating that every good writer needs to decide whether to keep, reject or sharpen their ideas at every stage. The visual style of the Write Stuff supports all learners and enables them to grow in confidence as writers.
How do we teach ‘The Write Stuff’ at Bridge School?
The Write Stuff follows a method called ‘Sentence Stacking’ which engages the children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then apply independently to their own writing. A single lesson is broken down into three learning chunks, and each learning chunk contains three sections:
- Initiate – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and gather vocabulary in pairs and as a class through a process of ‘chotting’ and ‘kind calling out’
- Model – the teacher models a sentence that applies vocabulary from the first section demonstrating clear writing features and techniques
- Enable – the children use the model as a guide to write their own independent sentence
Children are also challenged to ‘deepen the moment’ where they can independently draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing to expand their ideas.
All writing is taught through ‘The Writing Rainbow’ which provides pupils with a lens to focus on in order to ensure all writing is effective and engaging for the reader. The Writing Rainbow compromises of the three essential components:
The FANTASTICS acronym represents the nine ideas for writing, focusing and strengthening children’s imaginations.
The GRAMMARISTICS cover the national curriculum requirements across all areas of key grammatical knowledge. These are taught in context through the Write Stuff sessions, as well as weekly discrete lessons to ensure learning is secure.
The BOOMTASTICS enable children to enhance their writing through literary devices and techniques, showcasing their personal voice and authorial style.
Pupils organise their Sentence Stacking sessions into the ‘Thinking Side’ and ‘Writing Side’ of their English books to capture all of their initial ideas and to enable them to redraft and improve their work consistently throughout the writing process.
Once the Sentence Stacking sessions are completed, the children then have an opportunity to write an independent piece using a similar structure and applying the same Writing Rainbow lenses. Children carefully plan their ideas in sections so that they are confident with where they are taking their reader. Editing and proofreading are encouraged throughout the process in order for the children to develop and improve their drafts.
How can parents support writing at home?
- Discuss any high-quality vocabulary when you come across it when reading together
- Encourage your child to write about their reading by putting together book reviews for their favourite stories
- Create an organised and fun writing space for your child at home
- Apply learning spellings to sentence writing where children can apply the GPS (grammar, punctuation and spelling) objectives for their year group
- ‘A picture is worth 1000 words’ – find a photo of interest for your child and encourage them to write creatively about it in any style they like
- Explore other genres – your child might like to write a poem or song lyrics about a topic of their choice, or might find non-fiction writing more appealing
Where can I find more information?
You can find out more about The Write Stuff by visiting the website: The Training Space
Our writing lessons are carefully structured to deliver the complete English National Curriculum. You can see this document here: English programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2 (publishing.service.gov.uk)
Each year group’s grammar and punctuation objectives can be found here: National curriculum in England: English programmes of study - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Spelling is taught through the Spelling Shed scheme. Each pupil has their own log-in to practise their weekly spellings and can be accessed here: Spelling Shed - Spelling Shed - The Science of Spelling
The breakdown of the spelling curriculum can be viewed here: The national curriculum in England - English Appendix 1: Spelling (publishing.service.gov.uk)
Write Stuff Terminology
Chotting – a way in which children develop their writing by verbally discussing and sharing vocabulary and phrases with a partner (chatting and jotting)
Kind Calling Out – children share their best ideas with the class in a quick-fire manner to create a large selection of vocabulary and phrases for everyone to choose from
Vocabulary Vault – the bank of words and phrases that the children have generated during the ‘initiate’ phase
Thinking Side – the left-hand page of the pupils’ English book where they can pool their initial ideas
Writing Side – the right-hand page of the pupils’ English book where they can draft and edit their sentences
The Writing Rainbow – the three areas of writing to focus on when generating sentences (ideas, grammar and techniques)
Thesaurus Thinking – children look at language within synonym families so that they can judge its intensity and make the best choice according to the purpose of their writing