At Thurcroft Junior Academy, we want all our pupils to develop a passion for writing, which is why we begin all of our writing units with an immersive hook, creatively designed by the class teacher to fully engage all children in the new text and genres. We also ensure that a variety of text types and themes are used so that all the children’s interests are covered throughout the year.
‘Reading into writing’ is at the heart of what we do – high quality, age-appropriate, engaging texts are key. Our process has four steps: Immerse, Analyse, Plan and Independent Write. Writing units are approximately 3 weeks with narratives usually taking slightly longer (around four weeks) and something such as instructions only requiring 1-2 weeks to complete. Beginning with the hook, children are fully engaged and inspired, raring to go. Teaching staff are very creative with their writing hooks, planning visits, watching video clips, looking at various images and reading amazing excerpts from high-quality texts. There are then lots of speaking and listening opportunities - including drama. Followed by delving deep into the text type, looking at features and SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and practising applying these into short burst writing opportunities.
When it comes to the planning and writing stages, the children are given options so that they can make their writing unique to them - we love to encourage that natural writing flair. Planning time is essential so that they think carefully about what they will include, both content and SPaG – all of our planning formats have blue boxes where the children make notes on which SPaG features they will be including. Once written, they are encouraged to redraft and improve their work, focussing on spelling, punctuation and vocabulary. This four-step process leads to a well thought-out piece of writing which the children are always very proud of.
Written work is completed in English books, each unit beginning with a front cover showing the text and hook. We have high expectations of presentation and handwriting. Children are expected to complete their work on the right-hand pages while teachers use the left to give feedback to help the children edit and improve their work. Once a piece of written work is complete, children are often given the opportunity to publish their work in an interesting way which is celebrated on displays all around school.