Writing and what our children said

Context

In light of the new moderation guidance and the subject of ‘independence’ for the assessment of writing, we want to review the way we plan and teach writing and gather children’s opinions as well as those of staff.
Question

What do children like and dislike about writing?

What the Oaky VOICE said;
Summary of WWW (What works well)

  • Lots of positive comments around children being supported during writing by teachers, marking, example pieces (models) and prompts provided in the classroom environment
  • Several classes mention they enjoy handwriting but a few groups of boys say joining is something they don’t really like.
  • Children enjoy learning and using new vocabulary; using magpie books,
  • Some classes said that they liked ‘fix it time’ or ‘purple pen’ to put things right.
  • Children see the benefit of spelling lessons
  • Girls and boys listed subjects they like writing about.

Summary of EBI (Even Better If)

  • The main thing that stood out to me was that children want more time to write
  • They would like more opportunities to write ‘free style’ some suggestions;
    *their own stories,
    *using their imaginations,
    *making their own books
    *writing songs
    *writing about a topic of their choosing (lots of classes listed subjects that they were interested in)
    *books that are on TV/have been made into films.
    *their lives
  • Children would like to be able to write in different types of pen to find one that suits them and to write in different colours.
  • A couple of classes said more handwriting lessons

One suggestion was to have an English journal, like we do for maths.

What we did;
We held a staff meeting about writing where we shared all of these thoughts and opinions with the teachers. We all agreed that we would;

  • Give children longer periods of time in lessons to write
  • Make sure there are more opportunities for children to have some choice about what they are writing
  • If children have a favourite pen, they can bring this to school to write with as long as it is blue for English lessons. We will also order some different types of pen eg, biros, gel pens, pens with grips.
  • We will ask children for suggestions of what they would like to write about within our English units of work and about the texts we use

Miss Jago

Assistant Head with responsibility for English