At Oakridge, we pride ourselves on setting exciting ‘hooks’ for writing that are both imaginative and meaningful. This means that the children have a clear purpose and audience for writing and thus can identify writing as a powerful tool for communicating real messages.
Here are some of our current ‘hooks’ for writing across the Federation:
Year R- Caterpillars
Year 1- Goldilocks crime scene
Year 2- Year 1 transition leaflets
Year 3- Twisted Fairy tales
Year 4- How to Live Forever
Year 5- The Ways of the Wolf
Year 6- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Every class has English for at least one hour a day. These lessons follow an English ‘learning journey’ which begins with the hook. The children are then immersed in the text type to support their knowledge and understanding of existing models that they can use to inform the style and structure of their own writing. Following on from this they are taught key writing skills. This could be a skill taught to the whole class or it could be a skill matched to a child’s particular learning need. Children are then expected to apply these skills to an ‘apprentice piece’. This is their first attempt at composing a full piece of writing that matches the style or purpose being taught. This ‘first attempt’ enables the teachers to identify which skills will need further teaching and consolidation before the ‘final piece’ is written at the end of the unit.
Periodically we also ask the children to complete a ‘site of application.’ This simply means they will be set a writing task that does not necessarily relate directly to their current unit and requires them to write in a style they have learnt about previously, with minimal input and support from the teacher. This ensures they have additional opportunities to practise writing for a range of audience and purposes and also allows the teacher to identify very clearly, which skills they can transfer and apply independently.