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Writing at AJS 


At Alumwell, we are passionate about ensuring our children are given plenty of opportunities to express themselves creatively and we believe writing is a wonderful way for them to do this. Using engaging texts, real-life experiences and exciting visual resources for inspiration, we encourage our children to explore the limitless possibilities of their imaginations, whilst providing them with the structure and support they need to organise their ideas effectively and meaningfully. 


We aim for our children to understand that writing is a whole process, rather than a single task. From sharing ideas and planning to evaluating each other’s work- our children are expected to invest in every step of this journey.  




An important part of the writing process is for children to read and deconstruct existing examples of a particular text type. This allows children to understand the structural features of a text and helps to clarify the ‘rules’ of certain text types which will help shape their own writing. Not only this, but it allows a deeper look at the language features of the genre so that children can start to generate similar vocabulary and mirror this style in their own writing.   

Sentence Stacking 


In order to clarify the mechanics of writing, Children regularly take part in lessons based on ‘sentence stacking’- the idea that sentences are carefully crafted one by one, with clear intent and precise word choices, and ‘stacked’ together chronologically in order to create a paragraph. During a sentence stacking lesson, the teacher guides the children by encouraging whole class discussion and vocabulary generation as well as modelling effective sentence building with a clear writing focus. The ideas of writing, techniques and grammatical elements which provide this focus are taken from the writing rainbow (see below). 



Independent Writing 


Sentence stacking sessions allow the children to see and be a part of the creation of a high quality modelled section of the text, which is extremely important. However, we also want the children to have the opportunity to write independently. For this reason, after creating a part of the whole text together, the children then plan and write the rest of the text themselves. During this time, children are encouraged to look back at generated vocabulary, exemplar texts and their own planning to help build an effective piece of writing.  




Towards the end of the writing process, just like any successful writer, we always encourage our children to look for ways they can edit and improve their work so that they fully achieve their potential. Ultimately, we want our children to feel proud of their writing, knowing the final outcome is the product of their own passion, hard work and determination. The editing process can involve one-to-one discussions with the teacher, peer editing or individual reflection and self-edits. 


Audience and Purpose


Why are we writing and who are we writing for? 


Context is extremely important in helping children to understand a new idea. If we were to simply teach children different genres of writing, with an ever-changing context, this would only result in them being able to list the features of certain text types. Although this is useful to know, if we focus solely on revisiting and remember these features, we lose the sense of purpose in writing. We want children to understand that whenever something is written, it is done with intention. Not only this, but the style of writing changes depending on the intended audience. For this reason, it is extremely important that children know WHY we are writing and WHO we are writing for. Without having audience and purpose at the heart of what we teach in our writing sessions, the outcome becomes increasingly meaningless for the children. 

Book-based provision 


Immersing children in captivating stories can often help to give the children reasons to write: Perhaps they need to become reporters to let the world know about the tragic events that took place in Zennor whilst Cherry was building a giant's necklace; Perhaps they need to help Lysandra write a set of instructions for mummifying a pharaoh in Ancient Egypt; Perhaps they need to write a persuasive letter to convince those crayons that quitting just simply is not the answer! Suddenly, there is something driving their writing: a meaningful outcome to aim for.  


Grammatical features and creative elements of writing 


Once children understand why they are writing and who they are writing for, the grammatical elements and creative literary tools in writing -which may once have simply been placed into a piece of work as they were included in the list of features for a particular text-type- also begin to make more sense to them. They will begin to understand that they are used in order to fulfil a purpose. For example: expanded noun phrases are used in a description as it allows us to give more detail to the reader; Dialogue is often used in newspaper articles as eyewitnesses can tell us further details about the events; Pathetic fallacy is used in narrative to help to build tension; The passive voice is used in explanation texts to maintain a formal tone and allow the reader to see things more objectively.  


If audience and purpose is at the heart of our writing sessions throughout the school, children will become more confident in understanding how to adapt their tone and style independently and appropriately.


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