What is writing? It's the use of symbols to record the spoken word. Before humans developed writing, there was only speech. At its core, good writing is all about talking.
At Laddingford, we teach children to write down their rehearsed speech and this means that the key to writing well is speaking well. If a child can't confidently tell a story, why should we think they could write one? Starting from Reception we work on giving children the confidence to share their ideas and discuss what they've read as the kindling for great writing. Following the 'Talk for Writing' approach, we recognise the importance of developing the authorial voice in children by memorising texts and helping them see the structures and patterns that lie beneath great stories and writing. We start with pictorial representations of stories (Story Maps) to aid their retelling of them before we move on to a simple Think, Say, Write, Check approach, innovating on the stories they know and starting to use the children's phonics learning to help them to write independently. We pride ourselves on our rich range of texts and stories that children hear and read as they grow through the school. As the children get older, we work on oral rehearsal and internalising the decisions an author has to make, linking this to the Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling elements of the English curriculum. When they leave in Year 6, we aim for them to be thoughtful, reflective writers who can express the fullness of their characters on the page. As we develop these compositional skills, we also give them the physical and technical skills to get these wonderful ideas down with pen and paper - this is called transcription.
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