Teaching for progression: Writing

Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching for
progression:
Writing
Teaching for progression:
Writing
First published in 2008
Ref: 00750-2008PDF-EN-02
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
1
Contents
Teaching the writing strands
2
7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
11
7.1 Generating ideas, planning and drafting
12
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of text on paper and on screen
19
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
25
8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas
26
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
42
8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact
57
8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
67
8.5 Structuring, organising and presenting texts in a variety of forms on paper and on screen 76
8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper and on screen
97
9 Conventions: drawing on conventions and structures
106
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
107
9.2 Using grammar accurately and appropriately
124
9.3 Reviewing spelling and increasing knowledge of word derivations, patterns and families
140
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching the writing strands
‘Pupils will write a wide range of texts on paper and on screen for different purposes and audiences,
adapting features and techniques to create a range of effects and impact.’
Overview statement for Writing from the Framework for secondary English
Within this overarching statement there are three writing strands in the renewed Framework for secondary
English, which builds on the Primary Framework:
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7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
9 Conventions: drawing on conventions and structures
Each of these is subdivided into two or more substrands as follows:
7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
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7.1 Generating ideas, planning and drafting
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
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8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact
8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
8.5 Structuring, organising and presenting texts in a variety of forms on paper and on screen
8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper and on screen
9 Conventions: drawing on conventions and structures
•
•
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9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
9.2 Using grammar accurately and appropriately
9.3 Reviewing spelling and increasing knowledge of word derivations, patterns and families
All three writing strands offer opportunities for engagement with the language strand:
10 Exploring and analysing language and the related two substrands:
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10.1 Exploring language variation and development according to time, place, culture, society and
technology
10.2 Commenting on language use
The inclusion of the language strand allows for the study of the significance of English as a global
language, and for the impact of new technology, as well as increased focus on knowledge and conventions
with regard to grammar.
As language is not only the medium of study, but also the chief object of study in this strand, links to the
language substrands are important. These are indicated by the following – (L10.1) or (L10.2).
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
3
Why writing is still the key to success
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Pupils enter secondary school with a differing range of writing skills and these need to be developed
and extended to enable all pupils to write with a certain degree of accuracy and independence across a
range of tasks for different audiences and purposes.
The secondary curriculum and examination system rely on pupils’ ability to generate, design and
craft their writing in response to a variety of tasks in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. Although it is a
commonplace practice and expectation that pupils do so, writing is a very complex activity and needs
to be explicitly planned and taught, ensuring effective coverage of all the substrands.
Pupils need to realise the importance of developing effective writing skills as a passport to success,
not only in school, but in the world of work and life in general. While employers are looking for
competence and accuracy in terms of the functionality of writing, having the ability to write with clarity,
accuracy and creativity across a range of writing tasks, will help develop confidence and a positive selfimage which will serve pupils well in many areas of life.
What are the issues for pupils?
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Writing is required in all subjects across the curriculum and the teaching of writing within subjects is
often overlooked by teachers, some of whom lack the confidence and expertise to teach it.
To become good writers pupils need to read widely. However, many pupils cannot readily process what
they read into their writing.
Reading informs writing and the best writers in any class will also be readers. Pupils who do not read
much find writing difficult because they have not internalised the structures, patterns and rhythms of
writing and also do not have a wide vocabulary to draw upon.
Many pupils who are struggling writers have lively imaginations, but cannot structure, sequence and
express ideas effectively if they do not read widely.
Inexperienced writers need to know that all writers are thieves, and be shown how to take ideas from
other writers, as well as from life.
Being able to read as a writer is a key to success.
Struggling writers need to be taught how to develop and use a set of writer’s strategies.
More-able pupils need targeted teaching which will encourage them to apply their skills in increasingly
sophisticated, ambitious and mature ways.
Pupils struggle to write to time in examinations because the bulk of the writing undertaken in the
curriculum is not time limited.
Teaching writing: implications of planning with the writing
substrands
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Teachers need to plan for engaging and stimulating experiences, focused around appropriate learning
objectives within the substrands. Planning for writing should be part of an integrated programme of
reading, speaking and listening, drawing on those substrands which have the closest learning relationship
with the writing substrands being addressed. Where strands link, teachers will want to refer to teaching
approaches for those other strands in other sections of Teaching for progression when planning.
The range of writing in the new programme of study should now provide greater flexibility in teaching
and learning. Refocusing the writing triplets has allowed for greater emphasis on audience, purpose
and meaningful outcomes rather than a rigid adherence to models to be copied. The emphasis is on
learners developing a repertoire of techniques and skills to draw on and apply across different writing
tasks.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
In planning writing tasks, teachers will need to provide real audiences and contexts for writing. There
should be opportunities for working and writing in ‘contexts beyond the classroom’, and for watching
‘live performances’ and interacting with ‘real writers’, moving ‘beyond their current situation’ by making
links with the local or global community.
Functional skills statements do not appear as separate wordings within the programmes of study or the
renewed Framework, but they have informed the way the programmes of study and the Framework
are devised and worded. Level 1 is embedded at Key Stage 3 and Level 2 at Key Stage 4.
In several strands or substrands, the Framework for secondary English mentions the words ‘drawing on’
or ‘adapting’. This is important to bear in mind when planning because it indicates that the conventions
of grammar, standard English (SE) and other linguistic knowledge and skills (although separated into
substrands) are not to be seen in isolation, but are conventions to ‘draw upon’ when writing for impact
and effect. For example, as part of strand 8 ‘Composition: shaping and constructing language for
expression and effect’. It is not enough to simply imitate models of text types (though that can be an
important part of the process) – flexing and adapting language as it appears in real texts is central to
securing good writing.
Teachers should also note that strand 9 is separate so that it adequately reflects the technical accuracy
section of the programmes of study, especially given the fact that there are no distinct strands for
word or sentence level work. However, word and sentence level work is embedded throughout the
Framework to support an integrated approach to teaching and learning. By using the words ‘drawing
on’, however, the Framework implies that mere accuracy on its own, while important, is not sufficient;
creativity and competence should be mutually enhancing and reinforcing.
Similarly, the integration of the four key concepts from the programme of study is central when
planning and teaching. The concepts are embedded in the Framework at both strand and substrand
level. Sometimes a strand has a direct relationship with key concepts, for example:
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9.1 Using the conventions of standard English – Cultural understanding
Sometimes a substrand more subtly addresses or integrates key concepts, for example:
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8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect – Competence, Creativity
But in most cases there are opportunities to shape the learning objectives or the planned units
around several concepts; by linking strands or substrands, the key concepts can be combined into the
planning.
Features of effective teaching of writing
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The explicit teaching of writing is essential if pupils are to become competent, creative and
independent writers. Pupils need to be encouraged to read widely and to read with a writer’s eye.
The ultimate aim is to help all pupils become better writers and the following is a useful guide when
considering what it is that good writers do in terms of the mental strategies that they employ and the
behaviours that they exhibit.
Good writers:
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know where they are going and where they are going to end up
have an idea of how a text should sound, and try to match their voice to it
use their reading to inform their writing
have a style repertoire to choose from
listen to hear if it ‘sounds right’
attend to the needs of the reader
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
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rehearse and reread
select and reject
concentrate
evaluate their work as they write
improvise personal support strategies
attend to personal weaknesses.
The challenge for teachers is knowing when and how to intervene with the pupils who do not have
these processes in place. Offering stimulating tasks and marking conscientiously after writing does
not address the problems which occur during the writing process. It is precisely at this point, therefore,
that teachers need to intervene and to pay specific attention to the teaching of writing, rather than
just setting up writing opportunities. Very able pupils can be taught to improve their writing further
through skilled targeting teaching.
Pupils need to be taught how to become effective writers and the effective teaching of writing has four
stages:
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linking reading to writing – engagement, models, content and contexts
modelling – building skills
joint construction – building, developing and applying skills
independent construction – applying, securing and extending skills.
Teachers can teach writing effectively by using the teaching sequence for writing. This moves from
reading into writing by enabling pupils to gain an understanding of a specific text type or stylistic
technique by being shown how to use it, so that they can start to apply it in their own writing. The
sequence captures the ‘episodes’ within a lesson or across a sequence of lessons. The emphasis and
time spent on the various stages will depend on the learning objectives, the task and the experience
and attainment of the pupils. It is a teaching sequence to be used as a guide and flexed accordingly,
but without losing the central strategy of modelling and demonstration.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
The teaching sequence for writing
1. Establish clear aims
Teaching objectives and learning outcomes made explicit to the class.
2. Provide a relevant example/
model
Pupils read examples of similar kinds of text to the one which they will
be writing; select texts which will engage learners.
3. Explore features of the text
In the context of shared reading, identify and annotate the typical
features of this kind of text and the writer’s techniques you will be
teaching; create opportunities for pupils to discuss, recognise and
explain the writer’s choices and the impact these have on the reader.
4. Define the conventions*
List on the board or on a flipchart the main features that have been
identified as typical of the type of writing being explored. Use these
features as success criteria for the writing task to follow. (*Make
clear, however, that texts often draw on features from elsewhere, for
example persuasive texts that also entertain and use literary language.)
5. Demonstrate how it is written
Through shared reading demonstrate how to write this kind of text
by modelling the writing; use a ‘crib’ that you have prepared earlier to
ensure you cover all your intended teaching points. Typically, begin
writing the first few sentences on the board, thinking out loud to show
pupils why you are making certain choices as a writer (choices at word,
sentence and text level) and the impact and effect you wish to create
in the reader; deliberate on choices, model how to rehearse sentences
aloud before writing, constantly reread and articulate the impact you
are aiming for; demonstrate how you listen to the impact of a sentence;
think aloud about the punctuation choices and how these are linked to
sentence construction; emphasise the need to apply spelling strategies.
Model writing one step at a time; purposefully focus attention on
modelling aspects of writing that most pupils find difficult, or that have
not yet become an automatic habit. Model the features of writing that
pupils have not yet accomplished, then help them move on from one
level to another.
6. Compose together
Allow pupils thinking time either individually or in pairs; pupils then
join in with the process of composition by suggesting words, phrases,
sentences that the teacher writes up following brief evaluation of the
contributions; challenge and do not always accept first ideas – ask
pupils for explanations, reasons and justifications.
7. Scaffold the first attempts
Encourage oral rehearsal of writing before pupils begin their own
writing; some or all pupils will need support through, for example,
a writing frame, lists of key features, word banks, list of appropriate
connectives, dictionaries, thesauruses and so on; support pupils further
in small, guided writing sessions.
8. Independent writing
The pupils complete the writing task independently, using the success
criteria prompt sheet as a guide.
9. Draw out key learning
This is the review process (plenary) designed to secure pupils’
understanding of what they have learned for the writing; create
opportunities for pupils to articulate their understanding aloud in
relation to the lesson objective, explaining the choices they have made
as writers and their intended impact on the reader. Where possible,
make links to the application of this style of writing, or writing purpose,
in other areas of the curriculum or life.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
7
Wave 1 teaching
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Use the teaching sequence for writing during high-quality, inclusive first-wave teaching.
Guided writing provides a crucial link between explicit teaching to the whole class in shared writing
and independent writing. It is a teaching method that allows for focused taught time between the
teacher and specific pupil groupings.
Guided writing sessions enable differentiated teaching by, for example, allowing the teacher to work
with a small group of pupils (for example, six) who may be still struggling with a particular aspect of
writing, or a more-able group who can be helped to extend and apply their understanding and skills
even further.
Guided writing works well if it follows a shared writing session and helps pupils to practise and apply
the principles and techniques taught to the whole class; it enables the teacher to work uninterrupted
for about 15 to 20 minutes in a very focused and targeted way with the identified pupils following an
‘instructional sequence’, after which pupils spend some time writing independently.
The content and focus of the guided group is determined almost entirely by what is going on in the
current lessons, so no new planning or new texts are required.
A typical guided session would be as follows.
8.5 Structuring, organising and presenting texts in a variety of forms on paper and on screen
Target
To improve cohesion and links between paragraphs and
sentences.
Strategy
Highlight the first sentence of a paragraph, discuss how
it links back to the end of the previous paragraph and
consider what kind of link it provides:
a new point in a series of points
a new development of the previous point
an opposite point of view?
Highlight the type of connectives used (for example,
however, similarly, although) across and within paragraphs.
Teacher example
Model the above process using the text from the shared
reading activity.
Pairs
Pupils discuss the links in one of their pieces of writing,
following the guidance given by the teacher modelling.
Individuals
Pupils work individually, continuing to identify the links
between paragraphs and sentences in their own writing.
Encouraging independent work
The following approaches can help ensure that other groups work independently while the teacher is
involved in the guided writing session and can be adapted to suit the age and ability of the class.
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Have a marker/stand on each table stating ‘We are working alone – do not disturb’.
Elect a group leader responsible for collecting all necessary resources.
Provide each group with a prompt sheet reminding them:
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you are working independently today
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
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group leader is X, who must collect all the resources from the teacher’s desk
at the end of the lesson, the group leader will return all resources to the teacher’s desk, and so on.
Provide an instruction sheet for each group, clearly guiding them through the activity so that they do
not have to disturb the teacher during the guided session.
Involve teaching assistants in supporting the pupils working independently.
Wave 3 teaching
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Use one-to-one or very-small-group support via a specialist teacher, highly trained teaching assistant
or academic mentor to support pupils towards the achievement of specific curricular targets based on
different aspects of the writing substrands and learning objectives.
Further teaching strategies
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Use ‘Socratic seminars’, to help pupils develop evaluative talk about writing. Have one group in the
centre of the room, discussing a piece of text with a view to improving it. Other pupils sit around them
as targeted listeners, taking notes in order to report back not only on what was said, but also how it
was said, using the language for analysis of writing.
Encourage dialogic talk about writing so that views expressed are not dominated by the teacher, and
so that individuals participate fully and with more confidence.
Introduce a ‘no hands up’ policy when asking questions; use the technique for differentiated
questioning and by allowing pupils thinking time prior to answering, all pupils should be expected to
make a contribution; use misconceptions positively for teaching points.
Use a wide variety of speaking and listening strategies and drama to help develop writing (pair, group
work, jigsaw, envoy, snowball activities, role-play, hotseating, guided tour and so on. The Teaching for
progression: Speaking and listening booklet gives full exemplification of all of these strategies).
Plan and teach all writing tasks with attention to the writing needs of boys, for example: use the
interactive and engaging activities referred to in the previous bullet point to motivate boys to write,
along with opportunities for using ICT; provide relevant and challenging topical issues to read and
discuss; always make clear the purpose and audience for the writing, support planning; break up
writing tasks into manageable chunks, feeding back what has worked and what needs to be developed
at each stage of the writing and teach strategies for effective self-review.
Progression in writing
Progression is signalled by the ability to complete the following with confidence and independence:
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use appropriate subject terminology to talk about language and writing choices
write with a high degree of accuracy in spelling, punctuation and grammar
apply the skills learned in order to manipulate language choices at word, sentence and text level and to
achieve particular effects across a wide range of texts and audiences
write fluent, sustained Standard English (SE) in a range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts
write on an increasingly challenging and complex range of issues with clarity and precision, taking into
account different perspectives
produce writing which is creative, original and inventive and where ambitious and interesting
vocabulary choices add to the overall impact
evaluate own and others’ skills in writing against agreed criteria (for example, pupil-generated criteria
and Assessing pupils’ progress guidelines) identifying appropriate next steps in improvement.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
9
Reflection and review in writing
Pupils will need increasing opportunities to self-evaluate and develop independence in their skills and
strategies as writers. A routine of self- and peer- review needs to be built into all work in the following ways:
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Investigate with the class, and have on display, the language for analysis of writing which enables pupils
to comment informatively about each others’ writing and on their own, for example complex sentence,
subordinate clause, imperative verbs, viewpoint, audience, purpose, authorial intention, structure,
connectives and so on.
Ensure all pupils keep a writer’s log or journal, where they can jot down phrases and sentence starters
from their reading (individual and class reading); interesting vocabulary which they feel they might like
to use in their own writing; strategies which writers have used to engage their readers (for example,
use of an intriguing opening to a narrative to hook the reader); ideas from their own lives; funny things
people say and so on.
Pupils need to keep a spelling log which lists their own personal spellings with chosen strategies to
help learn them.
Incorporate ‘Socratic seminars’, to help pupils develop evaluative talk about writing.
Involve pupils in developing their own success criteria for a wide range of writing tasks.
Use pupil observers when groups are involved in a planning activity; appoint able pupils as observers
whose job it is to feed back on the quality of the planning and discussion process following clear and
agreed criteria; use the feed back from the observers to highlight the key learning and improvement
points.
Allow time at the end of a specific writing task to discuss and debrief with pupils, identifying key issues
relating to planning, the actual writing process and the appropriateness of the task to audience and
purpose.
Ask pupils to reflect on the extent to which their writing and spelling logs help them with the writing
task.
Set up writing partners for peer- and self-review; provide them with a success criteria prompt sheet to
refer to and teach them how to give constructive feedback.
Encourage pupils to reflect on their own and others’ writing by setting targets which are deliberately
challenging for themselves and others; discuss in pairs and groups what support they need from each
other and the teacher to enable them to achieve those targets.
When taking feedback or contributions from pupils ask for explanations, reasons and justifications, so
that pupils are challenged to reflect and review their own and others’ comments.
Foster a tolerant, secure and collaborative atmosphere where pupils feel safe to take risks with their
writing and welcome opportunities to receive constructive feedback which will enable them to
develop and improve as writers.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Bibliography
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Improving writing at Key Stages 3 and 4, QCA/99/392
Not Whether but How: teaching grammar in English at KS3/4, QCA/99/418
Grammar for reading and writing, Ref: 00655-2008PDF-01
Literacy across the curriculum, Module 2 ‘Writing non-fiction’, Ref: 0235/2001
English department training 2001, Module 4 ‘Writing non-fiction’ and Module 6 ‘Writing narrative’,
Ref: 0234/2001
Targeting level 4 teaching folder, Ref: 0105/2003
Targeting level 5 and above teaching folder, Ref: 0501-2003
Study Plus Handbook, Ref: 00327-2007BKT-EN
Progression maps for writing (web-based resource) www.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/progressionmaps
ICT across the curriculum – ICT in English, Ref: 0174-2004 G
Improving Wave 1 teaching – Using ICT, Ref: 00725-2007CDO-EN
The Full English: An A–Z handbook of English teaching activities, NATE (ISBN 1 90470 920 6)
www.teachit.co.uk
Starters for A Level Language, NATE (ISBN 0901291 986)
Grammar for Talk, QCA/04/1291
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7 Composition: generating ideas,
planning and drafting
7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
7.1 Generating ideas, planning and drafting
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Develop
different
ways of
generating,
organising
and shaping
ideas, using
a range of
planning
formats or
methods
Explore,
problemsolve,
connect and
shape ideas,
and identify
the most
appropriate
approach
to planning
their writing
Link their
selection of
ideas and
planning
choices
explicitly to a
clear sense of
task, purpose
and audience
and the
individuality
of their own
writing
Draw
efficiently on
and adapt
a range of
possible
ways to
generate,
plan and
shape ideas
for impact,
according to
task, purpose
and audience
Respond
flexibly and
imaginatively
to a range of
familiar and
less familiar
tasks and
contexts for
writing by
selecting
from and
adapting
appropriate
forms and
planning
methods for
impact
Select from
a wide
repertoire
of planning
strategies
and formats
in order to
shape ideas
and structure
content
effectively,
efficiently
and
inventively,
reflecting a
clear sense
of purpose,
audience
and intended
impact
About this substrand
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This substrand builds on practice at Key Stage 2 and requires pupils to select appropriately from a
growing repertoire of planning formats to support their thinking and planning across a range of tasks
and for a variety of audiences.
Progress in this substrand will be distinguished by pupils’ ability to shape ideas and organise content
effectively and inventively by adapting existing formats for maximum impact.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
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2.1 Developing and adapting speaking skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts
3.1 Developing and adapting discussion skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts
5.2 Understanding and responding to ideas, viewpoints, themes and purposes in texts
6.2 Analysing how writers’ use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning
8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas
8.5 Structuring, organising and presenting texts in a variety of forms on paper and on screen
8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper and on screen.
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Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standard for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
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using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
writing documents on increasingly complex subjects, adapting them to suit the intended audience and
purpose
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, for example:
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generate and plan ideas for a flier to be distributed at parents’ evening promoting forthcoming
school events
choose an appropriate planning format and plan for a forthcoming job interview
gather ideas and plan for the creation of a school website on a topical issue
plan a leaflet on Elizabethan audiences and Shakespeare’s Globe for Year 6 pupils at a local feeder
primary school.
Some examples of application of learning to other areas of
the curriculum
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The scheme of work (SOW) should clearly indicate where planning and drafting will be addressed;
senior leadership team should make this a focus for monitoring of SOW, work sampling and lesson
observations.
As part of teaching planning in English, ask pupils to discuss which planning formats are most relevant
to other subject areas, considering appropriateness of planning format to task (for example time lines
in history; tree graphs in geography; graphs in mathematics; retrieval charts (cause and effect) in
science, comparison grid in art).
Ask pupils to bring examples of planning formats used in other subjects to English lessons and discuss
the appropriateness of the planning format to the task.
Ask pupils to explore the extent to which the planning format and drafting had supported the writing
task and the impact on the final presentation across a range of subjects.
Discuss with pupils how ICT planning programs and facilities can be applied to all subject areas.
Link with another department which uses podcasting (such as science) and ask pupils to generate ideas
and plan how best to revise for a certain topic at GCSE; (the actual podcast could then be assessed or
discussed in English for speaking and listening skills).
Explore the place of planning in real contexts such as running a business (for example, writing a
business plan) or setting up a promotional event.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
What to teach
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The advantages of effective planning in helping to gather and organise ideas.
That there is no single way to plan.
A wide range of planning formats, making clear how writing can be ordered in a range of different
ways (for example, tree diagrams; flow charts; Venn diagrams; spider diagrams; thought webs; for
and against boxes; card sorts; time lines; lists; retrieval charts; graphs; pyramiding; persuasion maps;
sandwich charts); refer to Literacy across the curriculum training folder 2001, Module 10, for descriptions
of some of these plans.
How to draft by:
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rehearsing aloud in preparation for writing
rereading
using holding words, blank spaces or question marks to indicate places to return to
leaving alternate lines blank or leaving a blank page opposite for writing in amendments.
The difference between planning and drafting, and the post-production steps of editing and
proofreading (substrand 8.6).
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Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building
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As a starter activity ask pupils to discuss the various advantages for planning; use the following ideas to
reinforce and support pupils’ feedback:
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gives the writer useful ‘pause for thought’
helps the writer gather information and ideas
helps the writer order the writing
helps the writer identify where more information is needed
gives the writer confidence to begin writing – knowing where to start, the direction and how to
finish.
Activate prior learning using a KWL grid (to find out what they already Know, what they Want to find
out, and what they’ve Learned) or set pupils an independent task to check for their capabilities for
planning appropriately; share planning methods and ideas in groups and as a whole class considering
the extent to which the choice of plan suited the task.
Use the interactive whiteboard (IWB) to highlight the visual impact of planning; use different colours,
fonts and other standard drawing tools; use outline tools in Word and PowerPoint to further help pupils
construct plans which can then be expanded into essays; use images to support planning; pupils could
do the same if they have their own personal computers; make use of planning software to further
support modelling work.
Share a number of planning formats that have been taught and articulate the thought processes for
making the selection of the most appropriate one for the task; consider together the relative merits of
different types of diagram, for example:
--------
an explosion chart for initial and unconnected ideas
‘for and against’ plans, especially when writing discursive essays
sequence for instructional writing
pyramid to show an argument building up
a flow chart for chronological text
a Venn diagram to show similarities and differences
a storyboard for narrative or any writing which involves a sequence.
Provide pupils with a range of planning formats and a range of tasks and ask pupils in pairs or groups
to match the planning format to the task; select pupils to present and explain their choices to the class.
Offer a completed storyboard and work with pupils on building up the story from captions to a
complete text.
Cut up a simple piece of narrative or information text and ask pupils to put them into a logical order in
preparation for writing.
Set up response partners to discuss the appropriateness and effectiveness of each other’s chosen
planning formats.
Model how to begin drafting by articulating and rehearsing ideas aloud.
Demonstrate text-marking of a draft to show possible changes by using question marks, holding
words, leaving blank spaces to return to, asking the following questions:
--
Does it make sense?
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
16
•
•
•
•
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
----
Does it meet its purpose?
Does it hit the target audience?
Is the level of formality of the language suitable? Are the sentences varied?
Model to pupils how to use cut, copy and paste, to use ‘select all’ or text boxes to help organise and
reorganise blocks of text.
Ask pupils to agree a checklist of criteria to use when drafting.
Raise the status of planning by setting homework which focuses only on planning, linking it to the use
of appropriate connectives, for example words such as however, by contrast, alternatively, would support
a ‘for and against’ planning grid.
Use guided work with pupils of differing ability to help develop, consolidate and embed effective
gathering of ideas, planning and drafting.
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Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Gather ideas on paper as a group activity: give each pupil a marker pen and ask them to jot their
ideas simultaneously onto the flipchart in silence; pupils then discuss all the ideas noted, explore and
problem solve, drawing lines to connect things, labelling connections and deleting or annotating
further as required.
Using cognitive mapping software, further demonstrate cognitive mapping by teaching the language
of such planning formats, for example: parents, children, siblings. Use the analogy of a family tree to
support your explanations. Go on to model how to create a cognitive map by using a text which
represents a number of related arguments.
In pairs, ask pupils to then complete a similar activity, creating a cognitive map of a text, on paper or
on screen, indicating how the ideas are connected and relate to each other, using the agreed success
criteria for good cognitive mapping, for example:
-----
only include ideas that are in the text
ideas are expressed precisely and concisely
the relationship between ideas is correct (parents, children, siblings)
all important ideas in the text are represented.
Pupils then discuss what this reveals about the way in which the text was structured.
Using their knowledge from the above exercise, pupils then create their own maps on a given topic;
pass the work to another pair who then have to comment on the most successful aspects of the
mapping, identifying any areas that need further developing or revision; pass this onto the next pair to
add suggestions for development and revision.
After modelling a variety of planning methods, ask pupils to represent the subject matter of a nonfiction text in diagrammatic form and discuss what this reveals about the way in which the text was
structured.
Set up response partners to read each other’s drafts using the checklist for drafting devised by the
class.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
18
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Encourage pupils to discuss their planning with each other; for group planning, set up a listening triad
by appointing an able pupil as observer whose job it is to feed back on the quality of the planning and
discussion process.
Ask pupils to add an extra layer to their planning to complete their phrase I want the reader to…, so
helping them to anticipate reader reaction.
Support pupils to plan and write quickly and independently in response to a range of tasks. Plan
regular starter activities for devising five to ten minute plans to different tasks. Collect a range of
writing tasks from past GCSE English papers and set up as an individual or pair activity for pupils to
choose and write effective plans. Circulate the plans for discussion. Use the plenary to discuss the
effectiveness of the plans and the appropriateness of the responses.
Support planning for writing on literature, and develop thinking skills, by helping pupils organise their
ideas onto ‘living graphs’, enabling them to make connections between the sequence of events on one
hand (the ‘time’ axis) and underpinning emotions on the other (the ‘feeling’ axis).
Support the gathering of ideas for poetry response, and develop thinking skills, by using the ‘maps
from memory’ approach: show pupils a poem and working in groups pupils come up one at a time to
look at the poem for 30 seconds, each member taking their turn; after each individual returns to the
group, they have 20 seconds to feed back what they have seen, charting their response onto a concept
map; collectively the pupils make links and add captions to their responses and organise responses in
preparation for writing.
As a class, produce a summary of how they would tell a different class how to plan and draft. This
summary could be constructed from the feedback from several plenary sessions.
Use able pupils to model a variety of planning methods to their peers or another teaching group, using
overhead transparencies, IWBs and so on.
Feature a variety of plans (not just finished pieces of work) in classroom displays, with appropriate
connectives and accompanied by authors’ commentaries, explaining how the planning format chosen
helped clarify, organise and shape ideas and content.
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19
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of text on
paper and on screen
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Draw on the
conventions
of written
forms to
plan writing
and develop
ideas to fit a
specific task
Plan writing
and develop
ideas to suit
a specific
audience,
purpose
and task by
adapting
familiar
forms and
conventions
Plan different
types of
writing and
develop ideas
by drawing
on the ways
in which
forms and
conventions
can contribute
to the overall
impact and
effectiveness
of texts
Plan and write
effectively,
making
well-judged
choices and
adaptations to
suit particular
tasks, purposes
and audiences
through their
knowledge
of a range of
conventions
and forms
Select from a
wide range of
conventions
and forms,
adapting or
synthesising
their distinctive
features as
appropriate
to achieve
particular
effects and
impact in their
writing
Shape audience
response
by handling
and planning
content with
inventiveness
and originality,
subtly exploiting
or subverting
the conventions
of text types
and genres for a
range of effects
and impact
About this substrand
•
•
•
•
•
At Key Stage 2 pupils are taught to use and adapt a range of forms suited to different audiences
and purposes. This substrand seeks to secure their prior learning, developing, consolidating and
embedding their understanding of the stylistic conventions of the main text types to help support
their own writing. Pupils also need to recognise that some texts are a mixture of text types which seek
to achieve various effects on their audiences, such as persuasion and explanation.
Progress in this substrand is distinguished by pupils’ increasing ability to consciously and imaginatively
exploit the conventions of different text types, or exchange one genre for another, to achieve a range
of particular effects. Parody is one particular example of this, where a writer imitates in order to ridicule,
often exaggerating the conventions. Another example is using the stylistic conventions of a letter or a
newspaper to advertise a product.
Through modelling and demonstration, the teacher’s role will be to ensure pupil familiarity with a wide
range of text types and a clear understanding of codes and conventions which can be turned into
success criteria for writing. This substrand, therefore, needs to be linked to reading, using the teaching
sequence for writing to build a bridge between reading and writing.
More-able pupils need choice and freedom to be creative and original in the choice of text types and
the way in which they decide to manipulate them for effect.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
--------
2.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of spoken texts
5.3 Reading and engaging with a wide and varied range of texts
6.3 Analysing writers’ use of organisation, structure, layout and presentation
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
10.2 Commenting on language use.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
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•
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Because links to the language substrands are important, teaching approaches that address those two
substrands are followed by a bracket indicating which language substrand is pertinent.
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standard for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
•
•
•
using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
matching and adapting a range of writing styles to suit purpose and audience
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, for example:
----
write a formal letter on an issue of national importance to the editor of a local paper
rewrite a piece of instructional writing in science as a flow chart for pupils in another year group
adapt various conventions and produce a multi-modal text for the school intranet on a topic of
school interest.
Some examples of application of learning to other areas of the
curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
An effective whole-school policy for literacy will indicate where responsibility for teaching and
consolidating different non-fiction text types lies. The Literacy across the curriculum training folder
(Module 2, ‘Writing non-fiction text types’) provides conventions and annotations of all main nonfiction text types.
Ask pupils to identify the different text types required of them across the curriculum so that they have
an increased understanding and awareness of writing tasks.
Remind pupils to ask their teachers to always identify the text type – in particular its audience and
purpose – for all written tasks across the curriculum.
Remind pupils to use their ICT skills to help them adapt the conventions and forms of texts on screen.
Use texts from other subject areas to explore in English lessons. Ask pupils to note audience and
purpose and to annotate their writing in relation to the codes and conventions which have been
taught.
Recommend to other staff that they consider transformational writing in their subject areas, modelling
to pupils how information can be transformed from one text type to another. For example in science:
change an information text on blood cells in the body into a creative text written in the first person
about a red cell’s journey around the body; change an information text on the arrangements of
particles in solids, liquids and gases into a poem.
Explore how the conventions of particular texts and purposes are used in real contexts, from a personal
letter that turns out to be an advertisement for a product, to the review of a new car that is about the
writer’s personal life and loosely related opinions.
What to teach
•
Ensure that pupils are clear about the overall text structure, for example: the stepped nature of
instructions; the temporal structure of a recount; the importance of prioritising information within an
explanation or information text.
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•
•
•
•
•
•
Pupils need to be able to paragraph within the text to ensure priorities, and to make clear links
between ideas.
Remind pupils that information and explanations are usually in the present tense; that recounts are
usually in the past tense; instructions use imperative verbs; and discursive and persuasive writing may
move from present to past depending on the use of anecdotes and examples within (L10.2).
Pupils need to be taught explicitly how to:
-------
use complex sentences to ensure clarity of links between ideas (L10.2)
vary their sentence construction when appropriate to ensure fluency (L10.2)
use pronouns appropriately for clarity and cohesion (L10.2)
choose and use subject-specific vocabulary with confidence and accuracy (L10.2)
spell accurately for clarity of communication.
Multi-modal texts have become more prevalent and pupils need to be shown how to create them and
analyse them (L10.2).
How the stylistic conventions of non-fiction can be manipulated for comic or satirical effect, or to
surprise and engage the reader by mixing genre and purpose as in, for example:
--
•
use connectives to clarify cause and effect, contrasts, qualifying statements, additions and
conclusions, for example however, although and if (L10.2)
How to use ICT to transform a text from one medium into other enabling pupils to gain greater insight
into meaning, language and structure (L10.2).
-•
21
a sensational news report on Goldilocks’ theft of porridge which offers a parody of tabloid
newspapers and their tendency to exaggerate the relatively unimportant
written instructions to do something trivial such as cleaning teeth or making a sandwich,
parodying the style of instructions found in self-build furniture (L10.2).
How to mix text types for effect, for example: combining report and persuasion in a campaigning
leaflet; incorporating elements of explanation, report, instruction and discussion in an article on mobile
phones for a teenage magazine (L10.2) and how the newly-created texts are as much ‘text types’ in
their own right.
Demonstrate that a parody can exploit both a text type and satirise a behaviour or belief. For example,
Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal parodies the enthusiasm for offering proposals or solutions in the
eighteenth century and satirises a set of commonly held beliefs.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
22
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Before studying a text ask pupils to share what they know already about texts with similar purposes or
audiences. Apply their knowledge to an example on the whiteboard.
Use examples of the text types and model the annotation for structure and language style.
Ask pupils to annotate their own examples.
Ask pupils to devise wall charts of the various text types and their features for reference. These can be
shared between classes.
Ask pupils to compare instructions from computer games for clarity and effectiveness.
Discuss a variety of texts (for example, the varied writing in newspapers/magazines) and identify/
annotate the stylistic features in order to identify which different main text types they draw on.
Use a persuasive text and model the way language is used. Look at the way the points are organised
and how examples are often used to support the point of view. Consider the use of tense and focus on
examples of the impersonal pronoun you to see how the reader is addressed.
Use an advertisement to consider how colour and pictures are used to persuade, as well as the written
text.
Use a website to explore how text, images and layout impact on the reader.
Listen to a radio advertisement and comment on the use of music and language to persuade.
Use a discursive text and look at the way it is organised: from the introduction setting out the
argument, through to a conclusion drawing the argument together. Where discursive texts don’t follow
this sequence, explore how they manage to succeed. Discuss the use of contrasting connectives such
as yet, on the other hand and whereas, and how these are used within sentences and paragraphs.
Use good examples of mixed text types to enable pupils to analyse key features and to identify the
effects of combining and overlapping genres.
Use ICT to create multi-modal texts, using the ‘memes’ to be found at www.global-mindshift.org as
examples of a new kind of text.
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Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Select texts which combine text types such as a leaflet from a tourist attraction combining information
and persuasion. Model annotating the text to show the ways in which the text types join, such as
using information to support a comment or setting the context of the discussion before the persuasive
element.
Share the reading of a suitable teenage magazine article which simultaneously entertains, informs,
persuades and instructs. Explore which particular elements of language, layout and content meet each
purpose, and where they combine (for example, it can be entertaining to read surprising facts). Discuss
the differences between the use of cartoons and photographs to the purposes.
Use moving images such as advertisements or public service campaigns and discuss the text types
found in them. Discuss how verbal/pictorial information is combined with music and voice-over to
meet audience and purpose.
Use texts which involve photographs where the text might inform, but images are carefully chosen to
persuade or influence the reader.
Use extracts from moving image texts such as The Chicken Run or Shrek to demonstrate how well
established genres (escape films, traditional tales) are parodied.
Compare similar text types from different times to help pupils to identify differences and the possible
reasons for these, for example contrasting two different pages from a recent and a 30-year-old
geography text book.
Use a polemic where the construct is a series of unsubstantiated assertions and a persuasive piece
which will have support, additional information or evidence as part of its construct to demonstrate the
more subtle differences between text types.
Model/share the reading and annotating of a section of parody of a traditional tale or a satirical text
such as A Modest Proposal. During the modelling, ensure that the key features normally associated with
the text type are noted in terms of language and how the parody works, by taking the text type and
altering the expected content through exaggeration or illogical conclusion.
Ask pupils to reproduce a particular text type after analysing through reading; model a section if
needed. Model how to plan for the writing.
Encourage dialogic talk about different types of writing and how different forms and conventions
impact on the reader.
Use formal debate as a way of encouraging persuasive and discursive language.
Encourage extended spoken responses which justify and clarify ideas as a prelude to writing.
Ask pupils to give verbal instructions on how to get to a different part of the school and to note the
importance of gesture to meaning. Then ask them to draw a map and write the instructions. Pupils
then comment on the differences in language.
Model the writing of an opening paragraph of a discursive text on a topic of interest so that it sets
out the priorities to be discussed. Ask pupils to write subsequent paragraphs, and then model the
conclusion.
Give pupils a discursive text without an introduction or conclusion and ask them to compose the
opening and closing paragraphs.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
7 Composition: generating ideas, planning and drafting
24
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Prior to writing, create a checklist of the ‘expected’ stylistic features of the text type being produced.
Add to this a list of ‘unexpected but appropriate’ stylistic features. This can also work as a diagram or
chart.
Ask pupils to use the same information for a variety of purposes, for example: write instructions for a
computer game; write a recount of a time when it was played; persuade a friend to go out and buy it;
and write a discursive piece discussing pros and cons and evaluating it. Ask pupils to comment on their
different language choices.
Ask pupils to change information presented in one form into another, for instance, change a list of
instructions into a flow chart; use the tool functions on the interactive whiteboard to help create
different writing structures.
Model how to plan the overall structure of a text which combines text types. Encourage pupils to
complete the task independently.
Share the creation of a photo-montage which uses pictures to persuade and written text to inform.
Based on the reading above, use shared writing to compose an article for a teenage magazine which
entertains, informs, persuades and instructs. Pupils can comment on the various types and how they
have used them for effect. Ask pupils to share in the writing of a parody after the conventions of the
selected text type have been defined, for example rewriting the nursery rhyme, Jack and Jill, in the
form of a newspaper report.
Remind pupils of the potential of ICT to plan and adapt the conventions and forms of texts, in particular
of the basic features of wordprocessing to enable them to plan and manipulate their own writing
including the format tool, ‘select all’, cut, copy and paste. Use presentational software (such as concept
mapping) to develop this further. Have two documents open on screen at the same time to adapt and
manipulate. Use moving images to support the adaptation.
Use ICT to ‘collapse’ a text by reducing it to a list of all its words in alphabetical order. Pupils then have
to use the words to recreate one or more other texts to achieve a range of effects and impact on the
reader.
Invite pupils to plan and write a piece which deliberately mixes two or more text types, then swap
writing with each other in order to discuss and annotate to reveal where the mix occurs and key
features are used.
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8 Composition: shaping and
constructing language for
expression and effect
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
26
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Develop
character and
voice in their
own fiction
writing
Draw on some
techniques
and devices
used by
writers in order
to develop
distinctive
character and
voice in their
own fiction
Establish
and sustain
distinctive
character,
point of view
and voice in
their fiction
writing by
drawing on
a wide range
of techniques
and devices
used by
writers
Develop and
deploy in their
own fiction
writing a range
of carefully
selected
techniques,
drawn from
a variety
of texts, to
establish
and sustain a
distinctive use
of character,
point of view
and voice
Engage the
reader in a
range of ways
through their
understanding,
adaptation and
inventive use of
fiction writers’
different uses
of narrative
voice, point
of view and
character
to achieve
particular
effects
Establish
and sustain a
mature and
convincing
authorial
voice or
character and
point of view
through the
sophisticated
and original
handling of a
repertoire of
techniques,
shaping
and, where
relevant,
manipulating
the reader’s
response in a
range of ways
Develop
their own
viewpoint,
drawing on
evidence,
opinions and
the particular
purpose of the
task
Select
techniques
and devices
used by
writers, and
draw on a
range of
evidence,
opinions,
information
and the
purpose of the
task, in order
to develop
a consistent
viewpoint in
their own nonfiction writing
Establish and
sustain a clear
and logical
personal
viewpoint
through the
analysis and
selection of
convincing
evidence,
opinions and
appropriate
information,
and other
techniques
used by writers
to meet the
purpose of the
task
Develop and
deploy a range
of carefully
selected
techniques,
drawn from a
variety of texts
to establish
and sustain a
clear, logical,
credible and
distinctive
viewpoint
shaped
specifically to
task, audience
and purpose
Use and adapt
a wide range
of techniques
non-fiction
writers use to
establish and
sustain clear,
independent
and credible
viewpoints
on complex
subjects,
shaped
specifically to
task audience
and purpose
Establish
and sustain a
mature and
convincing
viewpoint or
perspective by
drawing on a
sophisticated
and original
repertoire of
techniques
to shape or
manipulate
the reader’s
response,
when
writing on
complex and
challenging
subjects
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27
About this substrand
•
•
•
•
•
This substrand builds and extends skills developed at Key Stage 2 where pupils are taught to use
different techniques to engage and entertain the reader and to establish balance and maintain
viewpoints in non-fiction writing. Progress here is distinguished by pupils’ ability to develop an
increasingly distinctive, mature and convincing authorial voice, character or point of view in their
fiction writing, developing a clear sense of the reader–writer relationship as they manipulate narrative
perspective and other devices to achieve their desired effects.
Similarly, pupils need to demonstrate the ability to establish and sustain a convincing viewpoint on
complex and challenging subjects in non-fiction writing, drawing on a range of evidence and opinions,
and writing with a clear sense of audience and purpose.
Using a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, teachers need to explore the full repertoire of
techniques and devices used by writers to develop viewpoint, voice and ideas; pupils need to apply
them in their own writing with increased independence, consciously manipulating the reader’s
response. The more-able pupils will need opportunities to experiment, build on ideas and follow their
own interests.
In teaching how to develop character, voice and viewpoint in narrative, teachers will need to refer
closely to substrand 8.5 on ‘Structuring, organising and presenting texts in variety of forms on paper
and on screen’, where narrative structure will be explored in detail.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
-----------
3.2 Taking roles in group discussion
4.1 Using different dramatic approaches to explore ideas, texts and issues
5.2 Understanding and responding to ideas, viewpoints, themes and purposes in texts
6.2 Analysing how writers’ use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning
7.1 Generating ideas, planning and drafting
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact
8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
8.5 Structuring, organising and presenting texts in a variety of forms on paper and on screen
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English.
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standard for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
•
•
•
using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
writing documents on increasingly complex subjects, adapting them to suit the intended audience and
purpose
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, for example:
---
invite writers into school to talk about the writing process and write an author’s guide sheet for
another year group
write a formal letter on an issue of national importance to the editor of a national paper
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
28
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
--
produce a multi-modal text on a controversial and topical subject and distribute on the web,
making links with other schools.
Some examples of application of learning to other areas of the
curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
Ask pupils where else they would apply their understanding of narrative voice or voices and differing
viewpoints, for example in history exploring, talking and writing about a historical event from different
perspectives – ask pupils to consider why this sort of approach might be helpful in understanding
historical events; consider a holiday website which contains text written in the third person providing
information about a resort and contrast the viewpoint with a first-person personal account of a holiday
at the same resort.
Ask pupils to consider how developing ideas and a strong voice may apply to other subjects such as
geography: writing a letter to a local newspaper on climate change.
In art, design book covers or illustrations to accompany a narrative or to reflect a character or
viewpoint, combining text and pictures for maximum effect.
Ask them to bring a sample of writing from a religious studies lesson to explore the extent to which
they had successfully expressed a clear and distinctive viewpoint on a complex subject such as
euthanasia.
Ask pupils to identify other school subjects that require them to write balanced analysis and counterarguments (such as an environmental issue in geography or a historical investigation) and discuss
possible adjustments to the model proposed in English.
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29
8.1 Aspect 1: Fiction writing
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Develop
character and
voice in their
own fiction
writing
Draw on some
techniques
and devices
used by
writers in order
to develop
distinctive
character and
voice in their
own fiction
Establish
and sustain
distinctive
character,
point of view
and voice in
their fiction
writing by
drawing on
a wide range
of techniques
and devices
used by
writers
Develop and
deploy in their
own fiction
writing a range
of carefully
selected
techniques,
drawn from
a variety
of texts, to
establish
and sustain a
distinctive use
of character,
point of view
and voice
Engage the
reader in a
range of ways
through their
understanding,
adaptation and
inventive use of
fiction writers’
different uses
of narrative
voice, point
of view and
character
to achieve
particular
effects
Establish
and sustain a
mature and
convincing
authorial
voice or
character and
point of view
through the
sophisticated
and original
handling of a
repertoire of
techniques,
shaping
and, where
relevant,
manipulating
the reader’s
response in a
range of ways
What to teach
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The techniques and devices that writers use to develop character, viewpoint, voice.
Narrative viewpoint: first-person, second-person and third-person narration.
The role of the narrator in a story and how it is developed.
The use of a commentary to guide the reader through a text.
The functions of a commentary: to inform, recount, give opinion or information, or set the scene.
A range of methods for opening and ending stories (action, dialogue, description, flashback, twist or
moral and so on) linked to narrative voice and perspective.
The effective use of the range of narrative voices (first-, second- and third-person narration and stream
of consciousness – a form of first-person narration).
The use of multiple narration within one text.
The difference between the perspective of the narrator and that of the main character.
The range of voices other than the narrator, usually presented through dialogue.
How to select style and vocabulary to suit changes in viewpoint, audience and purpose.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Use shared reading to explore how writers present character through commentary, description and
dialogue.
As a starter activity, ask pupils to work in pairs or threes and give them a selection of 10–12 story
extracts and a set of header cards: ‘First-person narrative’, ‘Second-person narrative’ and ‘Third-person
narrative’. Their task is to sort the extracts into groups under the headings, as quickly as possible.
Having analysed narrative perspective through shared reading, give pupils a selection of story
openings and ask them to:
---
highlight the pronoun
identify the narrative perspective.
Use the drama strategy ‘Guided tour’ to help develop narrative description and commentary, changing
pupil roles so that different viewpoints are expressed of the same character, scene or situation.
Model reading an extract in which the author addresses the reader directly: make explicit how this
affects the story and how it makes you, as the reader, feel. This could be followed by a listening activity
during which pupils hear a subsequent paragraph of the extract, and make notes on questions they
have, feelings evoked or reactions to the reading. These could be shared and evaluated during the
plenary.
As a starter activity, compile a list of favourite stories within the class. Establish the genre and narrative
perspective for each story and record them on a chart. Discuss if there is a pattern and use responses to
generalise.
Through shared reading identify the various techniques writers use to create effective openings and
establish a narrative voice which will engage the reader (such as intriguing, surprising or shocking the
reader, using an epigram or prologue); refer to The Man with the Yellow Face by Anthony Horowitz in the
Targeting level 4 teaching folder.
Following shared reading and exploration of writers’ use of techniques and devices, model to pupils
how to write an opening paragraph about a time in their lives when they felt frightened or excited.
They must speak to the reader directly, commenting on events or hinting at what might happen next;
using narrative commentary to help to build up tension.
Model writing a first person recount of a school event, highlighting the use of pronouns and adding
personal comments addressed to the reader. Ask pupils, in pairs or small groups, to comment on the
effect this has on them as readers.
Select one of the narrative extracts used during shared reading and rewrite the first ten lines using a
different kind of narrative voice. Vary the sentence structure, word choices and formality to create two
distinct voices. Discuss the different effects on the reader.
Through shared reading also explore how other viewpoints can be introduced into a first person
narrative by using devices such as letters, chapters written in another voice, prologues or epilogues.
Use shared reading to explore character through the use of dialogue, identifying the techniques which
writers use to give their characters a distinctive voice: discuss the use of individual or unusual ways of
speaking; the degree of formality; the use of SE or non-standard speech patterns; repeated expressions
and favourite phrases; the use of punctuation (for example, frequent use of exclamation marks or
question marks; the writer’s use of verbs and adverbs when introducing direct speech: he squeaked
anxiously; she exclaimed vehemently).
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
31
Through shared reading explore how the point of view is closely linked to, but not the same as,
narrative voice. For example, the narrative may be written in the third person, but the events in the
story are mainly seen through the eyes of one particular character; use a range of extracts to explore
whether there is a single point of view and consider the effect on the reader.
Consider TV or online soap operas. Look at their story structure and use of multiple narration and
record their features on a grid, on the whiteboard, so that pupils can readily begin to see comparisons
between them.
Take a familiar story (one recently read by the class or a fairy tale) and break it into five sections.
Record each section on a card, whiteboard or large sheets of paper, using only two or three sentences.
Experiment with changing the order, for example beginning at the end; beginning with one of the
middle sections and moving backwards and forwards (do this physically with the cards); add a second
or third narrator; add dialogue to alter the narrative voice (write changes in another colour). Consider
how this affects the story.
Use ICT to help explore narrative voice and viewpoint by using free downloads such as Photo Story 3,
Movie Maker and Audacity; show pupils how to devise photo stories that present different perspectives
and mood; develop voice by using music, voice-overs and images.
Explore how some first-person narrators may also be described as unreliable narrators, identifying
how the writer has deliberately introduced some element of doubt as to their versions of events; in
particular explore this with able pupils during a guided reading and writing session.
Use guided work with more-able pupils to explore how a third-person narrative voice shifts into the
voice and thoughts of a particular character, either by their choice of verbs and adverbs linked to direct
speech (‘Why was she always ignoring him?’ thought John angrily) or by presenting the speech without
the narrator telling us that these are John’s thought, (Why was she always ignoring him? He was furious).
Use recent children’s literature to explore how writers present character and create a strong, distinctive
voice using first-person narration, for example use texts such as Love that Dog (Sharon Creech), Private
Peaceful (Michael Morpurgo) and Apache, Girl Warrior (Tanya Landman).
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8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
Ask pupils to work in small groups, and to develop a role-play, retelling a school incident such as an
accident in the playground. First, two pupils retell this incident from their own viewpoint to a third
pupil, who did not witness the event; second, this third pupil retells the story to a fourth pupil. Finally,
ask pupils to consider how the telling and retelling of this event has changed, in terms of the language,
structure, detail and viewpoint and to state why this is so.
Set up an activity for pupils in pairs to write a story opening from two different viewpoints. Now ask
the pairs to review their versions, commenting on narrative voice and viewpoint, using the following
questions.
----
Which was easier to write and why?
Which works best and why?
Which do you prefer to read and why?
Revise story endings by using a starter activity in which story endings featuring twists, morals or
mystery are shared. The pupils’ task is to match the story ending with the feature, commenting on the
effect on narrative voice.
Read a story minus the ending. Collectively think up possible endings, select one idea and use this as
the basis for modelling an ending. Articulate reasons for choices, reject unsatisfactory endings and
demonstrate the need to leave the reader feeling that the story is complete. Experiment with including
a twist, a moral or an element of mystery in the endings. Ask the following questions.
-----
Is there a satisfactory resolution to the complication?
Do I feel happy/satisfied/cheated by the ending?
Was the ending predictable or surprising?
Did narrative perspective change?
Give a brief story outline to the class and discuss how the plot might develop. Divide the class into
groups and give each group a different set of narrative devices (these could be on cards). All groups
must write in the same genre and use the same basic outline, for example:
Group A – open story with action, write in first person, and use flashback
Group B – open with description; use chronological order, omniscient narrator
Group C – open with dialogue, use two narrative perspectives, and include formal and informal
language.
•
•
•
•
In the plenary, compare how these variations change the story and discuss preferences.
Give a brief story outline and assign pairs of pupils to rewrite it from various perspectives. Next, ask
pairs to join with another pair, who have been working on another perspective, and to compare the
effect on the reader. In the plenary, record, perhaps in columns on a flipchart, the effects on the reader
of writing from each perspective. This could be returned to, in a later lesson.
Use response partners to comment on the effective use of narrative commentary and/or description in
each other’s writing.
Give pupils a variety of story extracts in different genres and written from a variety of perspectives.
Model text-marking of pronouns to establish narrative voices and highlighting clues to the genre.
Pupils then do the same for further extracts establishing genre and narrative voice for each extract.
In the plenary, discuss whether any specific genre is suited to a particular narrative voice, for example
autobiography – first person.
Read a short story written with multiple narration, identifying the wide range of techniques and
devices used by the writer. Text-mark, in different colours, to show the different narrators. Establish the
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narrative perspective, for example: omniscient author, first person; main character. Highlight examples
of use of formal and informal language according to character. In groups, pupils continue with textmarking for further extracts. In the plenary, discuss what multiple narration adds to the story: for
example, it allows different opinions on characters or events; forces reader to have own opinion rather
than just adopting opinion of author; allows for a variety of style and vocabulary.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
34
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
Give pupils a story opening which includes a mystery. Model retelling the story using flashback to show
something that happened earlier. Model adding a second narrative perspective. Annotate text to show
how the story is improved, and note by the side of it, the effect on the reader. Pupils then do the same
for a second story opening.
Establish the narrative perspective in a story extract. Model changing the perspective, for example
from first person to third person (view of the author). Next, invite pupils to share in the composition.
Finally, in the independent section of the lesson, invite the pupils, in pairs, to change the perspective
again, writing from the perspective of another character (third person). In the plenary, consider how
changing the perspective has affected the story and its readers.
Divide the class into three writing groups. Take a well-known fairytale or traditional story such as
Snow White and ask each group to write a different version, using a different narrative perspective and
voices, including the stream of consciousness approach. Regroup pupils so that all three narratives are
represented. Ask them to identify how the narrative perspective shapes meaning.
Use digital moving images and still images from a film adaptation to compare with a text, for example
Dickens’ The Signalman; explore the techniques and devices which he uses to create mood and unsettle
the reader. Then ask pupils to write a similar opening using some of the identified techniques.
Towards the end of the sequence of teaching, review what has been learned about successful short
story writing, by recording as rules or reminders, on a flipchart, the following: purpose, audience,
structure, narrative perspective. Next, give all pupils the same story scenario to write and, using the
prompts on the flipchart, to experiment with at least two different approaches to writing the story.
Finally, pupils evaluate their plans with a response partner, decide on the best approach, and then go
on to draft their stories.
Texts that employ multiple narration include:
•
•
•
•
•
Voices in the Park (Anthony Browne)
Stone Cold and Abomination (both by Robert Swindells)
Tightrope (Gillian Cross)
The Moonstone (Wilkie Collins)
The Colour Purple (Alice Walker)
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8.1 Aspect 2: Non-fiction
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Develop
their own
viewpoint,
drawing on
evidence,
opinions and
the particular
purpose of the
task
Select
techniques
and devices
used by
writers, and
draw on a
range of
evidence,
opinions,
information
and the
purpose of the
task, in order
to develop
a consistent
viewpoint in
their own nonfiction writing
Establish and
sustain a clear
and logical
personal
viewpoint
through the
analysis and
selection of
convincing
evidence,
opinions and
appropriate
information,
and other
techniques
used by writers
to meet the
purpose of the
task
Develop and
deploy a range
of carefully
selected
techniques,
drawn from a
variety of texts
to establish
and sustain a
clear, logical,
credible and
distinctive
viewpoint
shaped
specifically to
task, audience
and purpose
Use and adapt
a wide range
of techniques
non-fiction
writers use to
establish and
sustain clear,
independent
and credible
viewpoints
on complex
subjects,
shaped
specifically to
task, audience
and purpose
Establish
and sustain a
mature and
convincing
viewpoint or
perspective by
drawing on a
sophisticated
and original
repertoire of
techniques
to shape or
manipulate
the reader’s
response,
when
writing on
complex and
challenging
subjects
What to teach
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
How to collate evidence and opinions through appropriate planning formats, avoiding repetition.
How to express ideas and views in a consistent style.
How to develop a clear sense of the audience for their work.
A variety of ways of putting distance between themselves and what they have written so that they can
view their writing as readers.
How to select relevant facts to support an argument. This could involve using inference and deduction,
and recognising bias.
How to plan for balanced coverage of different viewpoints. This involves seeking arguments and
counter-arguments, and organising the different points logically in paragraphs, for example ‘for’ and
‘against’ and how personal opinions might be offered in the conclusion.
How viewpoints should be explained, supported by evidence and then evaluated. Pupils need to
be taught to summarise in their own words, refer directly to a viewpoint, if appropriate, and how to
analyse in a balanced way offering support for the view and possible opposition to it.
How to identify the different sides of an argument and to balance their analysis accordingly. Pupils
will need reminding that paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence and then develop the point
logically, introducing several pieces of evidence.
The use of the passive voice, leaving the viewpoint impersonal rather than attributing it to a particular
individual: it is thought that; it could be argued that….
That formal language will need to be used and that SE will be used for convincing authority.
How to use linguistic features to indicate balance, and weigh up viewpoints, for example connectives
to compare and contrast should be used: also, similarly, in the same way, whereas, however, on the one
hand…on the other hand.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
36
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
That the language of analysis and opinion is likely to be speculative and tentative: it is thought by some
that…; it could be said that…; perhaps; it is possible that…; supposedly.
How to select information and detail with the audience in mind, and consider how to successfully
integrate quotations and reference into their essays, for example as separate sentences using
connectives: Many zoos try to save endangered species through their breeding programmes. For example,
London Zoo has recently bred panda cubs. Likewise, Edinburgh Zoo has…; within sentences with details
given as a list in brackets: There are zoos (for example, London Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo) that breed endangered
species (for example, pandas, white rhino).
That facts, opinions and other evidence can be interpreted in different ways.
How to identify writing techniques, devices and text-type conventions to help ensure consistency of
writing style.
How to identify the main points of the original argument to address. Pupils make reference to these
either in their own words, summarising, or by quoting the original.
How to ensure that the content of the counter-argument itself is coherent, and that, at a simple level,
a counter-argument would be the opposite view of the original, but could also be a more subtle
difference in opinion. How to use connectives and subordinate clauses within complex sentences to
establish the relationship between the argument and counter-argument.
Different ways of structuring the points. It is likely that alternative interpretations will be suggested
after each weakness in the argument is addressed, and that the structure of the original argument will
be reflected in the response.
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Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Remind pupils of different planning formats which will help them to gather and record evidence and
opinions (link to substrands 7.1 and 7.2).
Model a short piece of writing down one side of the board and then go back and improve it on the
other side, making reasons for the changes explicit.
Demonstrate how to use evidence and opinions to formulate a personal viewpoint on a topic of
interest to the pupils, such as blood sports, vivisection or youth crime.
When marking a piece of continuous writing, put a square around one paragraph. Return the work
at the start of a lesson, and ask pupils to write the paragraph again with a particular focus, such
as rewriting it to include a clear topic sentence expressing a personal viewpoint; use more or less
specialised language, at least two complex sentences, a simile or longer noun phrase, and so on. Pupils
could go on to swap work with a partner and consider which version is more effective for the original
purpose and audience, and to say why.
As a class, agree the conventions for writing a balanced analysis; display them and use them as criteria
for further work.
Model writing effective introductions; in particular the skills of extracting key details, summarising and
organising them, in order to convince the reader to read on.
Follow the teaching sequence for writing, start by sharing sample texts with pupils to identify
key features and define the conventions: connectives; text structure; words introducing different
viewpoints in a balanced way; the different opinions represented; how evidence and quotations are
incorporated.
Model how to present different viewpoints in a balanced way: explain the opinion, support with
evidence and provide analytical comment. In different roles, pupils generate a range of viewpoints on
an issue. Model ways in which pupils might express these in writing, for example using connectives;
passive voice.
Model the way in which points need to be matched logically against each other, and where there is not
an obvious opposite point to make, a point of similar importance or interest might be made instead.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
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38
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Pupils sort viewpoints (given on cards, or from a list they have collected, perhaps in role) into ‘for’ and
‘against’ categories. They then practise adding connectives to compare and contrast the views. This
could be done as a class, as a starter activity, or as prior independent work.
As a starter activity, ask pupils to match ‘supporting evidence’ cards to ‘key points’ cards. These could
then be used to support their independent writing.
Divide the class up into small groups and provide each group with the same notes on a topic. Each
group should then be a given a ‘purpose’ and an ‘audience’ card and their task is to turn the notes
into a short passage with the purpose and audience in mind. For example, give all groups notes about
the effects of smoking; purposes could include imagine, entertain, inform, argue, persuade, describe
and audiences could include teenagers, children, informed adults, experts. On a future occasion the
paragraphs could be read aloud and others could guess the purpose and audience.
Pairs/groups of pupils could be given a set of ‘information’ and ‘viewpoint’ cards to organise into
a ‘balanced analysis’. Some of these cards could present key points, and others, which are not so
important: the task would be to select and connect the ideas appropriately.
Share a piece of a pupil’s writing on the whiteboard or paper or load/display it onto all computers.
Ask pairs of pupils to weigh up the evidence used and to change the order of the paragraphs in order
to make the writing more appropriate for the stated audience and purpose, ensuring a clear and
consistent viewpoint is maintained. To extend this, ask pupils to move from one computer to the next
to consider changes made by the previous pair.
During the independent section of the lesson, provide each pupil with some cut out ‘thought bubbles’.
Pupils place (or stick) these bubbles on their work in various places (chosen by the teacher or the
pupil) and write what they, the reader, are thinking/feeling at that point. Alternatively exploit the use
of ICT using ‘insert comment’. A partner is asked to review the work and to confirm (or not) the writer’s
expectations. Have they expressed a clear and personal viewpoint? Have they drawn on the available
evidence and different opinions and organised their ideas effectively in each paragraph?
Share a completed response, and invite pupils to identify the language conventions used, and then
model articulating the effect of these conventions.
In a guided group, share the writing of part of a response, with pupils drafting some sentences
individually, or in pairs, before considering them as a group. Whiteboards could be used to capture
ideas and encourage experimentation.
Guide pupils writing individual responses. Prompt them to add appropriate supporting evidence, use
their own words to summarise viewpoints and use connectives to compare and contrast. Individual
pupils could then share their drafts with the group, identifying the key features of the responses.
For some pupils (for example those who are learning English as an additional language) it might be
appropriate to support pupils’ early attempts with a writing frame, giving sentence starters to structure
the response and prompt the discussion of different viewpoints.
Set up opportunities for peer evaluation using the criteria/conventions agreed by the class. (Carefully
chosen response partners can be very effective.)
Use ICT and presentational software to support the planning process. Model appropriate planning
strategies to support the response required, demonstrating how to plan with the final essay in mind.
Pupils could list points in columns representing different viewpoints, colour-coding points to identify
the viewpoint, numbering points to indicate sequence and so on. Some points should be identified as
major points to be explored in stages, and others as smaller points that can be integrated with others.
Card sort activities can be used in the independent part of the lesson, to practise this skill further; link
the teaching here with substrand 7.1.
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
39
During starter activities, revise the use of connectives and how they link one point of view or piece of
evidence with another and make the relationship between them clear: adding (as well as, moreover);
contrast/comparison (whereas, however, similarly, on the other hand); cause and effect (because, since,
as a result); illustrating (for example, such as); introduction and comment on evidence (this shows that, I
know this because).
The impartial, formal style required for this type of writing could also be revised during starter
activities: pupils could be asked to change sentences and phrases into a more formal or passive form.
Model various ways of organising essays, for example by stating the most significant points first, or by
chronology, or by building up to a particularly important, emotive or convincing point at the end. After
modelling, the merits of the various alternatives should be discussed with pupils.
Demonstrate the writing of one part of the response, with a clear focus on the conventions:
introduction or conclusion, including integration of quotations.
After modelling adding alternative viewpoints to a one-sided argument, pupils then practise the skill,
on subsequent sections of an essay, in pairs/small groups. This focuses attention on how to structure a
more balanced response and how ideas should be linked. It also involves pupils in frequent rereading
to assess the effect of the fluency and logic of the arguments, on the reader.
In the independent part of the lesson, pupils can work in groups to examine particular pieces of
evidence or opinions, and combine these in home groups to reach a balanced understanding,
before they start writing their response. This is followed by writing a concise summary of the various
viewpoints represented.
Use the lesson starter to rehearse checking consistency of writing for particular purpose and audience
in a defined context. Cut up three pieces of writing, giving similar information from different sources
into sentences, such as information about free range eggs from a RSPCA advertisement, an article in a
teenage magazine and an information leaflet for farmers. Shuffle the sentences and ask pupils to put
them back into their original groups. Extend this by asking pupils to identify the sentences that were
easiest and most difficult to place and then to say why.
Share the reading and analysis of a well-written counter-argument, drawing attention to its structure
and rhetorical devices. Use a range of texts over time, such as newspapers, feature articles, editorials
and letters.
Model how to write an introduction which gives a brief general response to the original argument,
heralding the main points of counter-argument, without citing the supporting evidence (which will be
used in the main body of the text). Explain and discuss the selected structure and choice of words, as
the writing is modelled.
In the plenary, use an enlarged copy of pupils’ work to identify particular features focused on during
the lesson, for example: the way evidence has been integrated; the use of connectives to link points;
punctuation; use of passive voice and other formal, impersonal writing.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
40
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Promote independence by allowing pupils to decide which planning formats are suitable for purpose.
Give pupils a planning sheet which has one column to record the key arguments of a text, and a second
column which supports the planning of the counter-argument, following the structure of the original.
As a starter, give each pair of pupils a statement which they have to extend, using the following stems.
---
Yes, x is true but y and more importantly z
For example, yes, trees are green but their trunks are brown and more importantly the trunk
makes up a large proportion of the tree.
In this way, pupils are taught to develop and extend ideas more subtly than by simply contradicting the
original point.
As a starter, construct a card-sort activity in which pupils need to group a mixture of pieces of evidence
for each point, some of which will be subtly contradictory, and then take feedback asking them to
justify the ways in which they organised their points. This activity should be used at the beginning of
the planning process.
Pupils identify viewpoints, select evidence and plan a balanced analysis of an event (historical event;
natural disaster; local sporting event) or an issue (whether there should be a school uniform or a topic
from humanities or science). They could then use conventions and criteria, agreed by the class, to draft
their response.
After modelling the activity ask pupils to annotate a piece of text with possible counter-arguments, by
the side of it.
Give pupils a letter of protest and ask them to annotate key points, and then respond in groups, from
an opposing viewpoint. Compare various responses and share the most successful on the whiteboard.
Show pupils a good example of a speech and ask them to write another in response, in pairs or threes.
Finally, invite them to share their responses with the class, demonstrating clearly how they have
responded to the points in the original text.
Print a selection of connectives of explanation and/or contradiction on cards. Distribute them to groups
of pupils. The task is for pupils, in turn, to select a subject, from a given list to explore, then, again in
turn, to pick a random card and include the connective on it, in their next sentence. This could also be
used as a starter activity.
Set up a role-play in which pupils are told of a decision that has been made but are not given details
of the decision, for example: ‘a friend intends to leave home’ or ‘the headteacher has closed the tuck
shop’. They then need to anticipate, through drama, the arguments which might have informed the
decision, and construct a counter-argument to the decision. This could then lead into an independent
writing task, which would entail changing the oral form to a formal register.
In groups of three, pupils annotate an argumentative piece, construct a counter-argument and keep
a record of how and why they constructed it as they did. This could then be presented to the rest of
the class with one pupil reading the argument, a second reading the counter-argument, with the third
pupil providing a voice-over, explaining the decisions they made.
Set up response groups who can use the plenary to evaluate the strengths of each others’ counterarguments and suggest further ideas.
In the plenary, invite pupils to compose their own checklist of advice for others who are asked to
respond to an argument.
Give pupils a deliberately provocative statement linked to a complex subject to which they can
construct a focused counter-argument, in pairs or groups. This could form a starter activity, though it is
important to nurture the stamina involved in developing whole and sustained text.
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Use ICT to further develop viewpoint and voice by producing web articles on complex and topical
subjects.
Set the more-able pupils the task of researching a wide range of information and viewpoints on
complex and challenging topics, requiring them to use a sophisticated repertoire of techniques to
manipulate the reader, for example ask pupils to: present their views on the same topic to different
audiences, such as write an article or an editorial on a complex issue for a tabloid and a broadsheet
newspaper; present a balanced or counter-argument view on a challenging topic to the class; write a
commentary explaining the techniques they used and their intended impact on the reader.
Support GCSE examination work by providing opportunities for pupils to write on challenging content,
with a mature and consistent viewpoint, while writing within a specific word and time limit.
Link the work they are doing to real and purposeful contexts by exploring how a sustained viewpoint
on an issue of interest (such as the redesign of part of their school or a local environmental issue) might
be structured and developed by looking at official reports, plans, letters on the subject in the press and
so on.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
42
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Use
punctuation
accurately
to clarify
meaning and
create effects
in clauses,
sentences and
when writing
speech
Draw on the
full range of
punctuation,
including
colons and
semicolons,
to clarify
meaning, aid
cohesion and
create a variety
of effects
Deploy
appropriately
in their own
writing, the
range of
punctuation
choices made
by writers to
enhance and
emphasise
meaning,
aid cohesion
and create a
wide range of
effects
Shape and
craft writing
which draws
on their
understanding
of how
writers use
punctuation as
an integral and
appropriate
part of the
intended
effect,
with clear
consideration
given to task,
purpose and
audience
Vary sentence
length and
structure
in order
to provide
appropriate
detail, make
clear the
relationship
between
ideas, and
create effects
according to
task, purpose
and reader
Draw on their
knowledge of
a wide variety
of sentence
lengths and
structures,
including
complex
sentences, and
apply it to their
own writing
to clarify
ideas and
create a range
of effects
according to
task, purpose
and reader
Deploy
appropriately
in their own
writing the
range of
sentence
structures
used by writers
to enhance
and emphasise
meaning,
aid cohesion
and create a
wide range
of effects
according to
task, purpose
and reader
Select from
the wide range
of sentence
structures
used by
writers, and
shape, craft
and adapt
them in their
own writing
for particular
effect
with clear
consideration
given to the
variety of
audiences,
tasks and
purposes
Year 11
Extension
Shape, craft
and adapt
sentence
structures,
selecting
from the wide
repertoire
of styles
and types
deployed by
writers, and
apply them
accurately,
creatively and
appropriately
to achieve
impact and
effect
Shape
sentences
in apt and
accurate
ways that
demonstrate
economy of
expression
and/or
elaborate
development
as appropriate
in order
to create
original and
sophisticated
effects and
impact
About this substrand
•
•
At Key Stage 2 pupils are taught to vary and adapt sentence structure for meaning and effect and to
use a range of punctuation correctly to support meaning and emphasis. This substrand builds on that
study by extending pupils’ use of the full range of punctuation and sentence variety across a wide
selection of texts and for a variety of audiences and purposes.
The substrand needs to be taught through shared reading so that clear links are made between
sentence and punctuation variety and audience and purpose. Pupils need to understand how writers
achieve their effects through sentence and punctuation variety and apply that understanding with
increasing confidence and accuracy to their own writing. Progress for more-able pupils is distinguished
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by an ability to use a variety of sentence structures and the full range of punctuation in original,
creative and sophisticated ways for maximum impact and effect.
Through shared reading teachers need to dispel common misconceptions that simple sentences are
always short, unsophisticated and signs of immaturity. Similarly pupils need to understand that the
overuse of complex sentences can also make passages dense and hard to read.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
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2.1 Developing and adapting speaking skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts
6.2 Analysing how writers’ use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen
8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas
8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper and on screen
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
9.2 Using grammar accurately and appropriately
10.1 Exploring language variation and development according to time, place, culture, society and
technology
10.2 Commenting on language use.
Because links to the language substrands are important, teaching approaches that address those two
substrands are followed by a bracket indicating which language substrand is pertinent.
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standard for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
•
•
•
using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
writing documents on increasingly complex subjects, adapting them to suit the intended audience and
purpose
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, for example:
----
write a CV and an accompanying letter of application for the job chosen for work experience for
discussion with the employer
write a detailed formal thank you letter to an outside speaker who visited the school to speak on
a certain topic, such as a local ex-soldier speaking about his experiences of war or a representative
from the local hospice whose speech contributed to a debate on euthanasia
use the letter for further exploration and discussion in religious studies.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
44
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Some examples of application of learning to other areas of
the curriculum
•
•
•
Ask pupils to identify subject-specific writing which requires the use of mainly simple and compound
sentences (such as instructional writing in science or home economics) as opposed to the use of more
complex sentences (such as evaluation writing in design and technology); ask pupils to explain the
reasons for the differences.
Ask pupils to annotate their writing in other subject areas for sentence and punctuation variety and
bring examples to English, as evidence that they are consciously drafting and editing their sentences
in order to affect meaning. For example: bring a descriptive piece of writing from history on a key
historical event, such as the Black Death; ask pupils to identify particular sentence structure models
which had been taught in English. Use response partners to identify where further revision and variety
is needed. In the plenary, response partners explain the recommendations and changes made and how
these impact on the reader.
Ask pupils to list or discuss how detailed focus on sentence structure and punctuation might be
an essential part of working life (not just in the general sense of being accurate, but in particular
professions). Consider, for example, a number of specific roles or jobs and ask pupils to list how an
attention to these matters would be important (from obvious roles such as editor of a magazine, to less
obvious ones, such as shop assistant stacking shelves or a builder giving a customer a quote for work).
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8.2 Aspect 1: Punctuation
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Use
punctuation
accurately
to clarify
meaning and
create effects
in clauses,
sentences and
when writing
speech
Draw on the
full range of
punctuation,
including
colons and
semicolons,
to clarify
meaning, aid
cohesion and
create a variety
of effects
Deploy
appropriately
in their own
writing, the
range of
punctuation
choices made
by writers to
enhance and
emphasise
meaning,
aid cohesion
and create a
wide range of
effects
Shape and
craft writing
which draws
on their
understanding
of how
writers use
punctuation as
an integral and
appropriate
part of the
intended
effect,
with clear
consideration
given to task,
purpose and
audience
Year 11
Extension
What to teach
•
•
•
How to use punctuation for accuracy and to clarify and enhance meaning.
Trends in punctuation, such as how punctuation may be different in older texts, the use of fewer
commas, the introduction of the bullet point (L10.1).
The full range of punctuation (full stops, commas, exclamation marks, question marks, apostrophes,
colon, semicolon, dash, brackets, inverted commas).
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
46
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Teaching in the context of reading
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Draw on good examples of writing to explore features of punctuation. Analyse writers’ use of
punctuation through shared and guided reading, in order to teach punctuation in the context of
writing for a purpose, audience and text type.
Using examples from texts under study, collect and categorise instances where different punctuation
marks are used in order to generate definitions, explaining where the mark is placed, why it is used and
showing typical examples.
Divide a list of question, exclamation and statement sentences into three columns to investigate the
differences.
Read aloud unpunctuated or mispunctuated paragraphs from a text under study to illustrate the
impact on meaning.
Read passages or poems, replacing punctuation marks with suitable symbols. Pupils are to work out
which punctuation marks are represented by the symbols.
Perform passages or poems, replacing punctuation marks with suitable sounds. The rest of the class try
to guess which punctuation marks are represented by the sounds.
Read aloud a short speech or play extract, varying the punctuation to reveal the impact on meaning;
transform a question into a statement or exclamation; introduce new punctuation or move
punctuation around the sentence to change emphasis, for example: What is this thing called, love? What
is this thing, called love? Look at examples of this in Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynn Truss.
Explore the full range of punctuation marks. Each pair has to explain the use and give an example of
their given punctuation mark in a sentence.
Investigate instances where a comma splice has been used. Underline two distinct instances and
replace the comma with a full stop.
Use shared reading to explore the advanced use of commas, semicolons and colons, for example
in Ode to a Nightingale by Keats or The Lady of Shallott by Tennyson. Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem
Travel offers a good example of how the semicolon is crucial to building up atmosphere; read Pike by
Ted Hughes to examine the way his use of commas adds emphasis to description; read John Clare’s
I Am and discuss why his choice of the colon is intrinsic to the poem’s theme. Discuss and explore
the impact of the colon and semicolon and invite pupils to change the punctuation and explore the
impact. Equally, consider how such punctuation is ‘creative’ in non-fiction texts, how it can be used,
for example, to entertain with a list of things in a personal account (The new Mondeo is everything I
expected it to be: boring, dull, efficient, invisible…to passers-by…and worth every penny. Well, almost.)
Investigate trends in punctuation by comparing old and recent texts. Investigate how different authors
use punctuation. For example, contrast the length and heavily punctuated sentences of a paragraph
by Dickens with a modern author. Count sentence length and use of punctuation marks. Focus on the
semicolon and the way sentences are extended. Ask pupils to identify what is lost when sentences are
simplified.
Look at punctuated texts to underpin key themes and ideas, for example the difference between using
a comma and a semicolon when separating ideas in a sentence.
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Teaching in the context of writing
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
When demonstrating writing, relate punctuation to sentence construction to help show how the
choice of punctuation informs meaning.
Use the whiteboard or punctuation fans to ensure all pupils participate and to make the teaching
appeal to a range of learning styles. Call out a variety of sentences. Pupils need to choose the correct
punctuation mark from their fan to display after each sentence.
Embed the teaching of the work of the comma in sentence construction, by showing how it is used to
mark boundaries between clauses. Experiment with different ways of expressing and enhancing an
idea, for example explain why the comma is needed in the following sentence. Staggering, she made her
way up the front path.
Give pupils a comma quota for their writing: they write, for example, ten commas at the top of their
page and cross off each one as they use them all. A writing partner then checks for correct use.
Encourage pupils to orally rehearse their sentences before they write, using natural pauses to help
them with their punctuation.
Investigate how speech marks are used and write a poster for younger pupils to explain how to set out
dialogue.
Use starter activities to help pupils investigate and explore punctuation: turn reported speech into
direct speech; rewrite dialogue in speech bubbles into direct speech.
Demonstrate how to use an extended range of punctuation including dashes and colons. Show
pupils how the colon can be useful when they wish to give emphasis in a sentence as in the following
example. There was only one thing wrong with class 7B: Damian Jones. Ask pupils to write a number of
sentences using this structure in different contexts, such as story, description, argument.
Model how to use dashes to add additional meaning in persuasive writing. Come to London – visit the
galleries, museums and theatres – and have a great time.
Model how to use brackets for adding stage directions or asides to the audience in a play script.
Explore poems on punctuation, such as Roger McGough’s T’would be nice to be an apostrophe and ask
pupils to write their own poems, with the more able focusing on the full range of punctuation.
Ask one group of pupils to rewrite an opening paragraph as one lengthy sentence with clauses
controlled by semicolons, and another group retelling in simple sentences. Use ICT so that pupils can
amend the text directly. Use the track changes function so that alterations are visibly highlighted.
Encourage peer evaluation by building opportunities for pupils to proofread one another’s work,
altering punctuation for accuracy and to gain effect. Read aloud and listen to the effect on meaning.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
48
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
8.2 Aspect 2: Sentence variety
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Vary sentence
length and
structure
in order
to provide
appropriate
detail, make
clear the
relationship
between
ideas, and
create effects
according to
task, purpose
and reader
Draw on their
knowledge of
a wide variety
of sentence
lengths and
structures,
including
complex
sentences, and
apply it to their
own writing
to clarify
ideas and
create a range
of effects
according to
task, purpose
and reader
Deploy
appropriately
in their own
writing the
range of
sentence
structures
used by writers
to enhance
and emphasise
meaning,
aid cohesion
and create a
wide range
of effects
according to
task, purpose
and reader
Select from
the wide range
of sentence
structures
used by
writers, and
shape, craft
and adapt
them in their
own writing
for particular
effect
with clear
consideration
given to the
variety of
audiences,
tasks and
purposes
Shape, craft
and adapt
sentence
structures,
selecting
from the wide
repertoire
of styles
and types
deployed by
writers, and
apply them
accurately,
creatively and
appropriately
to achieve
impact and
effect
Shape
sentences
in apt and
accurate
ways that
demonstrate
economy of
expression
and/or
elaborate
development
as appropriate
in order
to create
original and
sophisticated
effects and
impact
What to teach
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Correct subject terminology, such as subordinate clause, finite and non-finite verbs and so on (L10.2).
How to vary sentence structures, using a variety of simple, compound and complex sentences (L10.2).
How to extend their use and control of complex sentences by recognising, exploring and using
subordinate clauses in a variety of positions within the sentence.
How to use connectives with attention to meaning, not just as writing prompts.
The inter-relationship between sentence structure and punctuation and how punctuation is used to
clarify and enhance meaning.
The categories of sentences: statements, questions, commands, exclamations.
How to avoid over-coordination in sentences.
How to recognise that simple sentences are not always short or unsophisticated and are a vital tool for
manipulating the reader.
Trends in sentence variety and how this may be different in older texts (L10.1).
Guidance for teachers
•
Sentences can be categorised as follows:
-----
statements: The film star waved at her fans. (declarative)
questions: Are you ready? (interrogative)
commands: Turn around now. (imperative)
exclamations: What a shame! (exclamatory).
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A sentence can be simple, compound or complex:
----
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
a simple sentence consists of one clause: I like football
a compound sentence has two or more clauses linked by and, but or or. The clauses are of equal
weight, both being main clauses: I like football and rugby
a complex sentence consists of a main clause and at least one subordinate clause. Although I enjoy
sport, I do not like cricket.
Complex sentences link ideas together and enable a writer to elaborate and add more detail. They
contain main and subordinate clauses. A main clause is one that is self-contained, that can act as a freestanding sentence. The subordinate clause cannot make sense alone but depends on the main clause
for its meaning (Americans call the subordinate clause the dependent clause). It is very often heralded
by a conjunction which suggests its dependant status (despite, although).
Sentences can be constructed in different ways to vary impact, for example:
-----
by reordering clauses within the sentence
by embedding a subordinate clause inside the main clause, dropping it as a bracketed ‘aside’ into
the middle of a sentence
by starting with a non-finite verb
by starting with a connecting adverb (therefore, finally, later).
In many cases clauses have finite verbs, i.e. completed verbs, limited to stay as they are because they
have a subject, any necessary auxiliaries and the relevant participle. The sentence: I ought to have been
at the play contains a subject, I, a verb chain with all its parts, ought to have been, and an adverbial
phrase, at the play.
Non-finite clauses are those which do not contain a subject + verb: they contain an infinite verb with or
without to, a verb + ing or a verb + ed. For example:
----
Battling against the weather, the ship entered harbour: verb + ing
Covered in confusion, Tom left the room: verb + ed
To make it work, Tina had to buy new batteries: To + infinitive.
Non-finite clauses are useful as they are moveable and can provide variety in sentence structure. For
example:
---
Nathan, filled with despair, left the pitch
Filled with despair, Nathan left the pitch.
Writers often use such clauses and pupils need to be aware of the effect created, for example, the
opening of Bleak House by Dickens.
The difference between a clause and a phrase. Clauses need a verb even if the verb is non-finite or
understood. Many sports reports contain a string of phrases rather than clauses, for example:
--•
49
On the pitch with his team-mates in the game, Owen is a demon player
On the pitch, with his team-mates in the game are adverbial phrases but could be misunderstood as
clauses. The sentence is a simple sentence with a string of adverbial phrases. Pupils need to know
that adverbial phrases can be moved to different positions in the sentence to add variety.
In most cases a subordinate clause can be removed, leaving the main clause free to stand alone. For
example: They played happily, until it started to rain. Until it started to rain time-limits their happy playing,
but can be omitted, leaving the main clause to stand alone.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
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•
•
•
•
•
•
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
However, there are some cases where the subordinate clause cannot be removed without affecting the
meaning of the sentence. These clauses are embedded in that they have to stay put. The commonest
conjunction to introduce an embedded clause is that used when speech or thought is reported, as
in the following example. The man said that he was at home during the storm. That he was at home
during the storm cannot be removed to leave a coherent main clause: it is embedded. That is often left
out both in speech and writing: it would be more usual to say or write: The man said he was at home
during the storm. Pupils need to understand the use of that because it is important for recognising and
reproducing reported speech.
That can also be used to introduce a clause which behaves like the subject of the main clause: That
Nathan was filled with despair was plain to see. That Nathan was filled with despair cannot be removed
because it is embedded, and behaves like the subject of was plain. Such a construct is rare in speech,
but occurs in writing.
Common subordinators:
--------
time
after, when, since, as, whenever, while, until
place
where
cause and effect
as, since, because
qualifying/condition
if, although, unless, as long as, except
contrast
yet, whereas, otherwise
adding in
as well as
describing
who, which, that, whose.
The use of the comma to ‘chunk up’ sentences is appropriate to teach at the same time as subordinate
clauses. A comma separates the main clause from the subordinate clause when the subordinate clause
comes first. Because the pitch was flooded, the football match was cancelled.
Commas occur round embedded clauses containing information which has been added to the
sentence: Terry, who had been ready to play, was disappointed.
Sentence connectives such as however, therefore and finally are followed by a comma.
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Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Teaching in the context of reading
Building
•
•
•
•
•
Analyse writers’ use of sentence and punctuation through shared and guided reading, so that pupils
understand the relationship between writing choices, purpose and audience.
Use a wordprocessing package to highlight or alter sentence structure and punctuation in a given text
and to support collaborative talk about sentence variety, punctuation and meaning.
Categorise sentences from a text into statements, exclamations, commands, or questions; categorise
again into simple, compound or complex and discuss their different effects.
Use shared reading to explore the different ways in which writers vary the start of their sentences
ensuring all examples are taken from the text under study, for example starting with:
-------
an adverb: Hurriedly turning away, the woman hid the purse in her bag
a prepositional phrase: Underneath the bridge, two men were deep in conversation
a non-finite verb: Turning, the man who took a seat beside me, began to smile
an ‘ed’: Exhausted, the boy slumped to the floor
an ‘ing’: Looking through the window, the girl gazed out at the world
a connective: Because of his attitude, he was dropped from the football team.
Analyse sentences in a suspense paragraph to identify their impact on the reader, for example: short
sentences for impact; starting a sentence with ‘and’ or ‘but’ to add emphasis; using an adverb to begin
a sentence to emphasise how an action is carried out (Silently, she crept forwards…); hiding the subject
of a sentence to create tension (At the top of the stairs, half hidden in darkness, a figure waited).
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Teaching for progression: Writing
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Developing and applying
•
•
When modelling, use different colours to distinguish between a main and a subordinate clause in
selected sentences. Invite pupils to do the same to another section of the text.
Investigate the use of commas in a text by looking at where they appear next to a subordinate clause
and ensure the reasons for punctuation are clearly understood:
---•
•
•
•
•
•
when they come after the main clause (no comma)
when they come before the main clause (comma between the two)
when they are dropped in the middle of the main clause (comma before and after the
subordinated clause, acting like parentheses).
Investigate when the additions are a clause and when they are a phrase. For example: At the top of the
stairs, on the landing, Tom waited contains two phrases (At the top of the stairs and on the landing) and a
main clause, not two subordinate clauses and a main clause. It makes what is, in fact, a simple sentence
appear complex. Ask pupils to apply these rules to the text they are reading.
Ask pupils to investigate what purpose the different conjunctions serve in the text they are reading; for
example, adds additional information; makes cause and effect clear; adds qualifiers or contrast.
Compare the variety of sentence structures in a range of texts, for example pre-1900 prose fiction,
magazine article, instruction manual and so on. Explore why some texts may use more simple and
compound sentences rather than complex ones, for example instructions will use imperatives and
most sentences will be either simple or compound.
Gather a variety of complex sentences from current reading. Narrative writing may provide more nonfinite clauses. Investigate:
-----
the nature of the subordinate clause: whether they are finite or non- finite
when writers punctuate non-finite clauses as sentences and their effect on the reader
what the subordinate clauses are adding to the sentence
the position of the subordinate clause within the sentences and the effect on meaning and variety.
Use the interactive whiteboard to model sentence variety: cut clauses and model moving them around,
commenting on the use of punctuation and effects on meaning and fluency.
Play the Human sentence game: laminate large cards for pupils to hold and ask the class to move pupils
around to show how meaning can be changed.
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Securing and extending
•
•
Display examples of sentence variety prominently in the classroom to support learning.
Model through shared reading how simple sentences can be used for effect. By contrast show how the
overuse of complex sentences can also make passages dense and hard to follow. Use an extract from a
Yes, Minister script to make this point and discuss the speaker’s intention:
-•
•
Sir Humphrey: If there had been investigations, which there haven’t or not necessarily, or I’m not at
liberty to say whether there have, there would have been a project team which, had it existed, on which I
cannot comment, which would now have disbanded, if it had existed, and the members returned to their
original departments, if indeed there had been any such members.
Explore sentence variety and punctuation by comparing extracts, such as the opening of Charlotte
Brontë’s Jane Eyre or Dickens’ Great Expectations with a modern novel or a simplified version of the
originals; the King James Bible with a modern version; Samuel Pepys’ diary with Sue Townsend’s Adrian
Mole (L10.1).
Provide a number of snippets from texts over time and ask pupils to arrange them on a time line, and
chart changes. Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Defoe, Austen, Dickens, Golding form a good basis
for this activity. Add in more from set texts that pupils will encounter in school; set as an extension
investigation activity for more-able pupils who then have to make a presentation to their peers (L10.1).
Look, for example, how sentence structure and punctuation is used by someone such as Angela Carter
in The Bloody Chamber.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8 Composition: shaping and constructing language for expression and effect
54
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching in the context of writing
Building
•
•
•
•
•
Using the whiteboard, model how to change a simple sentence into a compound sentence, using and,
but or or; and set as an activity for pupils.
Model how to change a simple sentence into a complex one by adding a subordinate clause and
correct punctuation, discussing the impact on the reader and then set as a pupil activity; use examples
of simple sentences from the text under study so that pupils can relate their learning to a specific
context.
Model in shared writing how to move the subordinate clause to create different effects. For example:
----
The man turned and smiled after taking a seat beside me
After taking a seat beside me, the man turned and smiled
The man, taking a seat beside me, turned and smiled.
Provide examples of interesting complex sentences, taking note of how they are punctuated,
experiment and have fun mimicking the structure with new content. Try defining the structure as a
formula. Provide the different sentence structures as models for pupils to imitate.
Try out different conjunctions with the same main and subordinate clause to discuss the different
effects and meanings created (such as logical ones: because, so, if, as, though, although, since, whereas,
unless, and temporal ones: while, before, after, till, until, when (ever), once, since).
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Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Use starter activities to explore sentence and punctuation variety, and consolidate during guided
sessions.
Provide pupils with whiteboards to experiment with sentence structure and consequent punctuation
and evaluate effectiveness. Invite them to share their evaluations in a plenary.
Use ICT to help craft and improve the writing. Use the ‘undo’ function, ‘cut, copy and paste’ to select
and move clauses in a sentence.
Experiment by trying out orally, different sentence constructions and selecting which is best – test
them out within the flow of the paragraph and discuss the effect.
Use drama: provide pupils with different sentences to mime; pupils watching have to identify the main
and subordinate clause.
Experiment with different ways of organising two or three clauses in one sentence, examining how
this impacts on nuance and meaning; model this in shared writing, using ICT facilities to highlight the
clauses in different colours.
Take a paragraph of simple sentences and add extra layers of reasoning, justification and explanation
by transforming the sentences into complex sentences.
Play the sentence game: show pupils a simple sentence and ask them to change it depending on the
instruction on their own cards. For example:
---------
change the main verb
change the connective
add a subordinate clause
move the subordinate clause
start with an adverb
start with a prepositional phrase
start with an –ed word
start with an –ing word.
Pupils have to discuss how the effect on the reader is influenced by the changes.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Set a challenge to pupils to vary their sentences by including complex versions in their own writing.
Ask pupils to check that they have at least two clauses and decide whether they need a comma. They
should indicate where they have used complex sentences, and then pass their work over to a response
partner who checks that the punctuation makes the meaning clear.
In pairs draft a voice-over script for a film trailer, focusing on sentence variety and the use of
punctuation for effect. Using a snowball activity, share work with another pair who have written the
voice-over for the same trailer. Fours collaborate on a final draft and present it to the class explaining
the choices made and the intended impact on the listener or reader.
For higher-attaining pupils, ask them to consider how to alter the types of sentence structure used in
one type of text such as rewriting instruction text as a persuasive text. Suggest changing connectives
using adverbial or prepositional starts, altering the punctuation and so forth.
Choose an extract from Dickens and rewrite it for younger pupils using fewer complex sentences and
punctuation so that it is easier and simpler to read; ask more-able pupils to select their own texts to
rewrite in this way.
Take a professional text, for example a report or set of recommendations from Building Schools for the
Future (www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/resourcesfinanceandbuilding/bsf/) or similar sites, or
from a charity site such as Oxfam, and select a section or chapter from such a report. Rewrite it so that
it is accessible to a younger audience, paying attention to the simplicity of sentences alongside other
key factors.
Use response partners to proofread, edit and revise each other’s work. Use ‘track changes’ or ‘insert/
comment’ to self-review and peer- review, explaining choices in sentence structure and punctuation.
Take on the role of a publisher or editor who makes rigorous and disciplined decisions with work which
they then justify to their writer.
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8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Use vocabulary
precisely and
imaginatively
to clarify
and extend
meaning and
create specific
effects
Create
considered
and
appropriate
effects by
drawing
independently
on the range
and variety
of their own
vocabulary,
and by using
strategies and
resources to
extend their
available
choices
Select words
carefully
from within
and beyond
their own
vocabulary,
considering
how their
choices will
create precise
or more subtle
meanings
according to
task, purpose
and reader
Shape and
affect the
reader’s
response
through
conscious
choices and in
planned ways
by selecting
ambitiously
from a wide
and varied
vocabulary
for a range of
tasks, purposes
and reader
Exploit the
full range,
forms and
combinations
of vocabulary
to create levels
of meaning
from the subtle
to the more
explicit in
order to create
particular
effects
according to
task, audience
and purpose
Deploy a rich,
varied and apt
vocabulary,
which
demonstrates
imagination
and a sense
of individual
voice, in order
to engage the
reader and
shape their
response,
while
matching the
demands and
conventions of
the text
About this substrand
•
•
•
•
•
In Years 5 and 6, pupils are taught to distinguish between everyday words and their subject-specific
use, and to explore how word meanings change when used in different contexts. The teaching of
this substrand builds and extends that understanding, helping pupils to develop and widen their
vocabulary, defining and deploying an increasingly ambitious range of words with precision in order to
achieve their desired effects.
This substrand should be linked to reading-related activities. Through shared reading pupils will need
to be shown how to use words with precision and impact and how they can be interpreted differently
to give them a different meaning. Pupils then need to apply this understanding to their own writing in
order to affect meaning in subtle ways.
The teaching of this substrand should ensure that experimentation and risk-taking with vocabulary
is constantly encouraged, enabling all pupils and especially the more-able, to develop their own
distinctive voice.
This substrand should be written into all schemes of work on a ‘little but often’ basis.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
---------
2.1 Developing and adapting speaking skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts
6.2 Analysing how writers’ use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen
8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
9.3 Reviewing spelling and increasing knowledge of word derivations, patterns and families
10.1 Exploring language variation
10.2 Commenting on language use.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
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•
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Because links to the language substrands are important, teaching approaches that address those two
substrands are followed by a bracket indicating which language substrand is pertinent.
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standard for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
•
•
•
using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
writing documents on increasingly complex subjects, adapting them to suit the intended audience and
purpose
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, for example:
----
produce key vocabulary linked to revision units across the curriculum for the school intranet or link
up with another school to exchange resources
collate key words for a curriculum vitae and letter of application
devise a list of key words for use in a letter to a local MP concerning a local issue.
Some examples of application of learning to other areas of
the curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Support pupils’ broadening vocabulary by displaying key words and vocabulary linked to units of work
under study in all classrooms.
Remind pupils to use dictionaries and thesauruses in other subject areas.
Liaise with the literacy coordinator so that vocabulary games played in English may also be used in
other subjects to help develop and refine their knowledge of words, such as Call my Bluff (providing
one true and two false definitions of a word for others to assess); Just a Minute (pupils select a word
from a box and talk for a minute about its meaning); Lucky Dip (pupils pick a word and explain what
they know about it); Draw my Word (a version of ‘Pictionary’ where pupils pick a word out of a box and
draw it for the rest of the group).
Use pupils’ writing from other subject areas to provide a purposeful context for discussion in English
when exploring vocabulary and text conventions such as an explanation essay from history.
Ask pupils to think of how they can apply the skills learned in English to other subject areas, for
example: make a conscious decision to use adjectives when describing a picture in art; consider
appropriate vocabulary when writing an evaluation in design and technology or a discursive essay in
religious studies.
Ask pupils to think about words that have both ‘everyday’ and subject-specific meanings and to
explore how and when they are used, for example consider how words such as fit, field, pitch, change
their meaning when used in physical education.
Use response partners to explore effective and accurate word choice in each other’s writing.
Consider how in real contexts, selection of the ‘right word’ contributes to successful business,
for example when a publisher has to choose the right title for a text. Ask pupils to come up with
competing titles for a book in which homeless children’s poems have been published with strict criteria
from the publisher – ‘must sound creative’, ‘must suggest young people’s voices being heard’, ‘must be
no more than five words maximum’ and so on. Alternatively, ask pupils to choose the name of a new
trendy fashion shop for men which will sell high-end, expensive designer clothes.
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What to teach
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Accurate use of a dictionary and effective use of a thesaurus as a means of fine-tuning a choice of
words. Include the use of computer software thesauruses, such as Microsoft® Word (L10.2).
How the meaning of a word also includes its connotations. How some words may be associated with a
particular mode of discourse (such as speech, not writing) (L10.2).
How some words are more informal than others (L10.2).
How the exact meaning of a word is affected by its context (L10.2).
How the conventions of different text types influence vocabulary choices (see module on ‘Writing nonfiction text types’ in Literacy across the curriculum) (L10.2).
The degrees of meaning that similar words can have (L10.2).
Revision of correct terminology for talking about language: noun, verb, adjective, adverb and so on
(L10.2).
Subject-specific vocabulary that pupils need to use accurately, such as literary terminology (imagery,
personification and so on).
New words, phrases and expressions associated with changing attitudes and situations in society
(credit crunch; comfort food) (L10.1).
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building generic skills – introducing and investigating the substrand
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Set up competitive team activities to help develop and improve speed and confidence when using a
dictionary and thesaurus to broaden vocabulary.
Play the Connotations game: pupils show a positive or a negative card in response to words read out by
the teacher. The words are listed in groups according to the majority view. Pupils then consider the lists
of words and try to explain why these feelings are connected with them.
Card sort: pupils sort cards according to the intensity of the words: hot, warm, blistering, scorching,
lukewarm, tepid, sweltering. Pupils could also make their own ‘washing lines’ of words, using a thesaurus
for ideas.
Ask pupils to think of words which are used in speech but which they would not usually expect to see
written down. Draw up an agreed list and consider what the words have in common.
Ask pupils to sort words into three categories: formal, informal, neither. Discuss the outcome and come
to an agreement about what makes some words formal and some informal.
Set up an investigation into words with classical origins such as: bi, aqua, super, auto, tele, trans, port.
Groups of pupils must find ten words beginning with the prefix, then work out its original meaning.
Text typing game: a card sort in which pupils match text examples, conventions and definitions. They
have to explain how vocabulary choices give clues about text type.
Give pupils a short descriptive text (such as a paragraph setting the scene in a narrative) and ask them
to try to alter the mood of it by changing up to ten words.
Research new words associated with electronic communication and ICT; compile and discuss.
Support independent writing by providing key words and their definitions on an A3 sheet (possibly
laminated). The sheet should have an A4 or exercise book-sized space in the middle. The ‘place mat’
acts as a reminder and confidence giver as the pupil writes. This can be particularly useful for pupils
who are learning English as an additional language (EAL).
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Teaching in the context of reading
Building
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Use lesson starters to activate pupils’ prior knowledge of language terminology, for example ask pupils
to work in pairs and to provide definitions of nouns, adjectives and so on and to provide examples.
Draw attention to new or unfamiliar words in a class text, and model how their meaning might be
determined from their context and other clues.
During shared reading, identify the conventions of different text types, and annotate relevant texts to
exemplify them. Focus particularly on vocabulary choices that have been influenced by the purpose
and audience for the text.
Play Beat the Poet: give pupils a short poem with five carefully chosen words deleted. Their task is to
produce a poem which aims to be better than the original. They will have to justify their word choices.
From a class text, demonstrate the writer’s craft by experimenting with alternative choices of words in
place of the originals.
Group or paired discussion on a cloze exercise: pupils select the most suitable vocabulary, based on
context and type, style or content of text. It can be useful to supply a bank of words representing
different levels of formality or with different connotations for them to choose from.
Give pupils opportunities to use an electronic thesaurus to change words in a text to explore effect on
meaning.
After reading a text or a chapter from the class novel, ask pupils to identify a small number of new
words that they might like to include in their own writing. They enter them in their spelling/vocabulary
journal together with a short sentence showing the word in context.
Use guided reading sessions to support different groups of pupils from the least to the most able,
exploring how writers have used vocabulary with precision and impact.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Use the lesson starter to consolidate pupils’ understanding of new and specialised vocabulary by
matching terms with definitions or pictures (particularly effective for EAL pupils); complete cloze
passages where new or specialised vocabulary has been omitted; play a vocabulary game where
pupils have to complete definitions in fewer than ten words, like competition tie breaker, for example
Personification is….
Emotive or partisan language: using newspaper headlines, interpret the editorial perspective, for
example Developers Grab Meadows for Building Site compared with Company in Land Development Deal.
Ask pupils to sort sentences or headlines into favourable or unfavourable meanings: Their troops
cowered in dugouts compared with The soldiers waited cautiously out of sight.
Using a variety of newspapers, ask pupils to rewrite headlines to reflect a different editorial perspective.
Juxtaposition: demonstrating how placing two words side by side can affect how they are interpreted.
Connotation: revisiting at a more sophisticated level than in Year 7 the way in which the meaning
of a word can go beyond what it denotes, because of the feelings and ideas that are associated
with it either by an individual, group or a whole culture. For example, cheap could be understood as
inexpensive, or good value; alternatively it could be interpreted as valueless, poor quality, or lacking
morals. Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem White Comedy is an example of a useful text for exploring this in a
shared reading session.
Shades of meaning: how similar words or synonyms can have varying degrees of meaning, for example:
boy, lad, youth, young man, young gentleman.
Set up an investigation into word meanings by assigning a particular section of the thesaurus to each
pair of pupils. Ask them to choose the words from the section with which they are reasonably familiar
and represent them on a poster in a way that shows up the variation in meaning, for example whisper,
talk, shout could be written with the loudest word in the biggest print. Select the sections to provide
suitable challenge according to ability. Pairs of pupils can explain their posters to the class.
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Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Select a poem for paired discussion about meaning, for example Spellbound by Emily Brontë. Ask pupils
to change certain words in the poem to change its mood:
The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.
Introduce a range of texts in which there may be different interpretations of meaning, or in which the
writer has used specific techniques to reveal his/her meaning, for example Vernon Scannell’s A Case of
Murder; D.H. Lawrence’s Snake, Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal; Andrei Voznesensky’s First Ice.
Annotate texts to identify words where there may be more than one interpretation of meaning.
Model the process by which readers question texts in order to ascertain meaning. Show pupils how
some interpretations are more valid than others because of other evidence in the text and how the
exact meaning of a word is affected by its context.
Delete five or six significant words from a short text. Ask pupils to select from a list of synonyms the
words they believe have been deleted and to justify their choices by elaborating on the shades of
meaning. Targeting Level 5: teaching responses to reading has an example of this activity using the poem
Vultures by Chinua Achebe.
Explore how implicit meanings are conveyed by changing the verb and adverb of speech, for example
‘I can’t continue’, uttered John sadly.
Ask pupils to investigate new words, phrases and expressions associated with changing attitudes and
situations in society (carbon footprint; wardrobe malfunction; nail bars and so forth); ask pupils to devise
further expressions based on changing attitudes within the school context).
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching in the context of writing
Building
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Model making word choices while demonstrating writing, thinking aloud and making the criteria for
choosing particular words explicit. During shared composition, stop at key words (such as a significant
verb), list a number of suggested words from pupils at the side of the board, and discuss them before
the final choice is made.
Encourage the use of dictionaries and thesauruses during drafting and proofreading processes.
Experiment with vocabulary to create different effects, for example describing an old man as (a) a
tramp, (b) a grandad, (c) a duke, (d) a professor. Writing frames and banks of suitable descriptive words
can support pupils in tasks like this.
During drafting, ask pupils to read the work of a partner and highlight three to five words which they
think could be replaced by something better.
When marking pupils’ work reward effective and ambitious vocabulary choices.
Play the ABC game to help pupils fine-tune their vocabulary choices, helping them to realise how every
word choice made can add to its effectiveness and impact. Ask pupils to take any letter within the
alphabet and work backwards or forwards to create powerful sentences, where each consecutive word
must begin with the next letter in the alphabetical sequence. Pupils are directed towards achieving
maximum impact within each sentence, and hence learn that brevity is often a virtue, and changing
words can be more effective than adding them.
Use guided writing sessions to support different groups of pupils from the least to the most able; use
pupils’ own writing as a basis for discussion and exploration of vocabulary use; ensure pupils note new
vocabulary in their vocabulary booklets or writing journals.
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Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
Continue to encourage the use of the dictionary and thesaurus during the drafting and proofreading
processes.
Ask pupils to write short sentences using a common word with both negative and positive
connotations, for example:, I was so happy I could fly; A large, fat fly landed on his cake. Whiteboards could
be used for this activity to share the best examples with the class.
Encourage pupils to experiment with techniques in their own writing, such as using emotive language
when writing persuasively or using irony to achieve an effect.
Ask pupils to write about a text, demonstrating their understanding of the author’s intention in his
choice of vocabulary, for example Seamus Heaney’s Mid-term Break.
Illustrate the link between word choice and writer’s viewpoint further by exploring word-webs on
non-fiction writing. For instance, if pupils are writing an information article on sharks, they may choose
to import a layer of bias into the article by calling sharks noun phrases such as: these glistening, perfectlyformed killing machines or these savage, brutal and indiscriminate killing machines.
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
•
Further refine pupils’ word choice by investigating links between word and context by experimenting
with opposing pairs of words such as terrorist/freedom fighter; ask pupils to write two versions of the
same topic, keeping the same sentence and paragraph structure, but changing the word choice to
subtly influence reader response.
Encourage independence and expanding vocabulary. Have a ‘Word of the day’ as a starter where every
pupil has to come prepared to share a new word, together with a sentence exemplifying its use; expect
the more-able pupils to use a wide and sophisticated vocabulary.
Use the visual aspects of ICT to support word choice and connotations such as a slide show or photo
story on a topic for debate or a poem, matching images with key vocabulary.
When marking pupils’ writing, reward effective and ambitious vocabulary choices and any pupil
commentary that recognises the implications of vocabulary choice in texts under study.
Draw out through self-evaluation, peer-comment and reflection the extent to which pupils see their
own distinctive ‘voice’ emerging as writers and the contribution vocabulary choice plays. For example,
encourage in poetry writers the ability to talk through their approaches, reflect on specific choices and
interrogate their own language, building a sense of their own tone and style.
Link this notion of ‘voice’ to other areas – how would a particular presenter on television or radio
characterise their voice in relation to the vocabulary they use? (For example, Simon Cowell – ‘straighttalking’ – what do such descriptions mean about the language choices made?)
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8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Develop in
their own
writing
some of the
key linguistic
and literary
techniques
used by
writers,
and deploy
them for
deliberate
effect on the
reader
Draw on a
repertoire
of linguistic
and literary
techniques,
and select
those most
appropriate
for creating
specific
effects in
their own
writing
Elicit a range
of responses
from the
reader, having
made a
judgement
about the
effectiveness
of specific
linguistic
and literary
techniques
in particular
contexts or for
specific tasks
Make
appropriate
and
ambitious
selections
from a broad
repertoire
of linguistic
and literary
techniques
to shape
and affect
the reader’s
response
Exploit the
full repertoire
of literary
and linguistic
techniques,
combining and
adapting them
where appropriate
to create specific
planned effects
in a wide range of
forms and genres
for a variety of
audiences and
purposes
Shape their
writing in
ambitious,
inventive and
original ways by
exploiting the
full repertoire
of linguistic
and literary
techniques,
adapting,
manipulating and
combining them
for effect and
impact
About this substrand
•
•
•
•
•
At Key Stage 2, Year 6 pupils are taught to select words and language drawing on their knowledge of
literary features to help them add persuasive emphasis to key points. They also experiment with the
visual and sound effects of language, including the use of imagery, alliteration, rhythm and rhyme.
This substrand builds on that study by helping pupils to use a wider range of linguistic and literary
techniques to consciously shape meaning and influence the reader. The writing of more-able pupils
will be distinguished by an increasing sophistication as they exploit the full repertoire of linguistic and
literary techniques, using language in imaginative, original and diverse ways across a range of texts and
for a variety of audiences and purposes.
The substrand needs to be taught within shared reading, using a wide range of literary and non-literary
texts to explore how writers achieve their effects.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
------------
1.2 Understanding and responding to what speakers say in formal and informal contexts
2.1 Developing and adapting speaking skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts
5.2 Understanding and responding to ideas, viewpoints, themes and purposes in texts
6.2 Analysing how writers’ use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning
7.1 Generating ideas, planning and drafting
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact
8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper and on screen
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
10.2 Commenting on language use.
Because links to the language substrands are important, teaching approaches that address those two
substrands are followed by a bracket indicating which language substrand is pertinent.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
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The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standard for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
•
•
•
using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
matching and adapting a range of writing styles to suit purpose and audience
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, for example:
----
use a history visit to the Imperial War Museum to inspire the writing of a persuasive speech on a
recent conflict around the world, using rhetorical devices to influence the reader and listener
devise persuasive campaign literature encouraging all pupils to vote for particular candidates for
the school council or mock national elections
write an email to the editor of a local paper expressing strong views in response to a recent article.
Some examples of application of this learning to other areas of
the curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
Discuss with pupils how to apply their knowledge of linguistic and literary techniques in other subject
areas. Ask them to consider how and why such skills will help them to improve their writing across the
curriculum.
History: writing a tabloid and a broadsheet front page story of a famous historical event, consciously
crafting the writing to appeal to different audiences; drawing on a history visit to the Imperial War
Museum to inspire the writing of war poetry in English using a range of literary techniques; exploring
the Industrial Revolution to support the study of Blake’s poetry in English.
Geography: writing a tourist leaflet or designing a tourist web page to persuade more people to visit
the local city or county.
Citizenship: using their knowledge of rhetorical devices to write a formal speech to deliver on a
contentious subject concerning civil liberties.
Food technology: using various techniques to change a straightforward recipe for inclusion in a
specialist magazine for food enthusiasts.
What to teach
•
•
Effective use of the full repertoire of literary techniques (L10.2):
--------
effective use of imagery – similes, metaphors, personification
sound patterns – alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance
puns
repetition of words, phrases and structures
use of rhetorical questions
use of statistics or quotations
other rhetorical devices such as use of humour, direct address, contrast, emotive language, and
anecdote: telling an amusing or interesting incident in order to illustrate a point, for example giving
a specific example of someone’s experience in order to highlight conditions.
Effective use of the full repertoire of linguistic techniques (L10.2):
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sentence variety to change emphasis and importance – coordination and subordination
active and passive voice
abstract and concrete nouns
use of the first and second person to actively involve the audience
emotive language (use of verbs, adjectives and adverbs)
phrases which signpost each technique
differing levels of formality and colloquial language.
Further exemplification
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Emotive or partisan language: using newspaper headlines, interpret the editorial perspective, for
example: New road will improve access to the town instead of New road will increase the volume of traffic in
the town.
The use of inverted commas either to signal irony or sarcasm explicitly (for example, Why is John’s music
so loud? He’s ‘revising’ for his exams) or as so-called ‘scare’ quotes which signal an author’s attitude to the
word being used: His children saw him as a complete ‘saddo’.
Euphemisms: how a mild or indirect expression may be used instead of one that is considered in some
way offensive, unpleasant or painful, for example he passed away instead of he died; she was economical
with the truth instead of she lied.
Shades of meaning: how similar words or synonyms can have varying degrees of meaning, for example:
girl, lass, maiden, young woman, young lady.
Juxtaposition: demonstrating how placing two points side by side can affect how they are interpreted.
Connotation: revisiting at a more sophisticated level than in Year 7 the way in which the meaning of
a word can go beyond what it denotes, because of the feelings and ideas that are associated with it
either by an individual, group or a whole culture. As an example, ambition could be used as a positive
attribute if it is non-threatening or as a negative one if it means a person is determined to achieve their
aims, whatever the cost to others.
Irony: how this can communicate a writer’s real viewpoint through the (sometimes) subtle use of the
opposite point of view; how the use of irony can be used to create a satirical effect.
Dramatic irony: how a reader can be drawn into the world of the text and placed in a privileged
position, knowing more than the characters involved.
Hyperbole: how writers use exaggeration to create a desired effect.
Figurative language and symbolism: the understanding that writers have made a choice about the
techniques and the imagery that they employ and that this contributes to the overall meaning carried
by the text, for example: Out, out, brief candle (Macbeth).
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Teaching in the context of reading
Building
•
•
•
•
•
•
Through shared reading and writing, model how sentence structure can change tone, mood and
emphasis (for example, explore the different impact of Never had I seen men with such little dignity with
that of I had never seen men with such little dignity).
Explore how choices involving the use of the active or passive voice can alter the tone and impact of
a piece of writing. Look at a variety of texts, such as newspapers, noting how sentences such as the
following might influence the reader: The Prime Minister offered an apology (active voice); An apology
was issued (passive voice).
Analyse an effective persuasive text through shared reading, using text-marking to help pupils to note
which literary and linguistic features have been used to persuade the reader.
Present a short piece of text where the purpose to persuade fails and in shared reading establish why
it is unsuccessful. In a subsequent shared writing session, model adding relevant rhetorical devices to
make the writing persuasive. In guided or independent work, present another text for pupils to do the
same.
Explore the use of imagery and linguistic techniques in such poems as Ted Hughes’s Pike, Vernon
Scannell’s A Case of Murder and Chinua Achebe’s Vultures, using the teaching notes in the Targeting level
5 and above folder.
Using the same teaching folder, explore the use of literary and linguistic techniques in non-fiction texts
such as the autobiography, website and newspaper article on Nelson Mandela’s life and release from
prison; consider how the writing differs across different text types and how these differences impact
on the reader.
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Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Use the whiteboard to explore the powerful use of linguistic and literary techniques in a range of
political speeches, such as Antony’s speech in Julius Caesar (‘Friends, Romans, countrymen lend me
your ears…’); Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I have a dream’; other modern political speeches by the
prime minister, US president or Nelson Mandela.
Model the process by which readers question texts in order to ascertain meaning. Show pupils how
some interpretations are more valid than others because of other evidence in the text (for example, the
use of statistics and quotations) and how the exact meaning of a word is affected by its context.
Use a variety of texts (media, novels, poetry and so on) to model the impact of juxtaposition of words,
and pictures and words, showing how this shapes the reader’s response.
Use shared reading to explore irony across a range of texts, for example discuss Chaucer’s use of irony
in his description of the Wife of Bath.
Use the study of Shakespeare for exploration of literary devices such as figurative language, symbolism,
antithesis and hyperbole, discussing the effect on the reader.
Explore how writers use ambiguity by looking at how this adds to the humour of Act 2 Scene 3 in
Macbeth.
Using shared reading, explore the use of political hyperbole in a range of newspapers and how this
impacts on the reader, for example: The government has introduced a ten-year plan that is a once-in-ageneration opportunity.
As a starter activity, ask pupils to produce a strong statement (positive or negative), then swap with
another pupil and turn their statement into a rhetorical question. For example:
---•
•
I like rap music. Who can resist rap music?
One day off is useless. What on earth are we supposed to do with a single day’s holiday?
That’s a bad idea. Where do they get these ideas from?
Use feedback to create a bank of possible structures.
As a starter activity, give pupils a noun and ask them to propose relevant adjectives which imply an
opinion and could therefore persuade a reader one way or another. For example:
---
friend – loyal, intelligent, reliable
friend – fickle, demanding, unreliable.
Explore layers of meaning in word choice by giving pupils an adjective as part of a sentence. Ask
pupils to think of an additional five synonyms for the word. Pupils should produce a continuum line
(or washing line) from one to ten, working in pairs to order the synonyms from the least to the most
effective words. (Note: recognising layers of meaning may be particularly challenging for pupils
learning English as an additional language.)
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
As a starter, use a drama activity where pupils go into role and try to persuade each other to buy an
everyday item. As a class, pool together the persuasive techniques used, identifying which are literary
and which are linguistic, and discuss which ones will work in writing.
Encourage pupils to analyse each other’s work in terms of whether they can be persuaded by the
structure and language of the text, and to suggest areas for improvement.
During the independent section of the lesson, provide each pupil with some cut out ‘thought bubbles’.
Pupils place (or stick) these bubbles on their own work in various places and write what they expect the
reader to be thinking or feeling at this point in response to the literary and linguistic techniques used
(for example, I used an emotive word here as I want the reader to be outraged…). A partner is asked
to review the work and to confirm (or not) the writer’s expectations; alternatively complete as a screen
activity with pupils using ‘insert, comment’.
Use the plenary to encourage pupils to identify persuasive features in each other’s writing.
As a starter activity, give pupils the beginning phrase of a series of similes, for example Her voice was
like…, her hair was like…. Pupils write their ideas for completing the similes on whiteboards. Ask pupils
who have written interesting examples to explain the meaning they intended.
Ask pupils to sort sentences or headlines into favourable or unfavourable meanings according to word
choice, for example: Their troops cowered in dugouts; the soldiers waited cautiously out of sight.
Delete five or six significant words from a short text. Ask pupils to select from a list of synonyms the
words they believe have been deleted. Ask them to justify their choices by elaborating on the shades of
meaning, considering the impact on the reader.
Pupils might discuss the various meanings and connotations of the literary and linguistic techniques in
a media text such as an advertisement and identify how this impacts on a reader’s response.
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Teaching in the context of writing
Building
•
•
•
•
•
•
Through shared reading and writing, model how sentence structure can change tone, mood and
emphasis (for example, explore the different impact of Never had Jane been so upset by her brother’s
behaviour to Jane had never been so upset by her brother’s behaviour.
Explore how linguistic choices can determine the degree of formality and write about the same
incident, for two different audiences, writing the first account in standard English and the second in
colloquial English.
Demonstrate the writing of a piece of persuasive text, such as the first paragraph of a fund-raising
letter, emphasising the use of persuasive features. Use a checklist drawn up by the class, arising from
the shared reading, which will list persuasive devices, and display for use in future lessons.
Use the whiteboard to explore emotive language further: remove all emotive words from a tabloid
front page story and replace with less emotive language; discuss how this impacts on the reader;
repeat the exercise with a different text requiring pupils to add emotive language in order to create a
different response in the reader.
Use the skeleton plan of a piece of analysed text as the basis for the plan for a new piece of writing.
Demonstrate how the new ideas and literary and linguistic techniques will fit into the plan.
Pick out four or five emotive words from an advertisement or leaflet. For each word, briefly explain how
or why it appeals to your emotions, in a modelled writing session. The same idea could be used for
paired redrafting with a response partner and for a guided writing session.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
Explore the impact of multiple narration through shared reading (such as Stone Cold by Robert
Swindells or The Colour Purple by Alice Walker); ask pupils to write their own stories using different
narrative voices in order to shape and affect the reader’s response in different ways.
Explore how the sound of words affects meaning by selecting a range of words from a poem under
study to be sorted into three categories according to their sound: positive, negative and neutral (for
example, disgusts, commands, object, gift, ranked, smiled, passion, curtain, glance and so on). Discuss why
the words sound harsh or soft, negative or neutral, exploring the effect of vowels and consonants on
words. Ask pupils to explore the impact of word choice on mood and tone in poems such as My Last
Duchess by Robert Browning (for example, object, ranked, disgusts) and The Voice by Thomas Hardy
(for example, woman, fair, oozing, air, calling).
Model the process of word choice and literary techniques while demonstrating writing, making the
criteria for choosing particular words and devices explicit. During shared composition, stop and
identify writing choices (such as a significant verb, a rhetorical question, a euphemism), list a number of
suggested alternatives from pupils at the side of the board and discuss them before the final choice
is made.
Model how to comment clearly on an author’s word choice when demonstrating to pupils how to write
about the effect of language on the meaning of a text. Ask pupils to apply this knowledge to another
text by the same author.
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Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Ask pupils to devise a poster outlining some of the persuasive devices they have learned that will help
other pupils in their writing.
Select a poem for paired discussion about meaning, such as Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred
Owen. Ask pupils to make linguistic and literary changes to the poem to change its mood and impact.
What passing bells for those who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their orisons.
Ask pupils to write three short letters of complaint to a shop or holiday company, experimenting
with different linguistic and literary techniques in order to create three different tones (such as
friendly, angry, sarcastic or ironic); this could also be set up as a group activity with each pupil
taking responsibility for writing one letter, the group then discuss all three letters highlighting the
effectiveness of the techniques used.
Ask pupils to write about a text, demonstrating their understanding of the author’s intention in his
choice of vocabulary, sentence structure and literary techniques for example the poem Telephone
Conversation by Wole Soyinka.
Using a wide range of newspapers, ask pupils to rewrite several headlines to reflect different editorial
perspectives by selecting appropriate linguistic and literary techniques.
Use texts such as football reports to explore the use of clichés (the football manager was over the moon
when his team won) and rewrite the report by alternating the clichés for more original vocabulary and
phrases to change the tone and impact on the reader.
Encourage pupils to experiment with techniques in their own writing, for example using emotive
language when writing persuasively or using irony to achieve an effect.
Pupils make a list of issues of extreme unimportance. They then choose one as a campaign issue and
treat the task as a pastiche, modelling the rhetorical devices on those used in famous persuasive texts.
For example: I have a dream that one day those who are at present languishing in the trough of using
ballpoint pens will one day rise up and enter the kingdom of fibre-tip pen users. The challenge is to use as
many rhetorical devices and persuasive techniques as possible.
Continue this type of work further by asking pupils to write a summary of a set text in the style of a
Hollywood action movie trailer with a commentary explaining the deliberate linguistic and literary
techniques which have been used and parodied.
Allow pupils to select their own texts to analyse (fiction or non-fiction), providing a detailed
commentary that recognises the implications of linguistic and literary choices by the reader, and to
apply their knowledge to their own choice of increasingly challenging tasks.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
8.5 Structuring, organising and presenting texts in a variety of forms
on paper and on screen
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Make ideas
and purpose
clear by
appropriate
use of
paragraphs
and by
choosing from
a range of
linking words
and phrases
Use a range
of cohesive
devices with
audience and
purpose in
mind, drawing
on experience
of how writers
develop and
connect ideas
within and
between
paragraphs
Shape and
craft language
within
individual
paragraphs,
and structure
ideas between
them, to
achieve
particular
literary,
transactional
or rhetorical
effects with
purpose and
audience in
mind
Draw on
a range of
paragraph
structures,
links and
combinations
to convey
ideas and
achieve
particular
literary,
transactional
or rhetorical
effects with
purpose and
audience in
mind
Exploit the
full range of
structures,
styles,
links and
combinations
of paragraphs
to achieve
specific
literary,
transactional
or rhetorical
effects with
a planned
impact
according to
task, audience
and purpose
Shape, craft
and adapt
form, layout,
organisation,
presentation
and
combination
of types of
content in
creative,
inventive and
appropriate
ways to
achieve
specific
literary,
transactional
or rhetorical
effects with
a clear task,
audience and
purpose in
mind
Shape the
overall
organisation,
sequence and
presentation
of a text to
convey ideas
clearly and
effectively
Experiment
with different
ways of
presenting
texts, drawing
on a range
of modes,
formats and
media with the
needs of the
reader in mind
Select
the most
appropriate
text format,
layout and
presentation
to create
impact and
engage the
reader
Shape,
craft and
adapt form,
organisation,
layout and
presentation
in a range of
contexts, in
ways that have
a clear purpose
and effect
Exploit the
full range
of potential
forms, types of
organisation,
layout and
presentation
in creative and
appropriate
ways,
maintaining a
clear sense of
purpose and
effect
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About this substrand
•
•
•
•
•
In Key Stage 2 pupils have learned to organise text coherently, ordering paragraphs, and material
within paragraphs, to achieve different effects and to integrate words, images and sounds for different
purposes. This substrand develops pupils’ ability to shape, craft and link paragraphs and to organise
and present texts to achieve a range of effects related to audience and purpose.
Pupils will demonstrate progression through their ability to organise and present effectively
increasingly challenging, complex and extensive material using sophisticated cohesive devices.
Pupils need to develop their understanding of the ways in which writers produce coherent and
cohesive texts through shared reading of a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. Modelled and shared
writing will support pupils in applying this understanding in their own writing. Use of exploratory talk
will help pupils to clarify ideas, and how they should be organised and linked, prior to writing.
This substrand has close links with substrands 7.2 and 8.1.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
------------
2.1 Developing and adapting speaking skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts
5.2 Understanding and responding to ideas, viewpoints, themes and purposes in texts
6.3 Analysing writers’ use of organisation, structure, layout and presentation
7.1 Generating ideas, planning and drafting
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen
8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper and on screen
9.2 Using grammar accurately and appropriately
10.2 Commenting on language use.
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standards for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
•
•
•
using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
writing documents on increasingly complex subjects, adapting them to suit the intended audience and
purpose
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, such as:
-----
produce a web page to add to the school website specifically aimed at current Year 6 pupils about
to join the school
write a report for the school magazine, for example on work experience or a sporting event
write a letter to a newspaper on a topical issue; write a leaflet about bullying to be used in
personal, social and health education lessons; write the storyboard for a film about the school to
be used at open evening
produce a poster persuading pupils to eat healthily to be displayed in the school canteen; write a
book review for display in the library.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Some examples of application of learning to other areas of
the curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Encourage pupils to draw on skills and knowledge learned in ICT and art when working on the
presentation and layout of text, and learning in media studies when working on creating multi-modal
texts.
Ask pupils to bring samples of their writing from other subjects to explore the use of cohesive devices
and ways of organising whole texts and paragraphs within texts. Pupils could work on redrafting their
writing to make it more cohesive and better organised.
Display subject-specific text types annotated to show features relating to coherence, cohesion and
presentation in all classrooms.
Discuss with pupils which planning formats/ways of organising texts are most appropriate to writing in
other subject areas.
Ask pupils to bring a piece of writing or a text from another subject and rewrite it in a different format,
explaining the ways in which the material has been organised and presented differently, for example:
empathetic writing in history could be turned into an information text, or a passage from a geography
text book about an issue such as climate change could be rewritten as an editorial newspaper article.
When working on synthesising information from a range of sources, base the work on sources from
other subject areas, for example: primary and secondary sources about life during the blitz used
in history; documents representing a range of views on the building of a new supermarket used in
geography.
Investigate advice and guidance from professional organisations about presentation in terms of CVs,
applications, or in relation to particular businesses or activities (such as design companies, publishers,
PR organisations and so on).
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8.5 Aspect 1: Cohesion within and between paragraphs
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Make ideas
and purpose
clear by
appropriate
use of
paragraphs
and by
choosing from
a range of
linking words
and phrases
Use a range
of cohesive
devices with
audience and
purpose in
mind, drawing
on experience
of how writers
develop and
connect ideas
within and
between
paragraphs
Shape and
craft language
within
individual
paragraphs,
and structure
ideas between
them, to
achieve
particular
literary,
transactional
or rhetorical
effects with
purpose and
audience in
mind
Draw on
a range of
paragraph
structures,
links and
combinations
to convey
ideas and
achieve
particular
literary,
transactional
or rhetorical
effects with
purpose and
audience in
mind
Exploit the
full range of
structures,
styles,
links and
combinations
of paragraphs
to achieve
specific
literary,
transactional
or rhetorical
effects with
a planned
impact
according to
task, audience
and purpose
Shape, craft
and adapt
form, layout,
organisation,
presentation
and
combination
of types of
content in
creative,
inventive and
appropriate
ways to
achieve
specific
literary,
transactional
or rhetorical
effects with
a clear task,
audience and
purpose in
mind
What to teach
•
•
Cues to start a new paragraph in fiction:
------
change of speaker
change of time
change of place
change of viewpoint or perspective
for effect.
Cues to start a new paragraph in non-fiction:
-----
change of topic
to make a new point within a topic
change of time
change of viewpoint.
How to connect ideas within and between paragraphs
•
Use of connectives to link points of view or pieces of evidence and make the relationship between
them clear, for example:
---
to add: also, furthermore, moreover, and, for example, especially
to contrast: however, nevertheless, on the other hand
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Teaching for progression: Writing
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Teaching for progression: Writing
-------
•
•
•
to concede: although, admittedly
to reinforce: besides, anyway, after all
to explain: for example, in other words
to sequence: first of all, then, next, finally
to indicate cause and effect: and so, because, since, so, consequently
to indicate time (temporal):
··
··
··
subsequent time: just then, next, in due course, in the end, since;
prior time: at first, before, in the beginning, until then, up to that time;
concurrent time: now, in the meantime, simultaneously.
Remind pupils of the kinds of connective used in different kinds of text, for example information
texts often use connectives relating to sequence or cause and effect, or for comparison (then, and so,
similarly) (L10.2).
Remind pupils of the conventions of text types in terms of tense, for example: information and
explanations are usually in the present tense; recounts are usually in the past tense; instructions use
imperative verbs; and discursive and persuasive writing may move from present to past depending on
the use of anecdotes and examples (L10.2).
Remind pupils how to express ideas and views in a consistent style.
Paragraph structure
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Paragraphs usually begin with the topic sentence which introduces what the paragraph is to be about.
Ideas within the paragraph can be sequenced by:
------
order of importance
cause and effects
opinions or points followed by exemplification and explanation, for example point, evidence,
explain (PEE)
comparison and contrast
likely interest levels of the reader.
How to effectively end paragraphs: to conclude; to have impact; to prepare the reader for what follows.
How to vary paragraphs for effect, for example using single sentence paragraphs to clinch an
argument; or contrasting longer and shorter paragraphs to convey tension.
How to vary paragraph length/complexity to match narrative pace or development of an argument.
Repetition of paragraph structure for effect.
How to shape paragraphs for imaginative or rhetorical effect, for example last sentence echoing first,
lengthy single sentence paragraph to convey inner monologue.
How to vary sentence pattern within paragraphs to keep the readers’ attention or to signal shifts in
meaning, for example: changing from the active to the passive voice; using a short sentence at the end
of a reflective paragraph to signal a decision.
To experiment with variation in tense, person (first, second, third), level of formality, use of
inappropriate register for effect (L10.2).
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How to develop ideas in non-fiction
•
•
•
•
•
•
How to write an opening paragraph which introduces the whole topic and may list what the rest of the
text will deal with.
How to write a closing paragraph which may sum up the information, the ideas or the opinions and
may come to a conclusion.
How to conclude without repeating everything from the main body of the argument and without
introducing new ideas which are left undeveloped.
The use of topic sentences followed by supporting evidence or example, and the importance of
making the relationship between them clear.
When writing to argue, contradictory argument may be introduced half-way through a paragraph by
using connectives, such as: however, on the other hand, yet.
To loop back and review frequently what they have written with ‘the eyes of a reader’.
How to develop ideas in formal discursive essays
In writing to argue, persuade, explore:
•
the effective use of rhetorical devices such as:
------
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
repetition of words, phrases and structures
pronouns to involve the intended audience through:
··
··
use of the first person plural
direct address using second person
statistics or quotations
contrast
anecdote: recounting an amusing or interesting incident in order to illustrate a point, for example
giving a specific example of someone’s experience in order to highlight conditions.
How viewpoints should be explained, supported by evidence and then evaluated in a balanced way
offering support for the view and possible opposition to it.
To use linguistic features to indicate balance and weigh up viewpoints, for example connectives to
compare and contrast should be used, such as also, similarly, in the same way, whereas, however, on the
one hand…on the other hand.
To compose an effective introduction that sets out the main issues to be explored, but does not include
evidence or other details; and a conclusion which summarises key points and is similarly impartial, but
which may contain some personal viewpoints.
To use a variety of ways of organising points within paragraphs, revising the use of connectives to
support this.
Select information and detail with the audience in mind, for example quotation.
Use of everyday examples/analogy to illustrate complex ideas.
Use of exploratory talk to clarify complex ideas.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
How to develop ideas in fiction
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
To experiment with using a range of methods for opening their stories (action, dialogue, description).
How to plan for and write effective story endings (including a twist or moral).
How to write closings that refer back to openings.
Building towards a crisis in the narrative.
How to analyse the structure and impact of key parts of a text – opening, climactic points, ending.
How to signal the passing of time at the start of a paragraph, for example: Several days later; Saturday
was the day when it all went wrong.
The role of the narrator in a story and how it is developed. (See substrand 8.1.)
The use of a commentary to guide the reader through a text and the different functions of a
commentary – to inform, recount, give opinion or set the scene. (See substrand 8.1.)
To experiment with using patterns of language to convey themes.
How writers prepare readers for the ending/build up to an unexpected ending.
Experiment with the control of information flow to reader, for example withholding information,
creating false sense of security.
Use of detail to contribute to overall meaning/theme.
To select style and vocabulary to suit changes in viewpoint and to suit the audience and purpose. (See
substrand 8.1).
See Grammar for reading and writing (Ref: 00655-2008PDF-EN-01) for guidance on cohesive devices.
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How to develop use of reference chains
•
Referring back to something or someone mentioned earlier in the text (anaphoric reference) using:
--------
•
•
determiners (another, both, each, every, other, either, neither), for example Two young women went on
holiday to Spain. Both enjoyed themselves.
demonstratives (this/that, these/those), for example The chairman has been awarded a pay rise of
£46,000. This is exorbitant.
certain adjectives (previous, above, former, latter), for example As explained on the previous page…
certain nouns summarising or referring back to ideas under discussion (situation, issue, problem,
attitude), for example The situation you describe does not bode well for the future.
verbs or verb chains which refer back to an earlier part of the text, for example: As has been
mentioned already…
references to pieces of writing (chapter, extract, letter, passage, section, table), for example See the
example in Chapter 1.
By referring forward to things that are about to be mentioned (cataphoric reference) using:
----
•
personal pronouns (you, he, me, my, hers), for example The whining schoolboy went to school. He
hated it.
this and these, for example You might not believe this, but I have never been to Germany.
certain adjectives (following, next, below), for example In the next episode this problem will be
resolved.
a pronoun to introduce a character and delay introducing the name, for example There he was
again, staring at her: John, the bane of Susan’s life.
How to refer back to previous events using shifts of tense, for example Mary sighed. Martin had
disappeared years ago.
How to repeat a word from the last sentence of a paragraph in the first sentence of the next. It might
be the same word or, more usually, a synonym.
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Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building
Paragraphing
Teaching in the context of reading
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•
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•
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•
Show a text on an overhead transparency (OHT), and ask pupils to code the start of each new
paragraph, for example by change of speaker, time or topic.
Use a text where paragraphs have been run together, and ask pupils to identify where paragraphs
should start, and why. Support uncertain pupils by saying how many paragraphs are needed.
Look at the function of the first sentence in each paragraph. How does it alert the reader to the fact
that there has been a shift in the subject matter?
Ask pupils to collect first sentences from paragraphs and write briefly about the way in which they
orientate the reader to the fact that a change has occurred.
Compare the way different fiction texts are paragraphed, for example a Goosebumps title compared to
Dickens. What effect is each writer aiming for?
In non-fiction, identify the way paragraphs signal and reflect the structure of the text. For example, a
history text may give reasons for William the Conqueror’s success in the Battle of Hastings and allocate
one paragraph to each reason. A newspaper report may give an overall account of an event, then
return to the subject from a variety of different news angles.
Analyse the structure of a number of individual paragraphs from fiction and non-fiction, paying
attention to priorities and links within the paragraphs.
Analyse the structure of a number of linked paragraphs from a variety of texts, looking at last and first
sentences for cohesive links.
Use examples of the text types and model annotating for internal paragraph structure and links within
and across paragraphs. Ask pupils to annotate their own examples. For example, discuss the use of
contrastive connectives in a discursive text and how these are used within sentences and paragraphs.
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Teaching in the context of writing
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Having planned a story through shared writing, devise an opening sentence for each paragraph, which
will orientate the reader to the shift in topic, or signal a new development. Expand on one of the more
dramatic paragraphs and ask the class to consider whether it would be appropriate to break up the
paragraph into shorter ones for effect.
Similarly, having planned a non-fiction text, model how to write the opening sentence for each
paragraph.
To accommodate different levels of ability in the class: vary the complexity of the planned text; require
completion of part or the whole of the text; encourage experimentation with different paragraphing
methods to see which is most effective.
Provide a text with missing topic sentences and ask pupils, in pairs, to provide the topic sentences,
making the organisation clear. Their suggestions could be displayed or shown on an OHT.
Invite pupils to cut up their paragraphs into sentences and move them around to evaluate the effect.
Create a starter activity in which pupils have to organise ideas and information into paragraphs,
using header cards for the paragraph headings and smaller cards for the ideas and information to be
included in the paragraphs.
Draw attention to certain features of internal paragraph structure by giving pupils part of a text with,
for example, all the exemplification missing. Pupils then work to fill the gaps. This could be followed by
some discussion of how the exemplification helps to achieve greater clarity for the reader and justifies
the points made.
Assemble a collection of points to synthesise into a paragraph. For example: Harry Potter books are:
---------
hugely popular
funny
about serious themes
about children away from parents
a series, one for each year of Harry’s schooling
sometimes frightening
about public school
unrealistic.
Group the points according to whether they are praise or criticism. Then ask pupils to write the paragraph using comparison as the organising idea.
Give pupils practice in writing single paragraphs with an emphasis on cohesion so that they become
skilled at linking sentences effectively.
Assemble a collection of points (perhaps about texts being studied) to synthesize into a paragraph.
Give groups of pupils different organising principles, for example comparison, order of importance,
level of interest to the audience.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Connecting ideas within and between paragraphs
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•
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•
Use the ‘connectives as signposts’ handout (Handout 3.1 in the Literacy across the curriculum training
file), cut up into small cards and ask pupils to sort the connectives into types.
Ask pupils to highlight the organisational signposts in their partners’ work as part of a plenary activity.
Highlight the connectives in a piece of non-fiction text that is being used for shared reading. Discuss
with the class the function of these words and phrases and the meaning they add.
When demonstrating the writing of non-fiction texts, draw attention to the thinking behind your
choice of connectives and prepositions and say why you choose the words you do. Show how
connectives link ideas and guide the reader through a text.
When pupils join in with the composition in shared writing, ask for alternative connectives and
prepositions to the ones suggested and discuss the consequences of different choices.
Display a paragraph on an OHT or IWB with key connectives and pronouns blanked out. Ask pupils to
suggest suitable words and phrases, and to discuss their effect in ensuring cohesion.
Cut up sentences from a paragraph, and ask pupils to reorder them, in order to focus attention on links
between sentences and use of cohesive devices, such as pronouns.
Support pupils when writing independently by using whole-class or guided group discussions to
generate a list of appropriate connectives, link words and phrases that can be displayed.
Compose a set of instructions to illustrate how to guide the reader through the text, for example how
to play Monopoly. Talk as you compose. Draw pupils’ attention needs to three problems:
----
the boredom of repetition, for example: then you…then you…put it…put it
the she/he problem, if you write instructions in the third person singular, for example the player
puts her/his counter…
how to deal with problems that may arise at any point in the game, for example: if it happens that….
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Developing and applying
Developing ideas in non-fiction
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•
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•
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•
•
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Model the writing of paragraphs which begin with a clear topic sentence making clear what the
paragraph will be about (main point), followed by evidence which is explained (PEE). Modelling should
be followed by pupils practising the technique in the independent section of the lesson.
Start the lesson with a card-sort activity linking topic sentences and evidence, joining the two elements
with an appropriate connective.
Pupils sort viewpoints (given on cards, or from a list they have collected together – perhaps in role) into
‘for’ and ‘against’ categories. They then practise adding connectives to compare and contrast the views.
Give pupils a bank of ten connectives for condition, concession, contrast, exception, similarity or
comparison, and a topic of argument, such as Should mobile phones be banned in school? Ask pupils
to work in pairs to devise one line of argument and build up five connected sentences using the
connectives. Take feedback about the function of connectives, and how they help writers develop their
writing.
Model the writing of an opening paragraph of a discursive text on a topic of interest so that it sets
out the priorities to be discussed. Ask pupils to write subsequent paragraphs and then model the
conclusion.
Give pupils a discursive text without an introduction or conclusion and ask them to compose it.
As part of a shared session, show how introductions often summarise what is to follow in the
subsequent paragraphs: display a prepared introduction and ask pupils to suggest what topic
sentences might be used in the rest of the text.
Give pupils the main body of an argument without its introduction. Through demonstration, highlight
the topic sentences and use them to construct a clear introductory paragraph and a conclusion
which summarises key ideas/information. Provide another text and ask pupils to write the missing
introduction and conclusion.
Use guided writing sessions to help pupils choose strong opening sentences (such as rhetorical
questions) and a strong ending (such as question, plea or exclamation) for their own writing.
Model writing arguments in two styles: one in which the main argument is stated first, and a second
in which the main argument is stated last. The decisions for organising them in this way could be
articulated and discussed with the class. Ask pupils to experiment with one of these approaches in the
text they are composing.
Look at introductions and conclusions to arguments. Highlight repeated phrases/ideas, where the
conclusion revisits and rewords the ideas in the introduction. Model using this in writing an argument,
for example give the introduction, highlight the key points, and then model writing the conclusion,
rewording the highlighted points. Give pupils other introductions and ask them to do the same. For
less-able pupils, give a paragraph with the key points already underlined.
Use the plenary to highlight examples of effective introductions or conclusions: pupils could present
their work with annotations, or the class could do this together.
Use speaking and listening activities to prepare for writing. For example, pupils argue a case for or
against a controversial topic, developing ideas using pair and small group activities so that the content
is fully explored and rehearsed prior to organising the ideas into a piece of writing.
Give pupils a newspaper article about a controversial issue, for example whale hunting. Using card
prompts that list techniques for developing ideas in an argument text, pupils work in pairs/small
groups to identify key points in the development of the argument and comment on them. (Card
prompts could include: logical connectives, causal connectives, counter-arguments, short sentences for
emphasis, and so on).
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•
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Set up response partners. Get pupils to devise questions based on their intentions when writing, for
example in an instructional piece: Can you perform the task? Were you confused at any point?
Use peer assessment and talk-partners as a way of enabling dialogue and discussion about decisions
writers have made to ensure cohesion within their writing. Talk-partners can use the stem: I linked this
sentence to the last/next by… and I linked this paragraph to the last/next by…. Extend this, using stems
such as This paragraph starts/ends well because….
Developing ideas in fiction
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Questions that are useful to generate response during any stage in the writing could include the
following.
-------
How do you see your story or character developing?
Has the audience or genre changed?
Would that character really do that?
Are there any unsolved questions for the reader?
Are you satisfied with the ending? Is the reader?
Does the opening hook the reader? How?
Select a story idea and model writing an opening to the story. Experiment with structuring different
openings, for instance dialogue, action or description. Pupils can then consider which is the best
and why, for example: Is this opening interesting? Do I want to read on? Can I picture the setting or
character?
Discuss a range of ways to convey the passage of time in narrative writing, for example using one
paragraph or temporal connectives such as Three weeks later…. Provide pupils with a handout to use
when writing their own narratives.
Compare the opening and ending of a story. Text-mark to show links between them, for example
words and phrases in the ending which remind you of the opening. Establish questions or problems
presented in the opening and link with answers/resolutions in the ending. Provide pupils with
examples of a number of story openings and endings and ask them to match the correct openings to
the endings.
Give groups a story opening. Highlight clues to how the story might develop, then ask them to use
these clues to draft the ending of the story. In the plenary, compare endings and establish the clues
used to write them. Does the ending satisfy the reader? Is the complication resolved? Is there a twist
or moral?
Some pupils, in particular those who are learning English as an additional language, might require
scaffolds, for example a writing frame relevant to the written task set, perhaps organised in such a way
that a collaboratively devised plan is shown; sentence starters to demonstrate the use of connectives or
formal expression; questions and other prompts; word bank (for example, connectives).
Give pupils a piece of writing including inconsistencies, for example inadvertent changes of tense,
changes from the third to the first person or use of an inappropriate register. Ask pupils to identify the
inconsistencies and explain them.
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Securing and extending
Cohesive devices
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Use shared reading to explore how points of view, themes, issues or ideas are built up throughout
a piece of non-fiction, highlighting all references in one paragraph that refer to the aspect being
explored. For instance, look at an autobiographical account of a famous sporting moment such as
the winning drop-goal in the Rugby Union World Cup (2003), or the England cricket team’s victorious
test match at Edgbaston in 2005. Identify all parts of a paragraph that reveal a particular point of
view or idea. Pupils can work through the next passage independently, highlighting examples and
commenting on how ideas are built up. Take feedback to draw out the key language features a writer
can use to build up ideas, for example repetition, exemplification or use of reference chains. Pupils
can also explore the use of temporal connectives in this kind of writing. Ask pupils to review a piece of
autobiography they have written and redraft it including use of these techniques.
As a starter, focus upon linking paragraphs by using domino cards. On the left side of the card write
the beginning of the paragraph, and on the right side write the ending. Pairs of pupils play dominoes
with the cards or work together to arrange all the dominoes in the best order. This could be made more
challenging by giving the pupils only one side of the domino filled in, and asking them to fill in the
other side, in order to make a link. Pupils could then compare their different versions.
Explore with pupils the beginnings and endings of paragraphs in some fiction and non-fiction texts.
This will involve revising the concept of the topic sentence and considering whether topic sentences
always come first, and investigating paragraph conclusions to discover techniques for emphasis and
impact, and ways of preparing the reader for what is to follow.
Show pupils how to use synonyms for words in the first and last sentences of consecutive paragraphs,
for example trees and woodland when writing about the need to conserve forests.
Show pupils how to use peer marking to identify the links their partners have made in their writing,
highlighting connectives in one colour, deliberate repetition in another, and synonyms, pronouns
and reference chains in another. Following this, they can set a target for improvement on one of the
three strands of cohesive devices. Writing should then be returned to the author to be edited in an
alternative colour to show where amendments have been made.
Give pupils an opening sentence that uses cataphoric reference, for example He always ate breakfast
alone. Ask pupils to compose the next sentence, which should introduce the character by name and
provide more detail. Share and compare.
Ask pupils to identify the use of cohesive devices in Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech,
for example use of repetition, use of pronouns, biblical allusions/imagery. Then ask them to write a
persuasive speech using similar techniques, including the use of allusions/ imagery as a cohesive device.
Through modelled and shared writing of a complex text (for example, interweaving of report,
comment and reflection in a newspaper report) experiment with a variety of cohesive devices. Ask
pupils, either individually or in pairs, to review and annotate a similar text.
Paragraph structure
•
•
•
•
Generate a paragraph about someone agonising over a dilemma, drawing on sentence structure to
mirror thoughts about each option, and concluding with a sentence which conveys a decision. Ask
pupils to write the second paragraph introducing another dilemma.
Give pupils an extract from a fiction text in which tension is built up with the paragraph breaks removed.
Ask them to divide it into paragraphs of varying length to contribute to the build up of tension.
Analyse the structures of a selection of paragraphs from different text types. Present these as formulas
for pupils and ask them to include in the text thay are composing.
Experiment using ICT with different ways of organising information within a paragraph and comment
on the most successful.
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Developing ideas in formal discursive essays
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Encourage extended spoken responses which justify and clarify ideas as a prelude to writing.
Demonstrate the writing of one part of an essay, with a clear focus on the conventions, for example:
introduction or conclusion; including integration of quotations; explaining and evaluating a point.
Pupils should continue composing the text using the same techniques in the independent section of
the lesson.
Give pupils an essay which is a one-sided argument. Ask them to cut it up and write additional sections
to insert to make it balanced. Then consider how to link the sections.
Use shared reading to explore literary reviews from newspapers and ask pupils to annotate them to
show use of cohesive devices and how the reviewer has justified his/her stance. Then ask pupils to
write a review of the class novel. In the plenary, use an enlarged copy of pupils’ work to identify the
features focused on during the lesson, for example the way evidence has been integrated, the use of
connectives to link points.
Give pupils an essay title, such as, ‘How does Robert Swindells create tension in Stone Cold?’ As a
class, agree on five or six key points you would wish to make. Organise pupils into groups and give
each group a key point. Ask them to draft a paragraph, including textual references that develop
and support their point. Put the paragraphs together to create a class essay. Ask pupils to add an
introduction and conclusion.
Developing ideas in fiction
•
Model, during shared reading of an initial chapter of a novel, how to trace patterns of language use.
Annotate to show the repetition of key words, for example abstract nouns and images. Ask pupils to
work in pairs to identify the themes they think will emerge. Compare this with an initial chapter from
another novel and ask pupils to add to their list of possible themes, creating a ‘theme’ bank. Ask them
to choose one of the themes and write the opening of a story including key words and images related
to the theme.
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8.5 Aspect 2: Form, organisation, layout and presentation
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Shape the
overall
organisation,
sequence
and
presentation
of a text to
convey ideas
clearly and
effectively
Experiment
with
different
ways of
presenting
texts,
drawing
on a range
of modes,
formats and
media with
the needs of
the reader in
mind
Select
the most
appropriate
text format,
layout and
presentation
to create
impact and
engage the
reader
Shape,
craft and
adapt form,
organisation,
layout and
presentation
in a range
of contexts,
in ways that
have a clear
purpose and
effect
Exploit the
full range
of potential
forms,
types of
organisation,
layout and
presentation
in creative
and
appropriate
ways,
maintaining
a clear sense
of purpose
and effect
Shape, craft
and adapt
form, layout,
organisation,
presentation
and
combination
of types of
content in
creative,
inventive and
appropriate
ways to
achieve
specific
literary,
transactional
or rhetorical
effects with
a clear task,
audience
and purpose
in mind
What to teach
•
•
•
•
•
•
Revise the overall text structure of the different text types, for example: the stepped nature of
instructions; the temporal structure of a recount; the importance of prioritising information within an
explanation or information text.
That texts can be organised in a variety of ways: in chronological order; by moving from the general to
the particular; the simple to the complex; the external to the internal (moving from the external view
or scene setting to the internal response or personal view in narrative); problem to solution; question
and answer; claim and counter claim; hypothetical and real; cause and effect; comparison and contrast;
by order of importance; in order of likely interest to the reader; establishing shot to close-up (in moving
image texts and some narratives).
How to use a variety of techniques in planning their own writing, for example: highlighting or
numbering notes; using planning formats such as paragraph boxes; categorising information;
organising writing under topic sentences.
Match the styles of planning to content and purpose: ‘for and against’ columns, especially when writing
discursive essays; sequencing for instructional writing; storyboarding for narrative or any writing which
involves a sequence; charts, flow charts and diagrams.
How to revise the structure of their writing to improve the linking of ideas across the text.
The ways in which printed media and electronic media such as websites use a range of graphical
features to guide readers through the text and create effects, for example: headings and subheadings;
illustrations and pictures, font size, style and colour; graphs, tables, diagrams, bullet points, italics,
capitals, underlining, hyperlinks, colour, netiquette. See Grammar for reading and writing for further
guidance on the use of graphical features as cohesive devices.
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How to create meaning through the combination of words, images and sounds in multi-modal texts
(texts which combine two or more modes of communication, for example: newspapers, magazines,
leaflets, websites, moving image texts, CD-ROMS, comics, picture books).
The organisation and conventions of different text formats (for example, advertisements, newspaper
front pages, web pages, formal letters).
Experiment with the ways in which meanings are changed when information is presented in different
forms or transposed into different media.
In non-fiction writing
•
•
•
•
How to select and organise ideas to fit the audience and purpose.
To write in logical, easily followed stages with an understanding of the needs of the reader when
writing to inform or explain.
How to use notes in order to shape information from a range of sources into a coherent plan.
How to present a balanced analysis by comparing and contrasting, or arguing for and against, all the
way through, taking one aspect of the topic at a time, rather than writing about one viewpoint and
then the other.
In fiction writing
•
•
•
•
Planning a story with an emphasis on how the story will unfold and having a clear idea of how the story
will end.
How to include a complication and resolution in order to hold the interest of the audience.
How the genre/form of a text can relate to the structure, for example detective story or romance.
How writers can use a variety of structural techniques – flashback, frame device.
(Fairy tales and narrative poetry are particularly effective in looking at story structure, as in this genre
each stage is clearly signalled. Short stories are also very useful, particularly when looking at endings, for
example Roald Dahl’s Lamb to the Slaughter.)
•
•
To experiment with story structure, for example: multiple plot lines; using multiple narration, linking
structure to perspective; linking structural choices to theme/purpose; organising material so as to
create dramatic irony.
To experiment with organisational conventions, for example a detective story where the murderer is
revealed at the start.
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Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building
Planning/structuring texts
•
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•
•
In preparation for non-fiction writing, model the process of gathering ideas, deciding which ones to
keep and which to reject; deciding on an organising principle, for example, most important point first,
or most telling point last; opening statement and conclusion; one point and illustrations of that per
paragraph. Model how to organise the material.
Suggest and teach a variety of ways of planning appropriate for different tasks, for example:
storyboarding (non-fiction texts); columns for and against or similar and different; thought showering
and then numbering in order of priority or ordering into a flow diagram.
After modelling a variety of planning diagrams, ask pupils to represent the subject matter of a
non-fiction text in diagrammatic form. Consider together the relative merits of different types of
diagram, such as a pyramid to show an argument building up, a circle to show a cyclical process in an
explanation, a flow chart for a chronological text.
Investigate the structure of a persuasive text by asking pupils to write a single-phrase subheading for
each main section, or by way of a sequencing exercise.
As a starter, provide samples of writing organised in a variety of ways for pupils to match to
descriptions of the kind of organisation employed, for example chronological, problem and solution,
cause and effect, and then take feedback on how the decisions were made.
In groups, ask pupils to draft paragraphs onto separate pieces of paper. Allow them to experiment with
ordering the paragraphs in a variety of ways before sticking them onto a large piece of paper. They
should leave gaps between the paragraphs in order to write in connections or to amend the first or last
sentences of the paragraphs.
Structuring fiction
•
•
•
Prepare, for shared reading, a short story or story plan that lacks a complication, crisis and resolution.
Make a list of all possible scenarios and model including these in the story.
During or after reading short stories and novels, ask pupils to produce a ‘map’ of the story structure.
They can then use these maps as the basis for structuring their own writing.
Similarly, pupils could ‘map’ the structure of a short film and then produce a storyboard of 16–24
frames for their own short film, based on a similar structure.
Presentation and layout
•
•
•
Offer two versions of a poster – the draft containing textual information in a straightforward way and
the final version with improved use of layout, font, colour, style of illustration and so on. Annotate the
second to identify the changes and discuss its success in terms of purpose and audience. Follow up
by displaying the unformatted text of a simple non-fiction text, such as a publicity leaflet for a tourist
attraction on a computer screen, and ask pupils to format it helpfully, adding headings and illustrations.
Pupils could then be invited to annotate each others’ work; successful efforts could be shared on an
OHT or interactive whiteboard during the plenary.
In preparation for producing an advertisement, consider how:
----
colour and pictures are used in a print advertisement to persuade, as well as the written text
music, image and voice-over combine to persuade in a TV advertisement
the music in a radio advertisement persuades.
Ask pupils to create an advertisement for a spot cream aimed at teenagers, either in printed form
or for radio or TV (they could produce the storyboard or script for these or actually produce the
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advertisement). They should ‘pitch’ their advertisement to the directors of the marketing company
(the class or an unfamiliar audience role-playing the directors), explaining their use of presentational/
organisational features.
Model and use shared writing to create a PowerPoint presentation and speaker’s notes to pitch a novel
to a potential publisher – see ICT supporting English (Ref: 0109-2004) for detailed guidance.
Ask pupils (working in groups) to make a sound track for the ‘silent’ version of a short film. They could
write a voice-over or script a dialogue and/or describe the kind of sound effects and music they might
use. If you have time you could ask them to record their own version and discuss: How does adding
sound alter how the film works? (The British Film Institute’s ‘Real shorts’ and ‘Screening shorts’ would be
useful for this activity.)
Ask pupils to compare instructions for a variety of computer games in terms of how the presentation,
organisation and layout contribute to the clarity and effectiveness of the instructions. Ask pupils to
produce an instruction booklet for another computer game.
Developing and applying
Planning/structuring texts
•
•
•
•
Model constructing a plan around questions to which the anticipated reader would like answers, by
sharing the title of a text with the pupils, and inviting them to construct the questions that they would
like answered.
As a starter, give pupils topic sentences from an essay, cut up into individual strips, and ask them
to restructure the essay as quickly as they can. Take brief feedback, asking pupils to state how they
decided on the order of their topic sentences.
Use examples of the text types and model annotating for overall structure. For example, use a
discursive text and look at the way it is organised: from the introduction, setting out the argument,
through to a conclusion drawing the argument together. Ask pupils to annotate their own examples.
Use ‘cut’, ‘copy’ and ‘paste’, ‘select all’ or text boxes to organise and reorganise blocks of text.
Structuring fiction
•
•
As a starter activity, read out opening paragraphs of stories and ask pupils to identify the genres. In
the main part of the lesson, discuss the plot conventions of the different genres. Give groups one of
the opening paragraphs and ask them to plan the rest of the story according to the conventions of the
genre.
After having modelled rewriting the beginning and end of a short story where the structure is
changed, go on to consider the effect upon the reader and how this has been altered by the changes.
For example, a chronological story could be changed to one with a flashback.
Presentation and layout
•
•
•
•
Look at the way in which headings and subheadings are used in reports. Give pupils an unformatted
report and ask them to write in headings and subheadings.
Look at the ways in which emotive pictures are used in charity advertising. Then ask pupils to produce
a leaflet persuading teenagers not to smoke, including the use of emotive pictures.
Analyse a very short extract from a TV advertisement, discussing the ways in which sound, dialogue,
camera shot, mise-en-scène (sets, props, actors, costume, lighting) contribute to the persuasive effect.
Pupils then write a storyboard for the opening shot of their own advertisement and explain how they
have used the different elements to persuade.
Use free software such as Movie Maker, Photo Story 3 and Audacity to experiment with creating multimodal texts.
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Securing and extending
Planning/structuring texts
•
•
•
•
•
Model various ways of organising formal essays, for example either by stating the most significant
points first: by chronology; by building up to a particularly important, emotive or convincing point at
the end. After modelling, the merits of the various alternatives should be discussed with pupils.
Teach pupils how to develop their own writing frames for particular responses. This focuses attention
on the organisation of the ideas. Stress that this can be a helpful strategy to employ when preparing
for examinations.
Look at examples of CVs to see the different ways in which they can be organised. Ask pupils to
generate information that they would write in a CV and then to decide on how to organise the
information.
Use a shared writing session to show pupils how to marshal and categorise information under
headings, and to organise and shape into a coherent plan. Provide sets of cards with diverse
information and ask pupils to discuss in pairs/groups before making their own decisions about
grouping information, selecting only what is relevant to a particular purpose and audience.
Model the use of appropriate planning strategies for formal essays, for example writing points on cards
and grouping them into the different viewpoints to ensure the response will provide a balance. Some
points should be identified as major points to be explored in stages, and others as smaller points that
can be integrated with others.
Structuring fiction
•
•
•
•
Give each group a genre as a basis for a story. In groups, pupils plan the basic storyline and record it
on five separate cards or on whiteboards. Experiment with changing order and consider a variety of
narrative perspectives. On separate cards plan a subplot and consider how this could fit into the main
storyline. In the plenary, review and discuss the story structures.
Give a brief story outline to the class. Divide the class into groups and give each group a different
question. For example, how could another plot line be introduced? How could a flashback be included?
How could multiple narration be introduced? How could foreshadowing be used? How could a frame
device be used? Take feedback from groups. Pupils then use the ideas discussed to write the plan for
the story.
When studying a class novel, ask pupils to complete a tension graph to consider how and why the
writer builds and resolves tension at certain points in the text. Having planned a story with more than
one plot line, ask pupils to plot the events on a tension graph.
Having read a story, ask pupils to write a plan for the same story written in epistolary form. How would
the structure change? What would be the effect on the reader?
Transforming information
•
•
•
Take one text and format it in a number of ways. For example, download the text of a publicity leaflet
and reformat it to look like the opening of a novel, a newspaper or a letter, and so on. Ask pupils to
decide which format is most helpful and appropriate.
Give pupils a text to write and an inappropriate layout template to use, for example tell them to write
a recipe and make it look like a novel. Then invite them to discuss why the template is unhelpful to a
reader.
Compare the structure of a film with that of the novel or story it is based on. What is left out or
sequenced differently – why? Ask pupils to storyboard the opening of a film based on a story or novel
they have read.
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•
•
•
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Distribute campaign leaflets on a controversial issue, for example seal culling. Ask groups to compare
the emotions and values endorsed by each text and how these are enhanced by the organisation,
layout and presentation. Then ask pupils to transform an information text on another issue, for
example a fact sheet about a charity into campaign material – what is the effect on organisation and
presentation of the material? Pupils could also write or plan a discursive piece on the same issue.
Provide groups with two extracts from adult encyclopaedias on the same topic. The challenge is
to use the information to create a page for a non-fiction book aimed at seven-year-olds. Model the
process of reshaping it, highlighting key points, and the use of bullet points to break down the text into
manageable chunks. Pupils should consider how pictures and other presentational features could be
used.
Ask pupils to search for information on a chosen topic and then to combine their findings using
PowerPoint. Pupils should fill in a spider diagram to represent the information they have collected and
are going to use in their presentation. Model taking text, pictures and/or sound from off-line folders
where they have been stored and importing them into five PowerPoint slides: one introductory slide
plus one slide on each of the subtopics identified in previous lessons. (See the ICT supporting English
materials for detailed guidance.)
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8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper
and on screen
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Make
improvements
to a piece of
writing as it
progresses by
developing
techniques
for editing,
proofreading
and making
revisions
Apply skills in
editing and
proofreading
in a range of
different texts
and contexts,
reviewing and
revising
writing as it
progresses
Evaluate the
effectiveness
and likely
impact on
the reader of
their writing
by using
the editing,
proofreading
and reviewing
process, and
revise as
necessary
Review and
revise writing
successfully
and
independently,
based on
evaluation of
their writing
and careful
consideration
of the potential
impact of any
revisions on
the reader
Review and
revise their
work when
undertaking
a range of
written texts,
including
complex and
challenging
ones, with
insight and
independence,
and make
considered
choices about
content and
structure, and
their impact
on the reader
Review and
revise, with
independence
and insight,
a range of
complex and
challenging
texts, and
make
considered
choices about
overall content
and structure,
and their
impact on the
reader
About this substrand
•
•
•
•
•
This substrand builds, develops and extends Key Stage 2 study where pupils select from a wide range
of ICT programs to present texts effectively and communicate information and ideas. Progress here
is distinguished by pupils’ ability to apply editing and proofreading skills to a range of increasingly
complex and challenging texts with growing confidence and independence. They will be required to
revise their work with a clear sense of audience, showing a keen understanding of how revision of style,
content and structure will impact on the reader, shaping and crafting their writing for maximum effect.
Redrafting should be purposeful and, as such, will require explicit teaching to ensure that pupils do not
move directly from drafting to proofreading, missing out the essential editing and revision stages.
Pupils will need increasing opportunities to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and develop
independence as they revise their work, shaping and crafting their writing for maximum effect.
Pupils need to apply the skills of proofreading and editing to all writing tasks across the curriculum and
therefore all teachers should take responsibility for explicitly teaching these skills and creating regular
opportunities for this to take place.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
--------
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen
8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact
8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
8.5 Structuring, organising and presenting texts in a variety of forms on paper and on screen
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
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---
9.2 Using grammar accurately and appropriately
9.3 Reviewing spelling and increasing knowledge of word derivations, patterns and families.
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standard for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
•
•
•
•
using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
checking work for accuracy
writing documents on increasingly complex subjects, adapting them to suit the intended audience and
purpose
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, for example proofread and edit a letter to be sent to a visiting author.
Some examples of application of this learning to other areas of
the curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
•
Display strategies for proofreading and sample annotated texts showing revision and editing in all
subject areas.
Ensure all teachers create regular opportunities for pupils to revise their work in class and respond to
teachers’ corrections and suggestions for improving work.
Initiate discussions with pupils focusing on: Why is accuracy in writing important? In what parts of the
‘real’ world is this particularly important? So that pupils understand the relevance of this skill across the
curriculum, ask them to consider why editing content, structure and style is important in subjects other
than English.
Remind pupils to apply their knowledge of proofreading strategies in other subjects and to refer to the
‘Ten top tips’ (see page 100).
Ask pupils to identify the particular errors they make in different types of writing across the curriculum;
ask them to select a piece of personal writing from any area of the curriculum and to annotate it,
showing where they have noted and corrected errors; discuss the annotated versions in English with a
response partner and explore strategies for future improvement.
Remind pupils to set their own proofreading and editing targets in all subject areas.
What to teach
•
•
•
•
Systems for proofreading their work.
Different reading strategies, selecting the most appropriate for revision purposes: skimming, scanning,
close reading.
The habit of critical rereading, checking their writing frequently as they draft and to expect to make
changes.
The difference between proofreading, editing and revision.
---
Proofreading: checking for technical errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Editing: annotating a text in preparation for change in terms of style, content and structure, for
example using text-marking.
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•
•
•
•
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Revision: making the changes that have been identified at the editing stage, including checking for
fluency, and possible further editing.
How to use dictionaries, thesauruses and spellcheckers.
How use ICT to make improvements more easily.
How the appearance of the text needs to be matched in terms of its legibility and suitability to its
purpose and audience, including appropriate layout and use of ICT.
A variety of ways of putting distance between themselves and what they have written so that they can
view their writing as readers.
An understanding of the expectations readers bring to texts of various kinds.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building
Analysing accuracy, improving work
Start by reviewing and recalling some of the features that help make writing clear to the reader:
... at whole text level
Ideas are organised into paragraphs
Related points are grouped together
The piece has a good beginning and ending
Cohesion helps the ideas link together
… at sentence level
A variety of sentences adds interest
Complex sentences are used to combine ideas and
add meaning
Punctuation is used to help the reader follow meaning
through the use of: commas, semicolons, colons,
speech marks, ellipses, dashes and parentheses
… at word level
Word choice, for example the use of correct terms,
adjectives, adverbs, phrases to add interest and
variety and strong verbs
Accurate punctuation, including apostrophes
Accurate spelling
•
•
•
•
Display the ‘Ten top tips’ shown in the table and ask pupils to indicate which of the tips they have used
in a recent piece of writing in English and across the curriculum. ‘Yes/No’ cards, whiteboards or a show
of hands could be used for this activity.
Raise awareness of personal errors by asking pupils to note the range of errors they have personally
corrected in a piece of work, and the errors corrected by others including the teacher or a partner. What
kinds of error were the most common? Do they make the same errors in different types of writing?
Discuss which errors they found most difficult to spot and/or correct.
Give the pupils five minutes to list the common errors that they have discovered in their work in pairs.
They are then to suggest ways of avoiding the error or a rule to remember.
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101
Discuss suggestions and devise a support prompt sheet: ‘Ten top tips for writing more accurately’. Ask
pupils to make a prioritised list of ‘Five things I need to do to make my writing more accurate’.
Proofreading to improve accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar
•
•
Set pupils the task as a class to reread their own writing, out loud to themselves, in order to read their
writing without skim-reading.
Ensure pupils know about a range of strategies for proofreading their writing by modelling and
demonstrating proofreading, for example:
----
•
----
reading aloud, focusing on one sentence at a time to check for end of sentences; use a piece of
paper or the facility on the interactive whiteboard to cover all but the line being read;
read for full stops and capital letters first and then go back and read again for commas and other
punctuation
reading backwards to check for a word out of context (this is a useful strategy to check for
spellings)
using spell check software
referring to a checklist specific to the task
using different colour highlighters to identify errors in a first draft.
Ensure there are planned opportunities for pupils to independently proofread and edit their work in
class. Allow pupils time to do this before they hand in work for marking.
Editing writing to improve content, style and structure
•
•
•
As a starter, divide the class up into small groups and provide each group with the same notes on a
topic. Each group should then be given a ‘purpose’ and an ‘audience’ card and their task is to turn the
notes into a short passage with the purpose and audience in mind, for example: give all groups notes
about the effects of smoking; purposes could include imagine, entertain, inform, argue, persuade,
describe and audiences could include teenagers, children, informed adults, experts. Each group then
has to edit another group’s version to improve the content in relation to purpose and audience.
Set up a similar activity, using ICT. One piece of pupil’s writing is loaded/displayed onto all computers
and pairs of pupils change the order of the paragraphs in order to make the writing more appropriate
for the stated audience and purpose. To extend this, ask pupils to move from one computer to the next
to consider changes made by the previous pair; use ‘track changes’ to change the style so that it meets
the needs of a different purpose and audience.
Use ICT to support peer work: use ‘track changes’ or ‘insert/comment’ to comment on a partner’s
writing and to self-review, explaining revision choices in style and structure; use the undo function to
experiment with words and phrases; use a bank of phrases that affect the piece differently, using cut,
copy, and paste to select and draft.
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•
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Teaching for progression: Writing
During the independent part of the lesson, distribute copies of one pupil’s writing to the whole class,
and ask small groups/pairs to cut up and reorder the essay, with a particular effect in mind. Allow
groups to compare and evaluate their versions. Finally, select one or two versions to share with the
whole class, perhaps during the plenary. Note advice on a separate flipchart to act as criteria for later
lessons.
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Developing and applying
Analysing accuracy, improving work
•
•
•
Use guided sessions to support different ability groups as they revise and evaluate their work for
impact, encouraging them towards greater independence.
After having modelled rewriting the beginning and end of a short story where the structure and/or
viewpoint is changed, go on to consider the effect upon the reader and how this has been altered
by the changes. For example, a chronological story could be changed to one with a flashback; or a
story with third person narrative changed to first person narrative. Ask pupils to apply one of these
approaches to the narrative they are writing.
Model a short piece of writing down one side of the board or overhead transparency, and then go back
and improve it on the other side, making reasons for changes explicit. Pupils apply the same approach
to a section of a text they have previously written.
Proofreading to improve accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar
•
•
•
•
Explain that one of the greatest difficulties when writing is trying to focus on ‘the what’ (content) and
‘the how’ (text construction and technical accuracy) at the same time. State that, because of this, they
will be working in pairs, allowing one member of the pair to focus on the content, while the other
partner focuses on the technical accuracy. Emphasise that they will need to swap these roles during the
lesson.
Develop the above activity further by differentiating the activity. Put pupils into groups or pairs, and
provide them with a corrupted text which highlights their own particular issues: one group may
concentrate on spelling; another may be revising a text with too many noun phrases or a lack of
powerful verbs and so on. Ensure an effective plenary where each pupil has to identify what they have
learned from the activity.
Organise a jigsaw activity for proofreading. Expert groups each focus on a different element of
proofreading. Home groups collate the information.
Encourage pupils to use ICT tools to help them with the revision of their work, for example: tools for
editing and redrafting such as ‘undo’, ‘track changes’; opportunities for highlighting changes, using the
‘insert comment’ facility to support annotation and personal comments.
Editing writing to improve content, style and structure
•
•
Share a piece of a pupil’s writing on screen and paper and remind all pupils of the intended purpose
and audience. Use increasingly challenging and complex texts to explore. Ask pupils to state where
the writing is most appropriate for the purpose and audience and also to suggest ways of making it
more effective. Discuss and select ideas offered, justifying selections clearly and marking them on
the whiteboard. Pupils could go on to work in pairs on a piece of their own writing, in a similar way,
ensuring that they are able to justify the choices and changes made.
Show an example of a poorly drafted story. Draw attention to the structure and layout of the
story, paying particular attention to the opening paragraph, which should ‘hook the reader’, the
development of the ideas, the use of topic sentences and the style of writing. In pairs pupils work to
revise and improve the writing.
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•
•
•
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Ask pupils to work on a piece of persuasive non-fiction, editing it for revisions and making suggestions,
for example:
Make more convincing
Include quotations and statistical evidence
Make more interesting
Add humour
Make more sophisticated
Include more sentence variety; add hyperbole
Set up a newspaper activity with different groups responsible for drafting articles for publication;
create an editing team of more-able pupils whose job it is to edit submissions from each group; they
then choose one group’s contributions to show to the class, explaining the revisions made to improve
the impact on the reader.
During the independent section of the lesson, provide each pupil with some cut-out ‘thought bubbles’.
Pupils place (or stick) these bubbles on their work in various places (chosen by the teacher or the pupil)
and write what they expect the reader to be thinking/feeling at that point. For example, I want the
reader to feel sad and angry…. A partner is asked to review the work and to confirm (or not) the writer’s
expectations; alternatively complete as a screen activity with pupils using ‘insert/comment’.
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Securing and extending
Proofreading to improve accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar
•
•
•
•
•
Continue to encourage the use of dictionaries and thesauruses, but increasingly not simply as a check
for accuracy, but as a means of reflecting on the different meanings alternative choices of words,
structures or punctuation will bring.
Create opportunities for peer review and revision so that pupils pay close attention to detail in a
partner’s piece of work.
Ask pupils to type in the first and last paragraph of an extended piece of writing and to use spelling
and grammar check on both – this can reveal to pupils the issues of technical and style consistency
from the beginning to the end of a piece.
When marking a piece of continuous writing, put a square around one paragraph. Return the work at
the start of a lesson, and ask pupils to write the paragraph again with a particular focus, for example
rewrite the paragraph to include more or less specialised language, at least two complex sentences, a
simile or longer noun phrase and so on. Pupils could go on to swap work with a partner and consider
which version is more effective for the original purpose and audience, and to say why.
As pupils are writing independently, ask them to stop at the end of each paragraph and to read back
over their work slowly and carefully. They should make at least one improvement each time, but state
clearly whether alterations should be in order to improve the style or to improve accuracy.
Editing writing to improve content, style and structure
•
•
•
•
•
Establish a practice whereby pupils indicate in the margin where they are most happy with a piece of
work and why, and similarly, to mark the places where they are least happy and to explain why. They
then review these sections later with a partner, with the teacher or independently.
Devise starter activities where pupils have to proofread and revise their writing under strict time
constraints; practice this skill at regular intervals as preparation for GCSE.
After marking and reflection ask pupils to set their own curricular target, for example: I must check my
writing for the mistakes I commonly make; expect more-able pupils to identify these by text type.
Establish the idea that increasingly sophisticated methods of tracking content changes will be
necessary as texts become more complex and developed; thus, they may need several versions of a file
(see references earlier to ‘track changes’) or separate sets of notes on changes proposed and adopted.
Provide opportunities to look at texts from literary and more functional sources which have
undergone significant redrafting, whether from the literary heritage (such as Wilfred Owen’s redrafted
manuscripts) or from contemporary sources, such as writers’ blogs in which they indicate the revisions
they have made.
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9 Conventions: drawing on
conventions and structures
107
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Understand
the
conventions
of standard
English
and how to
use them
consistently in
their writing
Understand
the
significance
and
importance of
conventional
standard
English, the
ways in which
writers use
non-standard
forms in
specific
contexts for
particular
effects, and
how to use
standard and
non-standard
English when
appropriate
in their own
writing
Write fluently
and sustain
standard
English in wide
and varied
texts and
contexts, and
for a range of
purposes and
audiences
Write fluent,
sustained
standard
English in
a range of
familiar and
unfamiliar
contexts, and
for a variety of
purposes and
audiences
Use degrees of
formality in a
range of texts
according
to context,
purpose and
audience
Draw on
knowledge
of how and
why writers
use varying
degrees of
formality and
informality
to make
appropriate
choices of style
and register
in their own
writing
Understand
the range of
formal and
informal
styles used
by writers,
and ways to
deploy them
appropriately
in their own
writing to
enhance and
emphasise
meaning
and create a
wide range of
effects with
task, purpose
and reader in
mind
Shape
responses
from readers
appropriately
by selecting
formal and
informal
registers or
standard and
non-standard
forms for
precise and
deliberate
effects with
task, purpose
and reader in
mind
© Crown copyright 2008
Year 11
Extension
Shape,
craft and
experiment
with a range
of appropriate
standard and
non-standard
forms in order
to achieve
original and
inventive
effects and
impact in a
wide variety of
texts
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About this substrand
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
At Key Stage 2 pupils are taught the conventions of standard English (SE) grammar and vocabulary
so that they can progress into Year 7 using it in formal writing and showing an awareness of the
differences between spoken and written language.
This substrand develops that understanding, requiring pupils to demonstrate their ability to make
conscious choices about vocabulary and language structure in order to vary the formality of their
writing according to purpose, audience and task. It is further distinguished by their ability to use the
conventions of SE appropriately and to write in sustained SE on increasingly challenging subjects and
in a wide range of contexts.
This substrand is not concerned with notions of correctness or wrongness, but merely appropriateness:
pupils need to be able to select an appropriate variety of English for the task at hand.
The ability to adapt register to suit audience and purpose independently is a critical skill required of
pupils as they meet the growing demands of GCSE.
The teaching of this substrand should encourage pupils to experiment with formal and informal
registers and be linked to speaking and listening and reading-related activities.
It is a substrand which should be written into all schemes of work as all writing tasks will require pupils
to make decisions about the formality or informality of the task.
More-able pupils need choice and freedom to be creative and experimental in their choice of
vocabulary and language structures in order to achieve increasingly original effects in formal and
informal writing.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
-----------
2.1 Developing and adapting speaking skills and strategies in formal and informal contexts
2.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of spoken texts
6.1 Relating texts to the social, historical and cultural contexts in which they were written
6.2 Analysing how writers’ use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen
8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper and on screen
9.2 Using grammar accurately and appropriately
10.1 Exploring language variation and development according to time, place, culture, society and
technology
10.2 Commenting on language use.
Because links to the language substrands are important, teaching approaches that address those two
substrands are followed by a bracket indicating which language substrand is pertinent.
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in writing functional skills standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standard for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
•
•
using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
writing documents on increasingly complex subjects, adapting them to suit the intended audience and
purpose
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109
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, for example in English and citizenship lessons:
----
write a discursive essay using sustained SE on a topical and controversial issue for discussion in the
citizenship lesson
write a formal letter of thanks to an employer following work experience
devise a website outlining the school’s plans for a major national event such as Comic Relief to share
with other schools.
Some examples of application of learning to other areas of
the curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
Display examples of SE and informal writing in all subject areas, focusing on subject-specific writing
tasks; in particular remind pupils of the use of SE and the passive verb form when writing science
experiments.
Ask pupils to keep a language diary for a day, noting when they used formal English and informal
English across various subject areas. Ask them to note what informed their choices and what language
they used.
Ask pupils to bring an example of formal writing from a particular subject area, for example a
geography textbook on Australian landscape, and explore how to transform it into an informal register
for a teenage audience to support work on a novel under study such as Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris
Pilkington.
Liaise with the physical education department during a major sporting event such as the World Cup or
the Olympics to promote the writing of a particular text type such as reports; remind pupils to apply
their knowledge and understanding of the differing degrees of formality when writing a report on a
sporting event for the physical education display board or the school magazine, choosing appropriate
language to suit a teenage audience.
Explore the use of the pronoun in modern foreign languages to indicate respect and formality.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
9.1 Aspect 1: Conventions of standard English
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Understand
the
conventions
of SE and how
to use them
consistently in
their writing
Understand
the
significance
and
importance of
conventional
SE, the ways in
which writers
use nonstandard forms
in specific
contexts for
particular
effects, and
how to use
standard and
non-standard
English when
appropriate
in their own
writing
Write fluently
and sustain
standard
English in wide
and varied
texts and
contexts, and
for a range of
purposes and
audiences
Write fluent,
sustained
standard
English in
a range of
familiar and
unfamiliar
contexts, and
for a variety of
purposes and
audiences
Year 11
Extension
What to teach (L10.1 and L10.2)
Guidance for teachers
•
•
•
•
•
SE is that variety of English ‘which cuts across regional differences, providing a unified means of
communication, and thus an institutionalised norm which can be used in the mass media, in teaching the
language to foreigners and so on’ (A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, David Crystal, Blackwell).
Pupils need to consider the way language (SE or dialect) reflects culture and identity (L10.1).
SE is not only different from regional varieties within the British Isles, but also from other varieties,
such as American and Australian English. Dialect variety takes the form of differences in grammar and
vocabulary (L10.1).
SE arose from the East Midlands dialect used in the triangle with Oxford, Cambridge and London at the
corners. This was not only the centre of learning, but also of economic and political power. It also just
happened to be where Caxton originated, so he largely chose his own variety when printing. However,
Caxton did choose to use the northern plural of egg, egges, rather than the southern version, eiren.
Once printing made text much more widely available, that variety began to dominate. Printing also
meant that the language was less susceptible to the various varieties and different spellings used by
scribes (L10.1).
A major force in language change is the push to make things standard and, inevitably, minority uses
are the ones most easily lost. It is interesting to notice that the most common verbs have resisted the
pressure to standardise. The verb ‘to be’, for example, has many varied forms around the country. Going
even further back, one can see the same familiarity protecting archaic past tenses such as swam, span
and wove, and plurals such as women, geese and mice. Plurals such as dwarfs (previously dwarves) have
become regularised over time because it makes life easier. Exposure to the mass media and increased
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geographical mobility both play a large part in the loss of regional forms and the increasing influence
of worldwide forms of English (L10.1).
Differences occur in grammar, such as verb forms, pronouns and negatives, word order and word
omission, and vocabulary.
Grammatical differences (L10.2)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
These are often most easily detected in verb forms as in the examples below.
Standard English
Northern English
I was
I was/were
You were
You was
He/she/it was
He/she/it was/were
We were
We was
They were
They was
I did
I done
The northern variety is equally rule-driven and describable: it is not inferior to SE, merely different. SE is
needed when talking or writing in formal situations to ensure clarity for the listener or reader.
The American perfect tense of get is has gotten in some regions. In British English it has become has got,
but the older English form is gotten. There are many examples of older English forms existing as part of
everyday American varieties.
Other regional variation in verb forms occur in I ain’t/I aren’t for the SE I’m not, which is interesting in the
light of SE’s aren’t I! The formation of adverbs also varies from the SE come quickly to the non-standard
come quick.
SE is in a continuous state of flux, even in verb forms. The northern I was stood/I was sat as opposed to
the standard I was standing/I was sitting, is increasingly seen and heard in the mass media (L10.1).
Other variations occur in the use of negatives. SE uses only one: I didn’t do anything/I have no bananas/
I’m not coming with you. Other varieties may use more than one negative: I didn’t do nothing/I ain’t seen
no one/I haven’t hardly ever….
Two negatives emphasise the negative rather than cancel it out (which using mathematical logic might
suggest); the meaning is always clear, however many negatives are used. Chaucer’s knight never yet no
vileinye ne sayde, which everyone understands as using three negatives to emphasise the fact that the
knight never, ever uttered anything untoward!
Pronoun and verb differences occur frequently in Black English: the variety used by African–Caribbean
speakers of English.
Standard English
Black English
They never told me
Dem never tell me
I’m going
I going
His cat
He cat
Other pronoun changes in regional varieties of English are becoming rarer. South Yorkshire thee/thou
for ‘you’ is disappearing and her is for ‘she is’ (West Midlands) is also rare, though yous (North West)
when there is more than one person being addressed is still very much alive. Thee/thou are the older,
familiar forms, used to address someone well known to the speaker, whereas you was used as a polite
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•
•
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
form to people less well known or to whom respect was due. This can be compared with French tu/
vous or German du/Sie.
Other common non-standard usages include the use of demonstrative pronouns (them books), use of
pronouns (me and him went) and use of prepositions (out the door).
Teachers need to be aware of the influence of pupils’ home languages and speech styles, including
those for whom English is an additional language and how this might impact on written language.
It is useful to ask pupils to investigate and describe these differences, both as a support for the
development of their own use of English, and to show that all languages and dialects are rule-driven,
but that the rules may differ. This affords a particularly good opportunity for pupils who speak many
languages to demonstrate their knowledge of language as a system (L10.1).
Vocabulary (L10.2)
•
•
•
Regional differences in vocabulary are becoming less distinct, though they still exist, for example:
------
plimsolls (pumps, daps, sandshoes)
children (bairns, wains, nippers)
alleyway (snicket, ginnell, backsy)
snack (elevensy, bate, nammit, snap)
marbles (alleys, benders, aggies, dobbers).
There are obviously differences in vocabulary between American, Australian and British English.
Teachers need to be aware of how they vary their use of English when talking to a class. They may be
aware of regional differences between the different members of the class, their own use of English
and the class, and their own choices when, for example, explaining meanings to pupils. These can be
exploited for teaching purposes.
Grammar (L10.2)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
How to adopt an impersonal tone, when writing discursively in an essay which evaluates a text or
discusses a topic of importance. Formality often depends on being objective.
How to use the passive voice in such phrases as It might be said that…; and avoiding the use of you as
an impersonal pronoun, as in finding alternatives to You can see.
How to make effective use of subordination to ensure clarity of meaning and appropriate linkages
between ideas. Pupils need to secure the effective use of connectives to indicate cause/effect;
comparative/contrastive; qualifying and illustrating, and so on. Qualifying connectives such as although
and if/then constructs can be the most difficult for pupils to acquire, and so need regular teaching.
How to make effective use of pronouns, so that anaphoric reference (where the pronoun refers back)
and cataphoric reference (where the pronoun refers forward) is clear.
How to ensure consistency of tense. Discursive essays often use the present tense; for example, as
long as Macbeth or Twelfth Night is extant, then the present tense applies to any discussion of the
text or characters. Others may move from ‘present’ as the topic is discussed, to ‘past’ for illustrative or
supportive examples or anecdotes.
Awareness that there is an oral narrative style which uses the present tense: I’m going along this street,
when I see this man. He comes up to me and he says…. Pupils need to know that narrative largely uses the
past tense unless the present tense is required for dramatic effect.
How to sustain formality by ensuring that features of speech do not intrude into writing. Pupils need
to know that speech markers such as anyway/right are paragraph indicators in speech and need to be
removed in writing and a new paragraph started. Other oral links such as As I was saying indicate lack of
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•
•
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planning when they are written. Pupils need to plan paragraph content and progression to avoid such
phrases.
Differences between formal SE and colloquial English in terms of vocabulary. Pupils need to know that
formal English demands formal, standard vocabulary, so they should be taught the difference between
formal, SE and colloquial English.
SE conventions for writing contractions. The number of contractions of negative verbs and pronoun +
verbs, such as didn’t, you’re and so on should be restricted in formal writing. This can improve spelling
as the nature of the contraction may be poorly understood. In formal oral presentations the use of the
auxiliary can be important for emphasis.
Attitudes to use of standard and non-standard forms and how this is affected by age and gender.
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Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Read a variety of texts which are mismatched in terms of register and content, audience and purpose.
Invite pupils to describe clearly the extent of the mismatch and which language features demonstrate
the mismatch.
Explore non-standard forms of English (regional variations) and note the difference in vocabulary and
grammar; annotate a transcript of spoken conversations in a particular dialect and rewrite it in SE.
Investigate verb forms in regional varieties such as I was, we was which have grammatical conventions,
but are not SE. Discuss when the standard version and the regional variety might be appropriate.
Investigate older forms, such as Chaucer and Shakespeare, to look for different past tense endings,
pronouns and plurals, which may still exist in regional varieties. It can be useful to compare Sir Gawain
and the Green Knight and The Canterbury Tales, which are contemporary with each other. However,
Chaucer writes in the East Midlands dialect and the writer of Gawain in a much more northern variety;
hence we understand far more of Chaucer on first reading than we do of Sir Gawain.
Select poems or dialogue with a regional variety or other variety of English such as Black English or
American English and discuss why the regional variety is used. Consider the differences if it were
rewritten in SE. Novels such as Back Home, by Michelle Magorian (American English) or poems by
Benjamin Zephaniah (Black English influences) are excellent sources for investigation, as are the range
of poems selected for GCSE study Poems from other cultures and traditions.
Investigate the influence of American and Australian varieties on British English. What have we adopted
and why?
Select a poem for pupils to read such as Checking out me history by John Agard. Pupils highlight Agard’s
dialect features in the text, then annotate to identify the word classes, give the SE form and write a brief
commentary on the effects of the poet’s choice to use dialect as opposed to SE.
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Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Generate a list of the most common mistakes in SE made by pupils. Most often they will be the result of
dialect speech patterns finding their way into writing and so will vary from region to region. EAL pupils
may also display typical patterns of error in terms of SE. Encourage pupils to use this list when editing
their work.
Encourage oral rehearsal before writing, during writing and after writing.
Before any writing, refer pupils to the audience and purpose and ask them to decide how that will
affect degrees of formality.
Use guided writing sessions to support pupils in different ability groupings, securing their
understanding and helping them towards independence.
Ensure pupils are clear that SE is always required in formal situations such as critical evaluation essays,
letters of complaint or formal emails.
Set pupils the task of rewriting one of the mismatched texts referred to above so that the language
matches audience and purpose.
In pairs, ask pupils to recount a brief life event which a partner writes down; the text is then returned
to the speaker for transforming into a written text using SE. Pupils comment on what they did to effect
the transformation.
Model the rehearsal of a more formal tone and choice of vocabulary in discussion and insist pupils use
formal SE during discussion prior to writing.
Model the opening paragraph of an essay, formal letter or speech and ask pupils to continue in the
same register and style.
Ask pupils to rewrite a piece of dialogue with regional influences in SE and discuss the effects of the
change on the reader. Examine why the use of a regional variety was appropriate in the context.
Securing and extending
•
•
•
Ask pupils to investigate their own writing for regional influences, especially verb forms, and rewrite
them in SE.
Ask able pupils to devise strategies for remembering and eliminating non-standard forms (due to
dialect speech patterns) from formal SE.
Create opportunities for pupils to write in sustained SE in a range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts
and for a variety of purposes and audiences, for example: GCSE writing tasks and extension activities
on challenging topics; model how to write an appropriate and effective plan which will support
them in a sustained writing; model how to proofread their work to check for formal SE grammar and
vocabulary; use response partners to identify any non-standard and informal use of language.
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9.1 Aspect 2: Informal and formal registers
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Use degrees of
formality in a
range of texts
according
to context,
purpose and
audience
Draw on
knowledge
of how and
why writers
use varying
degrees of
formality and
informality
to make
appropriate
choices of style
and register
in their own
writing
Understand
the range of
formal and
informal
styles used
by writers,
and ways to
deploy them
appropriately
in their own
writing to
enhance and
emphasise
meaning
and create a
wide range of
effects with
task, purpose
and reader in
mind
Shape
responses
from readers
appropriately
by selecting
formal and
informal
registers or
standard and
non-standard
forms for
precise and
deliberate
effects with
task, purpose
and reader in
mind
Shape,
craft and
experiment
with a range
of appropriate
standard and
non-standard
forms in order
to achieve
original and
inventive
effects and
impact in a
wide variety of
texts
What to teach (L10.2)
Pupils will have some implicit knowledge of this but need to explore more explicitly the effects of word
choice and language structures to broaden their awareness and understanding that formality works at the
levels of grammar and vocabulary.
•
•
•
•
How formal vocabulary affects terms of address, for example: when to use Mr, Mrs or Ms or first names;
words for friends, for example when to use mates rather than friends.
How to vary the formality of both speech and writing according to audience. The less well-known the
audience and/or the more formal the situation, the more formal the language needs to be.
What counts as politeness and hence formality in English? Pupils need to know polite ways of asking
for things in formal circumstances or with strangers, for example: Would you mind passing me that book?
and informal requests such as Pass me that book please.
How to make a forceful point such as a complaint, clearly, without expressing anger. Anger tends to
become informal in its expression.
Guidance for teachers
•
•
Formal writing involves SE rather than regional varieties, especially in the verb forms. Regional
variations in vocabulary and grammar do not constitute ‘incorrect grammar’, but rather variation from
the standard form.
Pupils should understand that texts (even of the same text type) can vary in formality and that writers
sometimes deliberately manipulate text types according to the needs of different audiences and
purposes.
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Pupils need to understand the effects of changing active and passive voices; the formality associated
with different sentence structures, especially the use of subordination; and the need to make
appropriate vocabulary choices.
Formal English involves knowing the difference between slang, colloquial and regional varieties and
making conscious language choices. Many pupils confuse colloquial registers and regional variation
and need to be taught the difference as part of their developing ability to choose the appropriate style
and register.
There is a continuum on which pupils need to hang their language choices:
Very formal
Formal
Informal
standard English
colloquial
slang
•
•
•
•
•
Formal writing demands objectivity and hence a move away from first person to third person or the
passive voice to distance the writer from the reader.
Nominalisations are a feature of information writing where a common noun takes on the idea of a
species or concept, for example: The shark is… or Exercise is good for you; using a verb + ing to connote a
concept rather than an activity, such as Walking is good for you.
Part of formal written English is being able to select and maintain an impersonal style. Pupils need
to be taught to find alternatives for ‘you’ in formal writing. ‘You’, in this context, has the generalised
meaning of one, an impersonal pronoun. English does not possess a comfortable, generalised
impersonal pronoun: alternatives include the inclusive, generalised ‘we’ or the passive voice in such
phrases as it might be said that….
In active sentences, you are told who did it and what they did.
In passive sentences, you are told what was done and to whom, but the agent is omitted. The passive
‘depersonalises’ the writing, contributing to increased formality as in scientific writing, reports
and explanatory texts, where its use is entirely appropriate. The passive voice can also be used to
deliberately omit the agent to remove any sense of responsibility, as in ‘the poll was lost by 200 votes’.
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Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Teaching in the context of reading and listening
Building
•
•
•
•
Select a range of texts and ask pupils to arrange them in a line from the most formal to the least formal:
ask them to state why they have placed them as they have, and to cite reasons based on features of
language.
Choose a piece of formal text such as a persuasive pamphlet or broadsheet editorial and demonstrate
by annotation its formal features and what its formality says about audience and purpose. Then ask
pupils to do the same on a different piece of text, such as a tabloid editorial and explain their reasoning
to the class.
Take a spoken text and model what needs to be done to transform it into a formal, written text.
Ask pupils to keep a reading journal for a week which should include a TV advertisement, a piece of
news text, a magazine of some kind and a media text such as Radio 4 or Radio 1 news. Ask them to
comment on the differing degrees of formality and intended audience.
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Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Using a variety of texts, such as novel extracts and poems, explain the difference between slang and
colloquial English and how this compares with a formal style.
Explore the language required in classrooms, assemblies and interviews by using taped examples to
discuss degrees of formality. Use a continuum of formal through to informal and place the styles on
the continuum:
Informal 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
Formal
Listen to Radio 1 and Radio 4 news bulletins and compare the use of formal and more informal speech
styles. Provide a grid for pupils to annotate while listening to the bulletins.
Using an example from a suitable TV programme for young people, consider the level of formality and
why it is appropriate to its audience and purpose. Discuss specific features of informality suited to the
audience. Ask pupils to select another TV programme with which they are familiar and review how the
level of langauge formality reflects its audience and purpose.
Use ICT to highlight the changes made from formal to informal by altering the text on screen, using
different colours to indicate changes, place two texts next to each other on the screen to fully show the
impact of the differences.
Investigate the use of the passive in hiding the agent through sentences on the whiteboard. Discuss
the effect of doing this (see the English Training file, Grammar Unit 10 and Literacy across the curriculum
training file, Writing style Unit 3 for good examples that can be adapted to teaching). Provide pupils
with a sample of different texts that exemplify use of the passive voice and ask them to consider the
author’s intentions.
Take examples of texts, such as broadsheet and tabloid headlines and ask pupils to place them on
the continuum above. Sports writing and magazines are also useful for this. Discuss why the choices
have been made, what statements it makes about the intended audience and its relationship with the
publication.
Ask pupils to compare, for example, an extract from a Michelin guide to an area, a piece from The
Rough Guide, a travel brochure on the same area and a geography text book. Ask them to discuss the
relative formality/informality and decide on the intended audience and purpose and how differences
in purpose and audience affect language choice.
Take an extract from a novel or a poem which contains both dialogue and intervening narrative.
Discuss the formal and informal choices and the effects of the dialogue as it contrasts with the
intervening narrative. Provide a further example from the text and ask pupils to identify how the writer
uses formal and informal langauge to convey meaning.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Explore the use of literary dialect in a range of novels from Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, D.H. Lawrence
and Alan Bleasdale (‘Gissa job!’) and discuss how this impacts on the reader. Provide pupils with a
setting and characters, for example characters from a well known TV drama and ask them to write a
passage with dialogue which imitates the style of these writers.
Provide pupils with a very formal text which uses impersonal language and ask them to identify why,
where and how the impersonal tone arises.
Compare text messaging and email and discuss how written language is used in these more informal
contexts; investigate the use of non-standard spelling, grammar and abbreviations. Ask pupils to
convert some examples of email messages into text messages and some examples of text messages
into email messages.
Discuss the fact that informality might be expressed by ‘netiquette’ items such as emoticons ( or )
to denote feelings; that shouting is expressed through the use of block capitals and the way in which
abbreviations are used. Consider how far it is possible to send a formal text message.
Take examples of headlines, reports and discursive pieces which use the passive voice and omit the
agent. Discuss how and why this happens. Ask pupils to convert to the active and discuss the effect of
the change.
Ask pupils to evaluate a persuasive speech for how words and grammar are used to influence the
audience. Note the blend of personal and impersonal language. Examples of this are plentiful on the
web. www.presentationhelper.co.uk is a useful site to explore.
Compare web pages for different audiences, for example BBC local sites for pupils and those from
the local council/tourist office. How far does audience dictate formality? How is formality/informality
shown?
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Teaching in the context of writing
Building
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Ensure pupils are always clear about audience and purpose before they write. Discuss the effect of
audience and purpose on choosing an appropriate register.
Compare relatively formal contexts in speech and writing, for example complaining about a faulty
product. Rehearse the complaint face-to-face in the shop and then teach writing a letter of complaint
using shared writing, discussing as you go the best way to express ideas for effect. Generate useful
phrases: I wish to complain about…; I was extremely surprised to find…; I am asking for….
Provide a letter template to support pupils in writing independently so that they can focus on the
language rather than the layout. Invite pupils to attempt some sentences, then read out some samples
to compare and copy phrases from.
Model the formal expression required in writing a speech designed to persuade a large, though fairly
familiar, audience such as the class.
Discuss the level of formality required when the audience is large and understanding cannot be
clarified through question and answer.
Model formal, impersonal writing, articulating the decisions taken about language choice; use ICT to
highlight, annotate and insert comments.
Share the writing of a piece of travel text for two different purposes and audiences, for example
to entertain and hook a teenage clientele, or to inform a serious pupil who wants to know some
geographical facts.
Model how to change a report of a school event written for parents/governors, such as the school
fayre, for the pupils’ newspaper. Discuss audience and purpose before starting and model the effects
on language choices.
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Developing and applying
•
•
•
•
•
Generate examples of speech which would be re-expressed in different contexts, for example: asking
someone to pass the butter; saying goodbye after spending time together. Ask pupils to change the
person addressed (for example, mum, sister, headteacher) and the context (for example, breakfast,
banquet) and to compare the differences in vocabulary, tone and style.
Ask pupils to write an introduction about themselves as part of a campaign to be elected as the class
representative on the school council. They should comment on their language choices.
Ask pupils to keep a diary of the spoken and written registers they use over a day/week and note why
and how they varied their register. Ask them to give examples of formal/informal English.
Prepare different news bulletins for Radio 1 and Radio 4, paying attention to the content and language.
Model the opening of a formal discursive text which is designed to permit the reader to make up her/
his own mind. Move into shared and independent writing to complete it. Ask the pupils to write an
information leaflet about the same topic such as keeping fit, for young people and the over 50s and ask
them to provide commentary about their language choices.
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Securing and extending
•
•
•
•
•
Set a piece of written work where pupils are required to change the level of formality of language to
suit the purpose and audience. For example, use a leaflet from a doctor’s surgery on the benefits of
exercise and rewrite it as an article in a teenage magazine. Use guided work to support targeted pupils.
Write travel pieces based on your locality for a Michelin-type guide, The Rough Guide and a geography
text book, varying the level of formality in the writing.
Ask pupils to include dialect speech patterns when writing dialogue in narrative to add authenticity to
characters; encourage the more-able pupils to model their work on authors they have studied (Dickens,
Twain and so on).
Ask pupils to write a recount or report in the passive voice, then change into the active voice and write
a brief commentary on the differences and what the impact might be on the audience.
Provide pupils with examples of two different emails and text messages, with formality to suit audience
and purpose, for example an informal email or text to a friend and a formal email or text from an
institution to its workforce, such as: Reminder to all staff that the cafeteria will be closed due to electrical
problems. Discuss why emails and texts from organisations need to be written more formally without
the usual abbreviations.
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9.2 Using grammar accurately and appropriately
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Understand
and use
appropriately
in their own
writing the
conventions
of sentence
grammar
Draw on their
knowledge of
grammatical
conventions
to write
grammatically
accurate
texts that are
appropriate
to the task,
audience and
purpose
Understand
the ways in
which writers
modify and
adapt phrase
and sentence
structures and
conventions to
create effects,
and how to
make such
adaptations
when
appropriate
in their own
writing
Write complex,
ambitious
texts,
maintaining
accuracy and
deploying
a range of
grammatical
conventions
appropriately,
making
conscious and
purposeful
adaptations to
grammar for
specific effect
Create
and shape
language
ambitiously in
their writing,
maintaining
accuracy,
consciously
drawing, if
appropriate
for audience
and purpose,
on some of
the ways that
grammar
varies and is
influenced
by different
contexts and
cultures
Exploit a wide
repertoire of
grammatical
constructions
and
conventions
drawn from
a range of
influences,
contexts and
cultures, in
order to write
rich, original
and ambitious
texts while
maintaining
accuracy and
achieving
a planned
impact
About this substrand
•
•
•
•
At Key Stage 2 pupils are taught the conventions of SE grammar and how to vary and adapt sentence
structure for meaning and effect. This substrand further develops pupils’ understanding of the
conventions of sentence grammar and thus their ability to write with technical accuracy and to create
increasingly ambitious effects.
This substrand involves making pupils aware of key grammatical principles and their effects, to increase
the range of choices open to them when they write, rather than teaching rules for ‘correct’ English.
Pupils should be taught, in the context of meaningful reading and writing activities, the grammatical
features needed to enhance their reading and writing.
Grammatical conventions should be taught as part of the sequence for teaching writing. Teachers
should support pupils’ growing understanding and control of language through drawing attention to
grammatical conventions during shared and guided reading, exploring and discussing choice, effects
and influences, using appropriate metalanguage. Pupils should then be supported to generalise from
their reading and to apply the conventions in their own writing through teacher demonstration and
shared writing.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
--------
6.1 Relating texts to the social, historical and cultural contexts in which they were written
6.2 Analysing how writers’ use of linguistic and literary features shapes and influences meaning
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen
8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact
8.4 Developing varied linguistic and literary techniques
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8.5 Structuring, organising and presenting texts in a variety of forms on paper and screen
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
10.1 Exploring language development and variation according to time, place, culture, society and
technology
10.2 Commenting on language use.
Because links to the language substrands are important, teaching approaches that address those two
substrands are followed by a bracket indicating which language substrand is pertinent.
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils will have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and to secure the standard for Level 1
and Level 2 by:
•
•
•
using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
writing documents on increasingly complex subjects, adapting them to suit the intended audience and
purpose
developing cross-curricular links and producing writing for contexts and purposes beyond the
classroom, for example:
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write a letter of thanks to a visiting outside speaker
write a guidance document about the school for Year 6 pupils
write an article for the school magazine reporting on the visit of an outside speaker
write a letter to a local newspaper about a topical issue
write a glossary explaining local dialect for visitors to the area, or about a variety of English used in
a novel or poem to help other pupils when they are studying the text.
Some examples of application of learning to other areas of
the curriculum
•
•
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•
Ask pupils to think about how they can apply the skills learned in English to other subject areas, for
example the use of complex sentences in history or the use of modal verbs to hypothesise in science.
Relate the features of sentence grammar to reading across the curriculum, for example the use of
imperatives in recipes in food technology.
Ask pupils to annotate their writing in other subject areas to show use of features of sentence grammar
that have been taught in English. Ask them to explain the feature and the effect it has.
Ask pupils to annotate pieces of writing across the curriculum to show grammatical errors they have
made. Discuss the annotations in English lessons with a response partner and explore strategies for
future improvement.
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What to teach
•
How to write accurately and effectively by understanding, recognising, exploring and using the
elements of sentence grammar.
Word classes and their grammatical functions:
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•
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•
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nouns
verbs
··
··
··
··
modal verbs needed to predict, speculate and make deductions
verb inflections (finite, non finite) and how to form them
how to combine auxiliary verbs with others to form verb chains
how to use inflected verbs and verb chains to express different meanings.
adjectives
determiners
pronouns
··
how to recognise and remedy ambiguous use of pronouns.
adverbs
prepositions
conjunctions
··
prepositions and conjunctions used to indicate purpose, for example: in order to; so that, or
express reservations such as although, unless, if
Many English words can belong to different word classes without a change of form, for
example: I went for a walk (noun); I usually walk to town (verb). Word class is dependent on the
way in which the word is used within the sentence.
Types of clause and their function within sentences:
---
main
subordinate
··
··
non-finite clauses and embedded clauses beginning with ‘that’
relative clauses such as ‘which I bought’ or adverbial clauses such as ‘having finished his lunch’.
How to use subordinate clauses in a variety of positions within the sentence.
The structure of clauses.
Types of phrase and their function within sentences:
-----
noun phrases
··
how to vary the structure of noun phrases by using modifiers after as well as before the noun.
adjectival phrases
prepositional phrases
adverbial phrases
··
how verbs can be modified by adverbs (for example, She sang quietly/ He always arrives late)
and prepositions (for example, He went to the park).
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Types of sentence:
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statements
questions
exclamations
commands.
How phrases and clauses can be combined to make compound sentences through coordination and
complex sentences through subordination.
How to vary sentence structures, using simple, compound and complex sentences (L10.2).
The inter-relationship between sentence structure and punctuation.
The different ways in which sentences can be structured to vary impact:
------
by reordering clauses within the sentence
by embedding subordinate clauses inside the main clause
by dropping a subordinate clause as a bracketed ‘aside’ into the middle of a sentence
by starting with a non-finite verb
by starting with a connecting adverb.
Use of the active/passive voice to suit purpose.
Teaching should be designed to give pupils ‘tools, not rules’ and thus should focus on the ways in
which grammatical features shape meaning and produce particular effects. For example:
---------
how phrases and clauses build relevant detail and give clarity and emphasis to meaning
how modal or qualifying words or phrases build shades of meaning
how use of personal pronouns involves the reader
how coordination and subordination can be used to change emphasis and importance
how the position of subordinate clauses affects meaning
how word order can be varied for effect, for example changing the position of the adverbial
how use of the passive voice creates an impersonal tone
how complex sentences are used to extend, link and develop ideas.
The use of appropriate grammatical terminology to enable pupils to reflect on the meaning, clarity and
effect of individual sentences (L10.2).
The key features of different text types and literary genres at sentence level, in order to use grammar
appropriately for a range of forms, audiences and purposes, for example: the use of connectives to
indicate cause and effect in explanation texts; the use of the present tense and the imperative in
instructions; the use of incomplete sentences in advertisements (for example, Because I’m worth it); the
use of the third person and passive voice in impersonal/formal writing (L10.2).
How the grammar of written SE differs from standard spoken English, such as the use in speech of
discourse markers, heads and tails, deixis, ellipsis, clause structure, vague language, modal expressions,
use of adverbs (L10.2).
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The National Strategies | Secondary
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How to sustain formality by ensuring that features of speech do not intrude into writing. The grammatical
features that require more attention are those that differ from the patterns occurring in talk, such as:
-----
clearly structured sentences including subordination: in speech, sentence boundaries do not
always matter. Speakers tend to use chained clauses (a series of ‘ands’) rather than subordination. In
speech, shifts in meaning are often portrayed by gesture, tone of voice, emphasis, facial expression.
In writing, subordination is used to convey detail and clauses are ordered to make subtle shifts in
meaning clear
non-finite clauses: these are less common in speech
noun phrases: speech tends to use single adjectives with nouns. Sometimes in writing it is appropriate
and effective to use modification to produce more elaborate sentences. Pupils need support in
noticing and building expanded noun phrases and using a wider range of modifying words
pronouns: in speech pronouns can often be used in addition to nouns (for example, this man, he
gets out of his car…,) whereas in writing their function is to replace nouns.
To understand and exploit in their writing
•
•
How the grammatical conventions of text types can be ‘mixed’ for effect according to the needs of
different audiences and purposes (L10.2).
The ways in which grammar reflects identity and context, for example:
Regional and cultural variation (L10.1)
---
The ways in which dialects differ from SE in their use of subject–verb agreement (I were/You was);
formation of past tense (I was stood); negatives (I didn’t do nothing); use of pronouns (Yous in the
North West); formation of adverbs (come quick); use of demonstrative pronouns (them books); and
prepositions (out the door).
The differences between the grammar of British SE and that of other varieties of English such as
Black English and Indian English, for example:
In Indian English
··
··
··
The use of the present continuous tense and articles such as in or of, as in He is having very
much of property.
The use of isn’t it as a question tag: We are meeting tomorrow, isn’t it?
Lack of prepositions or objects: I insisted immediate payment.
In Black English
··
··
··
Pronoun and verb differences: Dem never tell me (They never told me), I going (I am going), He
cat (His cat).
Lack of determiners: In couple of days.
No ‘s’ added to plural nouns: My relative, they live in London.
Differences in the grammar used in varieties of English do not constitute ‘incorrect grammar’, but rather variation from the standard form.
•
Time period (L10.1)
---
The ways in which features of grammar (for example, sentence structure) are different in older
texts.
The impact of developments in technology such as the use of grammar in text messages.
The ways in which grammatical features can create a distinctive style, narrative voice or a particular
tone.
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For explanations of grammatical features including language variety and language change see Grammar
for reading and writing.
Pupils learning English as an additional language (EAL)
Teachers should be aware that pupils learning EAL, including those who are advanced learners of
English, may have particular areas of difficulty. Certain aspects of grammatical knowledge which are
implicit for pupils who speak English as a first language may not be implicit for pupils learning EAL,
and rules internalised from the first language may not transfer to English. Features of English grammar
that EAL learners tend to find difficult include: verb tense forms, subject–verb agreement, word order,
subordination, modification, use of prepositions, pronouns and determiners. Teaching should build on
pupils’ knowledge of other languages and pupils should be encouraged to make comparisons with the
grammar of the first language. EAL learners may need particular support to understand the effect of
grammatical features.
See Grammar for Writing: supporting pupils learning EAL for further guidance, (Ref: 0581/2002).
Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
General strategies
•
During shared reading, identify the conventions of different text types at sentence level, for example
model, then work as a class to annotate a text to show:
----
the use of conjunctions to contrast in discursive texts
the use of grammatical features to create setting, mood or character in a fiction text
the use of personal pronouns, rule of three and commands in persuasive texts.
Pupils could then use the notes created as a checklist when drafting and reviewing their own work.
There are useful examples of texts together with notes on the use of grammatical features in Grammar for
reading and writing.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Display a text with all the words of the particular focus underlined. After reading the text discuss
the function of the first underlined word/s. Ask pupils to discuss in pairs the function of the next
underlined word/s and take feedback. Relate the function of this word, phrase or clause to the first
example discussed. Repeat with the next few examples until understanding is secure. Tell pupils the
name of the word class, clause or phrase. You could underline some words which are not examples of
the convention and ask if pupils can identify them.
Model making grammatical choices while demonstrating writing, making the criteria for choosing
particular features explicit. For example, the thinking behind your choice of connectives and
prepositions/the use of a subordinate clause/ the use of an adverbial phrase.
Lead shared writing sessions involving experimenting with a particular feature of sentence grammar
such as moving subordinate clauses within sentences for effect.
Ask pupils to write on whiteboards during shared, guided and independent writing to enhance
experimentation and facilitate the bridge from speech to writing.
Pupils could be provided with sentence banks for text types that include the use of appropriate
grammatical features. For example, sentence stems using the passive voice for discursive writing – It
could be said that….
As pupils are writing independently, stop them every six or seven minutes and ask them to read back
over their work slowly and carefully. They should make at least one improvement each time, focusing
on particular grammatical features.
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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Teaching for progression: Writing
Use starter activities to revise/consolidate understanding of grammatical features. Ensure that starter
activities are followed up during the main part of the lesson and that pupils’ understanding and
transference of the learning is assessed within the context of their writing.
During plenaries, display pupils’ work on an OHT or interactive whiteboard to identify particular
features focused on during the lesson, for example use of passive voice; use of subordinate clauses.
Set pupils the task of producing a classroom poster that is designed to exemplify the use of a particular
grammatical feature such as subordinating conjunctions.
Give pairs of pupils a specific grammatical term and ask them to write a definition and examples. Each
pair can take a separate term and create a definition and an example. Create a class glossary with all the
definitions and examples.
After teaching a particular grammatical feature through reading and writing activities, make the use of
the feature a focus for marking pupils’ written work and for your interventions while pupils are drafting.
Ask pupils to peer- and self-assess their work, focusing on the grammatical feature(s) which have been
taught.
Design starter activities in which pupils improve selected sentences from their work by using a
particular grammatical feature such as adding or moving subordinate clauses. Ask pupils to reflect on
the effect of the changes.
Ask pupils to reflect on their most common grammar errors or areas for improvement and then to set
their own curricular target for improving their use of grammar. Pupils could then work in groups to
produce a list of tips for writing more accurately and effectively.
Use a piece of writing which is weak in its use of particular grammatical features. Explain what aspect/s
of the writing you want pupils to focus on (for example, weak verbs, monotonous sentence openings,
longwinded constructions). Through shared reading, discuss ways of improving the writing. Ask pupils
to suggest alternatives by writing them on their whiteboards. Groups could then work on improving
texts which highlight their own area of weakness.
Give pupils a selection of passages and cards with instructions, for example: make this scary; make this
amusing; make this more/less formal; make this more concise. Ask them to apply a card to each passage
and explain what they would do in order to make the required changes.
Model how to pay attention to technical accuracy when writing and revising writing and how to
evaluate writing in terms of impact and fitness for audience and purpose.
Audit the most common grammar mistakes made by pupils. Often these will reflect pupils’ speech. EAL
pupils may display typical patterns of error (see above). Focus teaching, possibly using guided sessions
to group pupils with similar needs, on pupils’ common errors.
Use guided work to develop pupils’ ability to craft sentences for effect, for example using a paragraph
from pupils’ work, guide them in how to vary and manipulate the clauses within sentences.
Whenever possible, grammar activities should be based on texts being studied.
Ensure that texts are read for overall meaning and enjoyment before close reading for use of grammar.
Word classes
•
•
Identify word classes by annotating and discussing their use in a piece of text, for example: use of
adjectives to persuade; use of adverbs in a sports report (L10.2).
Give pupils a selection of sentences and ask them to identify the function of certain words within the
sentences, for example whether the present participle is working as a verb or an adjective in sentences
such as She is walking fast. We heard a dripping tap (L10.2).
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Give pupils an extract of text with words missing. Ask them to write words that could fill the gaps and
identify to which word class the words belong. Ensure that pupils use appropriate verb forms (agreeing
with the subject and consistent with other verbs in the text) (L10.2).
Pupils write acrostic poems and try to include in each line an adjective, noun, verb and adverb (L10.2).
In modelled and shared writing, explore the ways in which verb chains help writers to express subtle
shades of meaning relating to tense and probability.
------
They are starting at 2 pm.
They have started.
They will start at 2 pm.
They had started by 2 pm.
They start at 2 pm.
(The above all express ideas of time.)
-----•
They should have started by now.
They could have started by now.
They might have started by now.
They ought to have started by now.
They will have started by now.
(In the sentences above the auxiliary verbs express possibility or probability.)
Read Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky and identify and discuss the nonsense words. Model labelling the first
few with the appropriate word class and then ask pupils to continue in pairs. Pupils could then rewrite
the poem using standard words or write their own nonsense poem about an imaginary creature using
the same structure (L10.2).
Verb tenses
•
•
•
In shared reading highlight tenses in different colours to see where the tense changes and why, and
how the tenses are formed. Leaflets often shift tense with purpose, for example: It costs only £5…; Look
at the beautiful views…; Eat our delicious teas…; You will enjoy a day out at…; The lodge was built…; It has
been refurbished…(L10.2).
Use persuasive writing to explore how to shift tense for asserting a point (present), envisaging the
future and citing examples from the past, for example Many people believe that…; Though it was not
possible to…; It may be that we will be able to live…(L10.2).
Write opening sentences to establish tense. In pairs, double check that the appropriate tense is being
used.
Pronouns
•
•
Analyse examples of ambiguity arising from overuse of pronouns, for example: A man was waiting in the
queue with his friend. He was a policeman. He wanted to buy some stamps. Who was the policeman and
who wanted to buy the stamps? Discuss and rewrite so that the meaning is made clearer.
Ask pupils to complete a passage in which all the nouns and pronouns have been deleted and listed at
the bottom of the page. Afterwards, draw out when it is more efficient to use a pronoun and when it is
essential to use the noun (L10.2).
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Ask pupils to skim read a text and then underline all the pronouns. Discuss the nouns to which they
refer (L10.2).
During shared writing, discuss with pupils when it is more effective to use a noun phrase instead of
a pronoun, ensuring that this does not create ambiguity, for example: A white haired fisherman was
mending his nets on the quay. The tired old man stopped now and again to gaze at the horizon (L10.2).
Remove all pronouns from Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. Ask pupils to work in pairs or
small groups to decide on the appropriate pronouns for each gap. Take feedback, eliciting responses
about the reasons for their decisions. Compare with the original text. After this activity ask pupils to
write a campaign speech including varied use of pronouns.
Conjunctions
•
•
•
•
•
•
Model for pupils the linking of two ideas expressed in simple sentences and show how the nature of
the link is defined by the conjunction. For example: I go to the shop. I meet my friend. Join with because =
cause. Join with in order to = purpose. Join with unless = reservation.
Introduce an appropriate list of conjunctions. Give pupils a sentence and ask them to write on their
whiteboard a way of extending it using a conjunction. Ask them to explain the way in which this affects
meaning, for example by qualifying, indicating cause and effect, adding.
Model for pupils how to turn a typical comma-spliced sentence (such as My mum is upset today, she
has lost her purse) into a complex sentence by using a conjunction (for example, because). Ask pupils to
invent other examples and set them as challenges for others.
Show pupils an example of a compound sentence, such as I get home from school and I drink a cup of tea.
Model how to turn this into a complex sentence by using a subordinating conjunction, for example:
After I get home from school, I drink a cup of tea. Draw pupils’ attention to the comma used to separate
the subordinate clause from the main clause. Experiment with a selection of sentences and discuss the
impact on the reader. In independent writing, challenge pupils to join their sentences in different ways,
avoiding and, but or so.
Provide pupils with a list of subordinating conjunctions for example because, although, if, when.
Using cards, ask pupils to join simple sentences to create complex sentences, using their choice of
conjunction. Discuss the effects of different choices, for example: I shall buy a bike although I haven’t
much money; I shall buy a bike unless I haven’t much money.
Draw pupils’ attention to unusual, effective or creative uses of conjunctions as they appear in texts
being studied, for example: Lady Macbeth: Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear….
Noun phrases
•
•
•
Display simple sentences on a washing line, ask pupils to place modifiers appropriately to create noun
phrases and discuss the effect.
As a lesson starter, take a noun and in one minute find how many different noun phrases can be made.
Pupils could take turns to add, change and delete words or phrases. Then give pupils a selection of
nouns to make more particular (and more entertaining) by creating noun phrases.
Use a menu, such as the one in Grammar for reading and writing. Identify the noun phrases and decide
on the audience and purpose of the text. How do the noun phrases contribute to the purpose of the
text? Consider a range of menus from tea-rooms, takeaways, and restaurants and evaluate how noun
phrases are used to inform and persuade the audience. Ask the school kitchens for next week’s menu
and invite pupils to rewrite it in a variety of ways for a range of audiences, using expanded noun
phrases (L10.2).
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Highlight the nouns in a text and demonstrate how they have been modified in one sentence.
(Persuasive writing on an emotive topic such as whale hunting provides good opportunities to discuss
the expansion of nouns.) Ask pupils to read through the text and highlight how the nouns have
been expanded, and discuss why the writer may have done this. Reinforce the way we can use postmodification as well as pre-modification. Ask pupils to write a campaign leaflet using noun phrases to
persuade the reader (L10.2).
Find instances where verbs are used to modify nouns (L10.2).
Directions to places are useful because they require prepositional phrases after the noun, such as Go to
the house beside the common…. You could provide a map with a trail marked on it. Ask pupils to write a
set of directions, carefully selecting how to modify the nouns to specify for the reader exactly where to
go. Develop this work into composing a town trail or school ‘introductory walk’.
Provide a paragraph for pupils to work on in pairs or individually. Underline the nouns and then
consider if any need expanding. Share and compare effects. Remind pupils that on occasions it may be
better to leave the noun unmodified (L10.2).
Provide a provocative argument to which pupils must write a reply, aiming to be persuasive without
being downright provocative in return. Encourage pupils to read their work back orally to check
whether the level of elaboration in noun phrases is appropriate. Does it sound ‘over the top’? Does it
sound emphatic enough? (L10.2).
Active/passive voice
•
Show pupils the difference between active and passive sentences using a simple example, such as the
following.
---•
The children found the sweets.
The sweets were found.
The sweets were found by the children.
Point out how in the second sentence the writer can avoid saying who found the sweets, and that this
is an important feature of the passive because writers can say what happened without saying who was
responsible for the action (L10.2).
Find instances where the passive is used to escape responsibility, for example:
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A man was killed, rather than The soldiers killed a man.
The window had been smashed. (Hiding who did it to save our skins.)
The butler was murdered. (We do not know who did it – yet!)
The post was delivered. (It does not matter who delivered it.)
The Leader was praised. (The Leader is the key focus – not the person who praised her.)
Discuss why the agent may have been omitted, how the sentence would be written using the active voice
and what the effect of this would be (L10.2).
•
Ask pupils to collect a selection of news headlines in the active voice and the passive voice. Rewrite
active sentences in the passive and passive sentences in the active. Pupils should explain the changes
they made and the effect. Pupils could also write the first line of each article in both the passive and the
active voice. For example:
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Passive: MAN BITTEN BY DOG
A man was attacked today in…
Active: DOG ATTACKS NEIGHBOUR
A giant poodle today attacked…(L10.2).
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Structuring sentences
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•
As a starter activity, show pupils two complex and two compound sentences. Give them two minutes
to rehearse orally their explanation of the sentences and then take feedback (L10.2).
Ask pupils to review their use of complex sentences in a piece of writing by highlighting main and
subordinate clauses in different colours (L10.2).
Categorise sentences from a text into statements, exclamations, commands, or questions. Then
practise using each kind of sentence in the writing of an advertisement, for example: exclamations to
add emphasis (Buy now!); questions to draw the reader in (Do you feel the need for a change?) (L10.2).
Give pupils simple sentences cut up into their grammatical units, i.e. subject, verb, object, adverbial,
complement. Pupils should experiment with forming sentences in as many ways as possible, evaluating
the changes in emphasis. In particular, draw pupils attention to the effect of moving the adverbial.
Pupils can go on to make up their own sentences for sorting.
Use a sentence from a novel being studied, for example: the sentence Cowering in the corner, Scrooge
awaited the next ghost from A Christmas Carol. Ask pupils to identify the main verb, subject and
subordinate clause. Then model moving the subordinate clause and noting changes in punctuation
and shifts in meaning (L10.2).
Copy complex sentences onto card, cut them up, with commas on separate cards. Pupils arrange the
cards in different ways and discuss changes in meaning or emphasis (L10.2).
During modelled and shared writing of narrative, discuss different ways of writing the same complex
sentence, by shifting the clause around or varying the structure, for example: I want to write, ‘Jo ran
down the stairs crying bitterly.’ I could change the order to emphasise how hard she was crying, so it would
read, ‘Crying bitterly, Jo ran down the stairs.’ Another way to do that would be to move ‘crying bitterly’ on its
own so the sentence reads ‘Jo, crying bitterly, ran down the stairs.’ Or I suppose I could emphasise that she
is running hard to get away from the scene. In that case I need to write ‘Running down the stairs, Jo cried
bitterly.’ (L10.2).
Write a simple sentence on the board, for example: The band played. Demonstrate how it could be
expanded by adding adjectives, prepositional or adverbial phrases and relative clauses, such as The
heavy metal rock band, which was not popular, played loudly in a muddy field in the pouring rain. Then
give pupils three or four simple sentences to modify. This could be differentiated by pupils being given
sentences of varying complexity, or by having to write their own.
Ask pupils to write two sentences using the words ‘who’ and ‘which’ – but not at the start of the
sentence. Look with the class at several examples and discuss the way these words help writers to give
extra information to the reader, for example: The dogs, which were racing across the field, frightened the
sheep.
Use shared reading to explore the different ways in which writers vary the start of their sentences
ensuring all examples are taken from the text under study, starting with:
-------
an adverb ending with ‘ly’: Hurriedly turning away, the woman hid the purse in her bag
a prepositional phrase: Underneath the bridge, two men were deep in conversation
a non-finite verb: Turning, the man who took a seat beside me, began to smile
a verb ending in ‘ed’: Exhausted, the boy slumped to the floor
a verb ending in ‘ing’: Looking through the window, the girl gazes out at the world
a connective: Because of his attitude, he was dropped from the football team (L10.2).
Ask pupils to write sentences starting in these different ways. This could be a starter activity or a focus for
pupils as they are doing a piece of writing.
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Provide a short text, for example travel writing, which has an interesting use of sentence structures.
Through shared reading, identify the different structures used. Each structure could be represented as
a formula. Ask pupils to practise creating sentences using the formulas and then to use the formulas as
they create their own text (L10.2).
Play the sentence game: show pupils a simple sentence and ask them to change it depending on the
instruction on their own cards. For example:
---------
Change the main verb
Change the connective
Add a subordinate clause
Move the subordinate clause
Start with an adverb
Start with a prepositional phrase
Start with an –ed word
Start with an –ing word.
A similar game can be played based on a complex sentence with the following instructions:
--------
Change first word (or phrase) of subordinate clause
Create a completely new complex sentence using a different structure
Change subordinate clause
Change subject in main clause
Change main clause
Move the subordinate clause
Change verb in main clause.
Pupils should discuss the effect of the changes on the reader. Encourage use of relevant metalanguage
such as ‘embedded clause’ (L10.2).
•
•
•
Hand out powerful images from photo-journalism to small groups. Ask each group to create a different
caption for the images using given sentence structures, for example passive voice, fronted subordinate
clause, etc. As a class, compare and discuss the variety and impact (L10.2).
Find a few examples of paragraphs from narrative in which the sentences are obviously varied for
effect. Put them on an OHT and ask pupils to categorise the sentences, find a pattern or pick the odd
one out – whichever of these lends itself to the paragraph. The follow-up question (essentially Why has
the writer done this?) should link the pattern back to meaning and effect (L10.2).
Use shared reading and modelled writing to explore the way a writer can create suspense by:
-----
delaying the introduction of a main character by using pronouns and adverbials of time or place,
for example: At the top of the stairs, half-hidden in darkness, a figure waited
using an adverb at the beginning of a sentence to emphasise how an action is carried out, for
example: Silently, she crept forwards.
using a short sentence for impact
by repeating words to build up tension, for example: Silently, they came. Silently, they crept. Silently,
and without fear…(L10.2).
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•
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Use shared writing to generate a paragraph in which sentences shrink to communicate urgency. The
rule of composition is that each new sentence must be shorter than the one before. Provide the first
sentence, such as After a hundred metres, the path petered out and I knew for sure that I was lost. Use a
similar approach to produce a paragraph in which sentences extend to communicate developing
thought. Try composing a paragraph about someone on the brink of a daring act such as a bungee
jump developing second thoughts, for example: I was now at the very edge (L10.2).
Explore with pupils the use of minor sentences and other sentence forms that seem to ‘break the rules’,
for example sentences beginning with But…. Advertisements are good to use for such an investigation
as is the start of Bleak House by Charles Dickens (see Grammar for reading and writing). The key question
for pupils is: ‘What effect is the writer seeking to have on the reader?’ Ask pupils to include a similar
sentence in a piece of writing and explain the effect they hoped to achieve (L10.2).
Using grammar appropriately for a range of forms, audiences and purposes
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Remind pupils of the modal verbs used in English, and how they allow us to express the extent to
which we think what we are saying is likely to be true. Demonstrate in shared writing the use of can/
could, may/might in discursive writing, and must/should in persuasive writing.
Compare a set of instructions with a narrative paragraph. Discuss how the sentences vary according to
purpose (for example, use of imperatives in instructions) (L10.2).
Investigate a range of text types and decide which tense is generally used and why. For instance,
compare a set of instructions, a report about a place and an extract from an autobiography. In what
way does the use of tense relate to the audience and purpose? (L10.2).
Give pupils cards with texts on them written for a variety of purposes and intended reader, for example:
a teenager’s email to a best friend; a written request to boss for leave of absence; a message written on
a sticky note. Ask pupils to place the cards on a formal–informal continuum line and to compare the
grammatical features used (L10.2).
Using a variety of texts, for example novel extracts, poems and non-fiction, explore the differences in
the grammar of colloquial English and formal SE (L10.2).
Investigate texts in which the boundaries between speech and writing are eroded: emails, blogs,
tabloid editorials, advertisements (L10.2).
Write a school prospectus for parents and a guide to the school for current Year 6 pupils, tailoring
language use to suit the different audiences (L10.2).
When studying a novel or play, explore the ways in which the grammar of the speech of characters
differs depending on their age, occupation or the situation. Apply this in the writing of a play script
(L10.2).
Choose a headline and opening of a newspaper article and model for pupils how to annotate
grammatical features relating to level of formality. Discuss audience and purpose. Compare the use of
grammatical features in a selection of other media texts on the same topic, focusing on the ways in
which audience and purpose affect language choices. Pupils could be given sentences to try to match
to the texts they come from and asked to explain how they were able to do this. Ask pupils to rewrite a
broadsheet report of an event for a tabloid newspaper (L10.2).
Pupils can work collaboratively using ‘track changes’ and ‘insert comment’ to change the style of a
piece to meet the needs of a different purpose or audience and to explain grammar choices (L10.2).
Compare a news report with an editorial about an event. Identify the differences in the style of writing
to suit the different purposes of the texts. Ask pupils to read another news story and then to write the
editorial (L10.2).
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In preparation for a piece of creative writing in which pupils will need to create tension, lead a shared
read of an extract from A Christmas Carol just before Marley’s ghost appears (see Grammar for reading
and writing). Discuss and annotate Dickens’ use of different types of phrases, adjectives and adverbs to
give a sense of the passing of time, of a haunted place and the increasing unease of the character. After
writing their text, ask pupils to provide a spoken commentary to their work, annotating their work on
an OHT or whiteboard in front of the class (L10.2).
Explore differences in the ways in which grammar is used in poetry and prose. You may wish to use
Meeting at Night by Robert Browning in which there is no main clause (see Grammar for reading and
writing). Ask pupils to rewrite a prose text as poetry and explain the changes they make or to write a
poem using the same structure as one they have studied (L10.2).
Select texts which combine text types such as an advertisement for a charity which combines
information and persuasion. Model annotating the text to show the ways in which the text types use
simple and compound sentences for clarity and conciseness and also complex, persuasive sentences
including powerful verbs and adjectives. Based on this, use shared writing to compose sentences to
include in a leaflet for a tourist attraction which informs and persuades. Pupils continue the writing
independently. Discuss the ways in which they have used the features of the various text types and the
effects created (L10.2).
Use two contrasting texts such as extracts from Jane Eyre (see Grammar for reading and writing)
and a factual inform/explain text such as an extract from a textbook. Identify the text type, writers’
purpose and audience. Compare the use of different types of sentence and use and placing of clauses.
Following this, ask pupils to write a creative piece describing a storm and a weather report of the same
storm. Alternatively, pupils could write a weather report based on Dickens’ description of the fog in
Bleak House (see Grammar for reading and writing) (L10.2).
Explain the idea of parody and read an example such as the title and opening paragraph of Barry
Trotter and the Shameless Parody (www.barrytrotter.com/). After shared reading of a text to identify the
grammatical features, ask pupils to write a parody, for example a review of the school canteen written
as a parody of the Michelin Guide (L10.2).
Differences between speech and writing
•
Translate extracts from transcripts of anecdote, gossip or storytelling into written forms, and discuss
the differences, for example: the ways in which speech includes vague language, discourse markers,
nouns/noun phrases at the beginning of clauses, ‘tails’, deixis, ellipsis, chains of clauses linked by ‘and’
rather than structured sentences using subordinate clauses, adverbs at the end of sentences. See The
Grammar of Talk (QCA/04/1291) for further guidance (L10.2).
Standard English and other varieties
•
•
•
Pupils research examples of phrases and sentences they might hear spoken but would not expect to
see written (except as dialogue): I never do nothing on Fridays. I’ve just ate my tea. We was out when it
happened. I really likes it when Sarah comes round. The place were dead quiet. Ask them to explore which
features make these examples of spoken rather than written language (L10.2).
Compare the grammar of the local variety of English with SE, for example subject–verb agreement with
was/were (point out that was/were is the only past tense verb that agrees with the subject in SE). Collect
a list of verbs which have different past tenses or past participles in SE and local English and discuss the
different situations in which the alternatives are used. Ask pupils to write a glossary for visitors to the
area giving the SE version of phrases used in the local dialect (L10.1).
Create a text in which we expect SE, but include some non-standard features. For example, a radio
news report rewritten to contain errors of agreement and double negative: The Prime Minister’s been
in Birmingham today chatting to school children. We was hoping to bring you a live report…. Ask pupils
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to pinpoint why this text feels ‘wrong’, for example why the style feels too informal. Identify specific
features that need changing. Ask pupils to improvise similar examples (a lot of fun here), and press
them to pinpoint:
•
•
----
what is inappropriate
how it is inappropriate
how it should be changed (L10.1).
Look at extracts of regional dialect used by a range of authors (for example D.H. Lawrence, Hardy,
Dickens, Mark Twain, Alan Bleasdale, David Almond in Heaven Eyes, Susan Price in The Story Collector).
Discuss how the use of dialect impacts on the reader. Discuss the issues of transcribing speech in
general and non-standard dialects in particular. If appropriate, include dialect speech patterns when
writing dialogue in narrative or when writing play scripts to add authenticity to characters (L10.1).
Select poems, plays, narratives or non-fiction texts which use a variety of English, for example Black
English or Indian English. Model annotating use of grammatical features that differ from written SE. Ask
pupils to rewrite an extract in SE and discuss the effects of the change on the reader and why the use of
a variety was appropriate in the context. Poems by Benjamin Zephaniah and John Agard can be used
to explore Black English. (see Grammar for reading and writing for notes on Listen Mr Oxford Don by John
Agard.) Travel writing such as Indian Summer by Will Randall includes dialogue written in Indian English.
Ask pupils to write the script for a TV advertisement persuading people to visit India or the Caribbean
using the conventions of the variety of English spoken there (L10.1).
Grammar and time period
•
•
•
•
Select paragraphs from a number of prose texts through the ages, for example Defoe, Austen, Dickens
and Golding, and ask pupils to compare the length and construction of sentences, then generalise
about change over time (L10.1).
Using the extract from Jane Eyre in Grammar for reading and writing, ask pupils to identify archaic
expressions. Discuss the ways in which these differ from modern English (L10.1).
Compare the grammatical features used in a description of a contemporary event and a historical
event, for example compare The Times report of the Charge of the Light Brigade and a report of a
contemporary event or a historical account of a natural disaster and a modern account (L10.1).
Ask pupils to write a diary entry of a teenager living in the future using the style of language that they
think may be used at that time (L10.1).
Style/Tone
•
•
•
Discuss the ways in which modal verbs can convey tone:
----
annoyance: She could have called
anxiety: She should have called by now
hope: She might call later (L10.2).
Explore the ways in which sentence structure can convey attitude by comparing different ways of
saying the same thing, for example: Please work quietly; I’d like you to work quietly if that’s OK; Work
quietly; Quiet!; May I request that you work quietly please? Ask pupils to write a letter of apology and a
letter of complaint using sentence structure to create an appropriate tone (L10.2).
Explore the ways in which grammatical features contribute to the creation of humour in a text such
as The Pig Scrolls by Paul Shipton. Techniques used in the novel include: the narrator’s use of language
which contrasts with how he is feeling (such as using sentences including modal verbs instead of
exclamations in a panic situation in order to try to sound calm; the juxtaposition of an informal
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conversational tone with tense, frightening events; sentences structured to create hyperbole). Model
and then share the writing of a humorous text set in a tense situation (L10.2).
Introduce the idea of deliberate ambiguity in texts. Pupils could write scenarios around sentences that
could be interpreted ironically, for example: She is in a different class, he thought. Discuss the ways in
which sentence structure contributes to the ambiguous tone (L10.2).
Use shared reading to explore character through the use of dialogue, identifying the techniques
which writers use to give their characters a distinctive voice, for example: discuss the use of individual
or unusual ways of speaking; the degree of formality; the use of SE or non-standard speech patterns,
repeated expressions and favourite phrases; the writer’s use of verbs and adverbs when introducing
direct speech (for example, he squeaked anxiously, she exclaimed vehemently). Pupils should try to apply
similar techniques in their own creative writing (L10.2).
Using a text with multiple narrative perspectives, take ten sentences from parts of the text and ask
pupils to decide from which narrative perspectives the sentences have come, explaining to a partner
how they made the decision. Take feedback and explore how writers use language features to change
style to represent different perspectives. For example, use sentences from Al Capone Does My Shirts
by Gennifer Choldenko from Moose’s perspective, and from the letter of Mrs Del Peabody III to the
Warden and ask pupils to identify which sentences belong to which perspective and how we know. Ask
pupils to include different narrative perspectives in creative writing, each using distinctive language
features (L10.2).
Through shared reading, explore the grammatical features used by a writer with a distinctive style such
as Dickens. Pupils then go on to look at other extracts to identify use of the same features. Discuss as a
class the elements of the writer’s style. Pupils can then write a pastiche to demonstrate understanding
of the stylistic features (L10.2).
Lead a shared reading of the opening of a novel written using ‘stream of consciousness’ such as Mrs
Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, discussing the way in which sentence structures reflect the character’s
thought processes. Pupils could then write a ‘stream of consciousness’ passage from the point of view
of a character in a text being studied (L10.2).
Give pupils two texts that are seemingly unrelated or from differing genres and ask them to work in
pairs to draw out the similarities and differences in writing style. Dr Frankenstein’s account of the events
that bring the monster to life work well in comparison with scientific literary non-fiction describing
creatures, such as the account of seeing a shark in Close Encounter with a Great White in Collins Cascades’
Wild World. Ask pupils to extend the extracts by writing additional sentences in the style of the authors
(L10.2).
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9.3 Reviewing spelling and increasing knowledge of word
derivations, patterns and families
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Extension
Spell common
words
correctly
Spell most
words
correctly
including
some complex
polysyllabic
words and
unfamiliar
words
Spell correctly
throughout
a substantial
text including
ambitious
or complex
polysyllabic
words
Increase
knowledge
of word
families, roots,
derivations,
morphology
and regular
spelling
patterns
Apply
knowledge of
spelling skills
and strategies
with increasing
independence
Review and
revise spelling
strategies
for dealing
with words in
familiar and
unfamiliar
contexts or
under time
or other
constraints
Review and
revise spelling
strategies
for dealing
with words in
familiar and
unfamiliar
contexts,
or when
imaginative
and ambitious
choices are
made, or under
time or other
constraints
About this substrand
•
•
Pupils will have been taught aspects of this substrand at Key Stage 2, and therefore it is important to
use the teaching ideas which follow selectively. Year 6 pupils will have been taught how to spell familiar
words correctly and employ a range of strategies to spell difficult and unfamiliar words. They will also
have studied how to use appropriate strategies to edit, proofread and correct spelling in their own
work and on screen. Less confident pupils may, therefore, need reinforcement and consolidation, while
more-able pupils should be encouraged to pursue investigations which develop their appreciation of
the origins and patterns of English spelling, enabling them to make ambitious word choices in a variety
of writing tasks.
Progress in this substrand for all pupils will be demonstrated by an ability to apply spelling knowledge
and conventions with confidence and independence, when spelling increasingly challenging words in
familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
Why spelling matters
•
Spelling matters to readers and it matters to writers because it is part of the process of making
meaning through the written word. Competence in spelling releases the creativity of the writer. Young
writers need to be so confident about their spelling that they can concentrate on composing ideas and
making stylistic choices at word and sentence level that reflect the purpose and the context of their
writing. English spelling is more regular than it may seem: there are fewer than 500 wholly irregular
words in modern English, but some are words that we use very frequently. Since English spelling is
more than 80% predictable, it makes sense to teach spelling systematically, not just incidentally. David
Crystal makes that point very clearly in The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language:
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‘If the spelling system contains such regularity, why is there a problem? The answer is complex, but a
major factor is that children are rarely taught how to spell. They are made to learn spellings by heart, and
are rigorously tested on them, but few attempts are made to explain what it is they have learned. They
are not generally told why spellings are as they are, or about how these spellings relate to the way words
are pronounced. Without such perspective, spelling becomes a vast, boring and time-consuming memory
task.’ (p.272)
Initiate discussion with pupils on attitudes to spelling by reading a thought-provoking poem on
spelling by Brian Patten – Gust Becos I Cud Not Spel.
Other substrands with the closest learning relationship to this substrand are:
---------
7.2 Using and adapting the conventions and forms of texts on paper and on screen
8.1 Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas
8.2 Varying sentences and punctuation for clarity and effect
8.3 Improving vocabulary for precision and impact
8.6 Developing and using editing and proofreading skills on paper and on screen
9.1 Using the conventions of standard English
10.1 Exploring language variation and development according to time, place, culture, society and
technology
10.2 Commenting on language use.
Because links to the language substrands are important, teaching approaches that address those two
substrands are followed by a bracket indicating which language substrand is pertinent, for example
(L.10).
Links between this substrand and functional skills
In working with this substrand pupils have the opportunity to build, apply, transfer and become
independent in functional skills writing standard for Entry level 3 and secure the standard for Level 1 and
Level 2 by:
•
•
•
using correct spelling
checking work for accuracy
writing documents clearly on increasingly complex subjects.
Some examples of application of learning to other areas
of the curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
Display spelling strategies in all classrooms.
Promote and remind pupils to select appropriate strategies to help them learn key words.
Promote spelling booklets/journals per subject (or cross-curricular spelling journals).
Promote unit spellings, so that pupils are learning the words which are pertinent to a unit of work,
avoiding decontextualised spelling tests.
Promote use of thesauruses and dictionaries (general and subject-specific); ask pupils to keep a record
of how often they have used a dictionary/thesaurus in various subjects across the week. Discuss in
English lessons why and how such dictionary work helped them in their work.
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•
•
•
•
•
•
The National Strategies | Secondary
Teaching for progression: Writing
Promote proofreading and spelling correction time in all subjects; allow pupils time in class to selfmonitor spelling in a piece of work they have just completed. They should cross out misspellings and
write the correct word in a different colour.
Use starter activities where pupils have to proofread and correct their spellings under strict time
constraints.
Set personal spelling targets to be reviewed by the form tutor each term.
Ask pupils to bring examples of their spelling journals from other subjects for discussion in English and
explore how well they are applying the taught spelling strategies across the curriculum.
Use knowledge gained in history when studying invasions (such as the Anglo-Saxons, Romans, French
and so on) when discussing language and spelling development in English lessons (L10.1).
Ask pupils to make spelling links with other languages they may be studying, for example words for
motorways: autoroute (French); autobahn (German); autopista (Spanish); autoput (Serbo-Croat) (L10.1).
Ask pupils to apply their knowledge of prefixes to help with spellings and understanding in other
subject areas, such as in physical education: substitute, disallow, intercept, and so on.
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9.3 Aspect 1
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Spell common
words
correctly
Spell most
words
correctly
including
some complex
polysyllabic
words and
unfamiliar
words
Spell correctly
throughout
a substantial
text including
ambitious
or complex
polysyllabic
words
Review and
revise spelling
strategies
for dealing
with words in
familiar and
unfamiliar
contexts or
under time
or other
constraints
Review and
revise spelling
strategies
for dealing
with words in
familiar and
unfamiliar
contexts,
or when
imaginative
and ambitious
choices are
made, or under
time or other
constraints
Extension
What to teach
Common, polysyllabic words
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The most likely ways of spelling the long vowel phonemes (ay, ai, a-e); (a phoneme is the smallest unit of
sound in a language).
Strategies for spelling unstressed vowels in polysyllabic words.
The convention of when to double consonants before adding suffixes.
The rule about when the c is softened.
All new terms and key words as they become relevant, including strategies to help pupils remember
how to spell them.
Revision and consolidation of familiar high-frequency words that still remain a problem for some
pupils.
High-frequency words that contain common letter strings but are pronounced differently.
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Complex, polysyllabic words
•
•
•
•
How to identify ‘tricky words’ as opposed to those where the usual conventions apply.
Revision and consolidation of the strategies for learning difficult words including mnemonics,
memorising critical features, and multi-sensory reinforcement.
Syllabification: consolidate pupils’ ability to segment words into syllables. Important subject-specific
words of this type such as imagery, apostrophe, and simile.
The significance of prefix, root and suffix as a means of breaking down a difficult word into
manageable parts, for example: un-believ-able; in-de-fatig-able (L10.1).
Complex and polysyllabic words (examples)
aeroplane
laboratory
potential
agricultural
liaison
parallelogram
advertisement
manoeuvre
prejudice
accommodation
megabyte
pressure
characteristics
miniature
protein
conscientious
miscellaneous
quadrilateral
conscience
narrator
questionnaire
constitution
onomatopoeia
rheumatism
discussion
palette
rhythm
environmental
parliament
specification
encyclopaedia
percussion
synchronise
estuary
persuasion
triangular
gymnastics
pneumonia
technology
Reviewing and revising spelling strategies to support the spelling of more
ambitious words
•
•
•
•
Drafts are always proofread and corrected.
Reminders about effective strategies: different ways of remembering difficult spellings; applying
knowledge of word origins; identifying common spelling patterns and conventions.
The effective use of dictionary, thesaurus or spellchecker.
Reminders about preferred spelling aids for use while writing, such as the dictionary with which they
are most comfortable, hand-held spellchecker, computer.
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Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
Building, developing and applying
Common polysyllabic words
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Set up a word-sort activity: ask pupils to put a bank of words on cards into groups according to the
spelling of the long a phoneme. Ask them to investigate the most likely spelling of this phoneme at
the end of words, in the middle of the words and in combination with different consonants. Use words
such as mate, day, eight, rage, estate, play.
Set up a word activity sorting words according to spelling pattern to discover the most common
spelling patterns for long i and e phonemes followed by the t phoneme. Use words such as beat, knight,
quite, seat, spite, neat.
Ask pupils to investigate the three main ways (and any other ways) of spelling the long o and long u
phonemes. Ask them to work in groups to generate a bank of words containing the sound, sort them
by spelling pattern and try to draw conclusions about spelling possibilities.
Demonstrate for pupils the phenomenon of the unstressed vowel by showing examples such as
interested, vegetable, family. Give pupils a bank of words which exhibit this feature and ask them to
highlight the unstressed vowels.
Identify common letter patterns associated with this feature and decide on ways to help remember
these words, for example: Liam is in parliament.
Ensure that pupils understand the difference between long and short vowel sounds by doing a quick
‘show me’ card activity where pupils hold up a ‘long’ or a ‘short’ card in response to a word spoken by
the teacher.
Explain the convention that words ending with a single consonant preceded by a short vowel double
the consonant before adding vowel suffixes such as: -ing, -er, -est, -ed.
Ask pupils to carry out an investigation of words that double the final consonant and those that do not.
Ask them to produce posters to illustrate their findings.
In pairs, ask pupils to list ca, ce, ci, co and cu words and to read them aloud to hear the differences and
to find the patterns.
Ask the class to audit errors in high-frequency words by trawling through their exercise books, working
in pairs. Each pupil draws up a list of target words for inclusion in a spelling journal. The words are also
written in English books to provide a marking focus for the teacher.
Set up an investigation of high-frequency homophones (one of the most common sources of error
in high-frequency words). Pupils are required to draw up lists of such words and devise ways of
remembering them. Examples are: for/four, there/their/they’re, one/won, where/wear, saw/soar/sore,
would/wood, be/bee, our/hour, what/watt, see/sea, two/to/too, your/you’re, made/maid, by/bye, night/
knight, way/weigh, morning/mourning, heard/herd, through/threw, know/no, which/witch, hear/here, right/
write, hole/whole, past/passed, new/knew, its/it’s, road/rode, days/daze, died/dyed, side/sighed.
Differentiate this activity by asking more-able pupils to investigate the phenomenon of heteronyms
instead: buffet, sewer, lead, read, tear, wind, wound, bow, entrance, row, sow, live.
Use ‘show me’ card starter activities to identify quickly which pupils still have problems with highfrequency homophones.
Play Hangman: pupils work in pairs or teams to correctly spell mystery key subject words written on
card or the board.
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Lead a whole-class look, say, remember, cover, write, check starter activity with whiteboards to introduce
the spelling of unfamiliar subject-specific vocabulary. The class is then encouraged to decide on their
own best individual strategies for remembering the words.
Play Team Challenge: the class is divided into groups, each one responsible for a different curriculum/
topic area. Each group identifies ten key words from that area. Group A then disperses, one member
to each of the other groups, and challenges the other group members to a spelling test. The process is
repeated with each group challenging the others in their subject areas.
Use crossword dictionaries and other resources to create a list of words with common letter strings
but different pronunciations: ough (cough, drought, through); ight (bright, freight, height ); our (flour,
pour, tour).
Play Spelling Millionaire: decide on the spelling focus (for example, unusual words, plurals, subjectspecific), choose a pupil to write the word on the board; three lifelines are allowed:
----
ask the audience
phone a friend (the pupil on the spot chooses someone else to spell the word)
50/50 (the teacher offers the pupil two choices).
Teaching in the context of reading
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Provide pupils with magazine articles. Ask them to find, highlight and record in their personal spelling
journals words that have consonants doubled where suffixes have been added.
During shared reading, draw attention to the spelling of any new and significant vocabulary, noting
vowel choices, unstressed vowels, doubled consonants and other features related to this learning
objective. Ask pupils to make entries in their spelling journals where appropriate.
Highlight ‘troublesome’ words as they occur in shared texts for pupils to enter in spelling journals
where necessary.
When new terms are introduced during the study of a text (such as irony), ensure that the spelling of
the word is noted in spelling journals, together with learning strategies.
Teaching in the context of writing
•
Remind pupils of the various spelling strategies and teach spellings in context, choosing words
appropriate to the text/s or the topic under study:
--------------
identifying phonemes – breaking words into sounds (d-i-a-r-y)
break into syllables (re-mem-ber)
break into affixes (dis+satisfy)
link with word families (muscle/muscular)
look for words within words (favOURite)
refer to etymology (bi+cycle=2+wheels)
use analogy (bright, right)
create word webs (tele/phone)
use a mnemonic (necessary = one collar, two sleeves)
say the word as it sounds (Wed-nes-day)
use a key word to help remember whether to use the suffix able or ible (horrible/drinkable)
apply spelling rules (writing, written)
learn by sight (look, remember, cover, write, check).
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Teach pupils how to develop their own ‘pocket spellchecker’ from an analysis of their own errors. This is
used as an aide-mémoire when drafting or checking work.
Consolidate learning about consonant doubling by using a ‘show me’ activity with whiteboards. Give
pupils base words and suffixes and ask them to write the base + suffix on their boards: stop + ing =
stopping. Check which pupils are still not secure with the convention and set them an appropriate
target.
Make this spelling learning objective a focus for marking following direct teaching and then at all times
for those pupils for whom it is a target.
Ask pupils to write a short piece of nonsense verse which shows the different spelling choices for a
particular vowel sound: A train with freight, Couldn’t wait, It dropped a crate, The loss was great.
Ensure that pupils use spelling journals while drafting and proofreading their writing.
Ensure pupils have access to dictionaries and spellcheckers when writing.
Ask pupils to choose a pair of homophones and write a rhyming couplet or two that exemplify the
correct use of the words: When in the woods, we always bow, or hit our heads upon a bough.
Ask pupils to write a short piece of nonsense verse that incorporates as many of their target spelling
words as possible.
Make pupils’ target words a focus for marking written work.
Complex polysyllabic words
Teaching in the context of reading
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Write up the prefixes, divide the class into groups, each with a particular prefix and ask pupils to write
down as many words as they can, in two minutes, for their prefix. Ask pupils to work out the meaning
of their prefix, and teach if unknown.
Play Speed Dictionaries: pairs race against a 30-second deadline to locate word and origin of a prefix in
the dictionary.
Collect words with similar prefixes: who can list the most?
Play sorting games: for language of origin, for same prefix, scientific words, words linked to movement
and so on.
Do Yellow Pages word search for companies which use prefixed words as a company name such as
AutoGlaze. Try travel and transport companies too.
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auto (self)
circum (about/
round)
bi (two or
more)
tele (distant)
trans
micro
(across)
(small)
autobiography
circle
biceps
telegenic
transatlantic
microcosm
autograph
circumference
bicycle
telegraph
transfer
microfilm
automobile
circumnavigate
bifocals
telepathy
translate
microphone
autopsy
circumstance
bilingual
telescope
transparent
microscopic
aqua (water)
aero (air)
audi (hear)
re (again)
prim
super
(first)
(bigger)
aquaplane
aerodrome
audible
reconsider
primary
superman
aquarium
aerodynamics
audience
repeat
primate
supernatural
aquarius
aeronaut
audition
replay
prime
supernova
aquatic
areoplane
auditorium
reply
primrose
supersede
suffixes
able
ist
like
ory
tion
cian
ity
ly
ship
wise
est
ive
ment
ful
less
ness
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Card sort 1: pupils are given cards of unfamiliar words to sort into those that have clear prefix, root and
suffix parts, and those that do not. Card sort 2: pupils sort cards according to the critical features of
each word, such as those with a double consonant where you might expect a single. Card sort 3: pupils
sort cards according to whether the words follow usual spelling conventions or not. Investigate unusual
prefixes, such as sym; rele.
Alert pupils to important unfamiliar words as they appear in class texts and suggest ways of
remembering them.
Pupils add new, unfamiliar words to their spelling journals, with a suitable aide-mémoire: a breakdown
of parts of the word, illustration, mnemonic and so on.
Pupils highlight in a text the ‘tricky words’ they might want to use in their own writing and add them to
their spelling journals in the usual way.
Identify difficult vocabulary from texts under study and model how to apply knowledge of spelling
conventions and strategies.
Set up investigations enabling pupils to explore the use of non-standard spelling in literary dialect.
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Teaching in the context of writing
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Model the process of identifying a ‘tricky word’ and the development of a learning strategy that is
appropriate for the word and the learner.
Establish a ‘tricky words’ section in pupils’ spelling journals which not only lists the words they need
but also links each one with an appropriate strategy for memorisation.
Expect pupils to use their spelling journals when writing. Organise the class so each pupil has a spelling
buddy to check each other’s work; identifying errors and suggesting corrections.
Spelling partners: pupils test each other on the spelling of key words if they finish their writing before
the rest.
Teach pupils the more ambitious and sophisticated vocabulary which will be needed in the next
writing task; and ask them to identify strategies for learning the words. Tell them you will be marking
for this as well as for content.
Set a target for ‘tricky words’ that are likely to be used in a particular piece of writing and reward those
who meet it. Focus on the marking of spelling to reinforce the recent teaching of this objective.
Reviewing and revising
•
Show pupils how to do an analysis of their own spelling difficulties and help them to set personal
spelling targets, for example use a checklist like the one shown below.
Spelling analysis
Number of
mistakes of this
kind
Type of mistake
Examples
Vowels
consciounce (conscience)
Single/double consonants
occassion (occasion)
Spelling strategy
to use
peruassion (persuasion)
Common letter patterns
-ful, -ght, -tch, -tion
Tricky words (unusual, difficult
or irregular words)
miscellanious (miscellaneous)
onomatopea
(onomatopoeia)
Homophones
allowed/aloud
past/passed
Plurals and other word endings
quickley (quickly)
moveing (moving)
Personal blind spots
rythm ( rhythm)
omnissient
(omniscient)
My most common type of mistake is:
To improve my spelling I am going to:
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Revise the range of spelling strategies introduced in Year 7 and Year 8 and ask pupils to identify the
ones that they will find most helpful in meeting their targets.
Expect the continued use of spelling journals to develop further the good habits established in Year 7
and Year 8.
Continue to promote the use of dictionaries and thesauruses.
Review pupils’ progress towards their spelling targets and help them to set new targets to be achieved
by a certain time.
Teaching in the context of reading
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Identify important words that relate to the texts pupils are studying (such as characters’ names or
literary terms). Ask pupils to consider whether these words are likely to cause them problems given
their profile as spellers.
Expect words to be added to the spelling journal when appropriate.
Pupils identify words from their own reading that they may want to use, and enter them in their
journals; encourage pupils to experiment using more ambitious vocabulary and applying spelling
strategies to secure correct spelling.
Teaching in the context of writing
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Expect proofreading to be routinely done when drafting a piece of writing.
Use an interactive whiteboard or computer to consolidate the use of spellchecker software and expect
pupils to use spellcheckers when writing. Ask pupils who use this software regularly to explain how
they use it to identify pitfalls such as homophones and American spelling. Ask the more-able pupils to
provide any useful tips to help others.
Ensure that dictionaries and thesauruses are readily available whenever pupils write.
Focus the marking of spelling around pupils’ targets and reward progress made.
Ask pupils to respond to your marking of certain incorrect spellings by explaining what they are going
to do to learn the word.
Reward pupils who show evidence that they are taking responsibility for the accuracy of their spelling.
Introduce a ‘spelling analysis’ sheet to enable pupils to keep a record of their own areas of uncertainty.
Investigate how email and text messages deviate from non-standard forms of spelling; discuss whether
this helps or hinders the ability to spell correctly.
Use starter activities to help pupils practise proofreading their work for spelling errors under strict time
constraints, as practice for mocks and GCSE examinations.
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9.3 Aspect 2
Year 7
Increase knowledge of word families, roots, derivations, morphology and regular spelling patterns
What to teach (L10.1)
Revise, consolidate and secure
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Etymology: the study of the origin and development of words.
Morphology: the study of the way words are built up from roots and affixes (affixes are a group of
letters forming part of a word, usually a prefix or a suffix).
Word families.
How to use dictionaries and thesauruses to help pupils in finding and spelling derivations of words and
their origins.
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Teaching approaches and learning opportunities
•
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Explore word origins: provide and explain a root; use dictionaries to create collections of words with
common roots.
Explain that many root words and derivations are drawn from Latin and Greek and provide examples.
With guidance pupils can investigate the reasons why these two languages have had such an influence
on the English language.
Words derived from other languages
From graphein – write
From annus – year
From dictare – to say
graph
annual
dictator
photograph
anniversary
dictionary
From mikro – small
From manus – hand
From mort – dead
microscope
manual
mortgage
microlight
manuscript
mortuary
From octo – eight
From aqua – water
From roi – king
octagon
aquarium
royalty
octopus
aqueduct
royalty
From ge – earth
From unus – one
From presse – press
geology
unit
express
geography
union
pressure
From naus – ship
From insula – island
From voix – voice
nausea
insulation
voice
nautical
peninsula
vocal
From skopein – to see
From specere – to look
From bloc – block
telescope
spectator
blockage
microscope
spectrum
blockade
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Provide a list of words using the same root and ask pupils to deduce the meaning.
In shared reading and writing, identify words built around common roots.
Use an extract from Shakespeare to explore how spelling has changed over time; ask more-able pupils
to carry out an investigation and make a presentation to the class.
Explore morphology by creating word webs showing words related to a common root. Show how
word families can be created by attaching affixes (such as able, ible, ing, ive, ally, ly, sion, tion, ful, ism and
so on) to words such as path, act, graph, part, port; choosing words to suit the ability of the pupils:
---
path: empathy, empathetic, pathology, pathological, pathos, sympathy, sympathetic
port: transport, translate, transfer, refer, infer, import, export, explore and so on.
Use an etymological dictionary to explore the exact origin of words under study in a unit of work and to
create charts showing word links and origins.
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9.3 Aspect 2
Year 8
Apply knowledge of spelling skills and strategies with increasing independence
What to teach
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How to use a spelling journal effectively to help consolidate knowledge of spelling conventions and
strategies.
How to develop techniques for effective proofreading, applying knowledge of spelling conventions.
How to respond to spelling errors identified in written work by the teacher, applying spelling strategies
to learn correct spellings.
How to become a more independent speller by developing a repertoire of spelling strategies,
confidently applying spelling knowledge with unfamiliar words.
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Teaching and learning approaches
Building, developing and applying
Establish the use of personal spelling journals and model to pupils how to keep records of:
•
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•
target words
the outcomes of investigations
rules and conventions
helpful learning strategies, including mnemonics
key words which they continually find difficult
words they need, or wish, to learn
common prefixes and suffixes
categories of words with the same patterns
new vocabulary.
Sample journal entry
Spelling
Strategy for mastering it in the future
buisness
Remember it comes from the word busy and only the y changes to i when it is
lengthened: bus-i-ness, like lazy-i-ness
writeing
Remember the rhyme:
Words that end with the letter e
Drop the e before i-n-g
dissapointed
Remember the prefix is dis-, and that it is added to the root word (like dis-satisfied)
againsted
This word I know how to spell. I would have corrected it if I had proofread my
writing carefully (out loud to myself) for accidental errors. I must remember to do
that as I go along with my writing, even if I’m in a hurry
writter
Remember that if the sound of the vowel is the same as the name of the vowel it
does not double the consonant. This word would have to come from the verb ‘to
writ’
is’nt
Remember that the apostrophe here is like the joker in a pack of cards – it takes the
place of a missing letter and goes where the letter should be
realy
Remember it’s the word + ly (real + ly); the word itself does not change, like lovely =
love + ly (not lovly)
stoped
The p (consonant) needs doubling
definately
Remember the root word is finish, finite, definite + ly
consciounce
This is a word which I must often practise writing using the look, remember, cover,
write, check method, and then writing at speed and within whole sentences. I will
do speed spelling tests on these words with my partner in tutor time con + science
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Discuss the process of writing with pupils and locate the place and importance of proofreading within
it. Demonstrate the process of proofreading using the whiteboard of an anonymous pupil’s piece of
work; develop this further in guided work.
Explain to pupils how and why you correct spellings in their written work.
Establish the routine entry of corrected spellings into spelling journals as target words to be learned.
Teaching in the context of reading
•
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•
•
During shared reading, identify any words that pose a spelling challenge (for example, exceptions to
spelling conventions) and that pupils are likely to want to use in their own writing. Ask pupils to enter
them in their spelling journals.
Model proofreading for pupils, giving them strategies such as highlighting words they are not sure
about, reading aloud to a partner, reading work backwards.
In pairs, pupils proofread each other’s written work and list spelling errors that can be targeted for
learning.
Discuss new subject-specific words as they appear in class texts; point out helpful ways of
remembering the spelling and ask pupils to add these to their spelling journals.
Teaching in the context of writing
•
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•
•
•
•
Establish the use of spelling journals as one of the essential reference tools for use while writing.
Ask pupils to write a profile of themselves as spellers in which they explain their strengths and
weaknesses, their attitudes, their preferred learning strategies and so on.
Reward effective use of the spelling journal and share this good practice with the whole class.
Use guided work with a targeted group of pupils to analyse their pattern of spelling errors and agree
targets and strategies for improvement. When marking written work, identify words for correction that
are to become target words for the pupil’s spelling journal and identify strategies for remembering
how to spell the words.
Allocate some class time to establish the habit of proofreading written work before handing it in. This
could be a starter activity – step up the challenge by introducing time limits to prepare pupils for doing
this in examinations.
Play Flash Spelling: following the return of marked written work, the teacher allows time for pupils
to study the comments and enter target spellings. With books closed, pupils have to write their new
target words on whiteboards and display to the teacher for a visual check.
When demonstrating writing occasionally introduce a deliberate spelling mistake and ask pupils to tell
you how to correct it and what strategy could be used to remember to spell it correctly.
Further guidance on teaching spelling can be found in Teaching for progression: Teaching spelling
(Ref: 00750-2008PDF-EN-04)
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Acknowledgement
Page 53, Extract from YES, PRIME MINISTER © Antony Jay & Jonathan Lynn, Copyright agent:
Alan Brodie Representation Ltd, 6th floor, Fairgate House, 78 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1HB
[email protected]
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© Crown copyright 2008
Audience: Secondary English teachers
Date of issue: 12-2008
Ref: 00750-2008PDF-EN-02
Copies of this publication may be available from:
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You can download this publication and obtain
further information at: www.standards.dcsf.gov.uk
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