Topic outline

  • Lower KS2 Writing Ideas

    Home learning is challenging in so many ways and particularly teaching writing.  The HIAS English team agree that aiming to deliver an effective learning journey using our usual three stage approach is just not going to be possible for parents.  

    Instead, we have devised two different approaches.  One approach is short writing units based on rich texts over 5 short sessions, but with tasks that we believe will be accessible to parents and children.  The other is a 'pick and mix' menu of age appropriate writing tasks. Further details are below.

    To support teachers in creating their own home learning units, we have created a top tips section below, plus suggested weblinks to quality online resources.

  • Unit plans from rich texts

    • Each writing unit contains a sequence of 5 lessons to be completed in order
    • Each session should take no more than 30 mins to complete
    • Tasks are written with easy to follow instructions for parents / child 
    • Each lesson has a simple explanation and examples to get started
    • All units are based on texts that can be found online, or extracts shared within the unit
    Parents, carers and siblings can help by reading the extracts/text aloud to the child; collecting interesting words and phrases on paper / post-its as they read; talking to the child about their ideas before they write.  All these instructions are within the unit aimed at parents.

    Our units include tasks we often promote and the majority of Hampshire children are familiar with.  However, if the task is not familiar to the children, swap it for something that is, therefore reducing the cognitive load and stress at home.  

    Teachers and parents should adapt any of the resources and materials as necessary to support a child's needs.  Ideally home learning will focus on consolidating what has already been taught, rather than focusing on new learning.  

    We welcome any feedback or examples of outcomes from children!

  • Pick and mix bank of writing ideas

    In addition to the 5 day writing units, the HIAS English team have devised some short writing tasks that we believe will be accessible to parents and children to keep children writing during school closures. 

    This pick and mix bank of writing ideas are a different approach to setting writing tasks and could be used by schools in many ways:

    • schools could break the ideas down and only give one at a time
    • the bank of ideas could be given to parents for 'challenge' for those requesting more independent work for their child
    • children could be given the sheet and encouraged to 'choose' one a week that they would like and present it in any way
    • alternate one week 'choice' and one week the 5 day units approach (examples above)
    • in any other way useful to schools!

    Feel free to adopt and adapt as you wish or evolve our ideas in whatever way works for your children.  There are task ideas for key stage 1, lower key stage 2 and upper key stage 2 – this will give you the differentiation options within the class.

  • Weblinks

    Authorfy


    An incredible website of 60+ writing masterclasses - free resources from a range of quality authors. Watch the author’s videos, read the extracts from their books and download cross-curricular schemes of work. The resources are completely flexible and act as a springboard for ideas so teachers can adapt to suit the needs of home learning. 

    https://authorfy.com/

    For example look at the writing challenge set by Katherine Rundell based on The Explorer.  Why not find an author/ text you have read as a class recently that the children already know well?

    https://authorfy.com/masterclasses/katherinerundell/

    There are also creative resources ranging from arts and crafts pages to book club questions and games, and they’re all aimed at boosting reading and writing for pleasure.

    • Using film annimations as a stimulus for writing

      Literacy Shed

      Films make an excellent stimulus for children's writing.  Research shows it hooks the reluctant writers and supports those from disadvantaged backgrounds with success in writing outcomes.  Why not consider creating some simple writing tasks from a film you think your children will be engaged by during this period of home learning?  There are so many 'sheds' to explore from the Sports Shed, Fairy Tale Shed, Adventure Shed and many more - something for every child.  The website also gives ideas for English outcomes linked to reading and writing.


      In addition, Literacy Shed Plus are now sharing resources and planning for free. https://www.literacyshedplus.com/


      • Using still image as a stimulus for writing

        Pobble 365

        Pobble 365 is an invaluable resource and is always available free to schools - a perfect writing stimulus for home learning.  Everyday the website releases a new imaginative image and includes a story starter, quality questions, a sentence challenge and some 'sick sentences' to improve.  You can scroll back over years of images to find the ones that will engage your children - why not give them a choice of image from three?

        As well as writing, the tasks require children to 'read' the picture - comprehend, explore, justify, make links, infer, predict etc, whilst no child is held back by the written word.  We suggest modelling the quality of answers / responses, perhaps creating WAGOLLs for each section so parents understand the depth of outcomes expected.  Done well, this could equate to several days of work depending on the year group and picture chosen.  Enjoy exploring!


        http://www.pobble365.com/

        Each image's activities can also be downloaded as a PDF.  Each activity forms a separate sheet - again perfect for home learning.