In Year 4, we know how much reading impacts on our writing. As such, our writing is usually linked to books we are reading as a whole class. These are often related to our topic or to a particular author we are focusing on. We make sure our writing has a purpose and gives us the opportunity to improve our writing skills. We have reading and writing journals, where we collect ideas, vocabulary and great sentences we have been working on. Writers are magpies, so we take our influences from anything we read or hear - just like real authors!
Writing every day gives the children the opportunity to work on lots of different genres from fiction, non-fiction and poetry. For example, during our Roman topic, we write mythical stories of Gods and Goddesses, rousing speeches to encourage the Celt army into battle and kennings to intrigue our readers.
The children learn which key features should be included in pieces of writing and help to put together marking ladders to use as a checklist. By Year 4, they are beginning to appreciate the way that vocabulary, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure are tools which real writers use to enhance the content of writing. We are working towards quality pieces of writing which are imaginative, interesting and thoughtful.
The children's writing skills are used in other subjects as often as we can. For example, they have written debates on the choice of St Peter as head of the Catholic church as well as scientific explanations of how a solid turns into a liquid.
Above all we know that becoming a good writer takes time and a lot of practise, as Roald Dahl says:
"When you're writing a book, it's rather like going on a very long walk across valleys and mountains... The highest mountain on the walk is obviously the end of the book, because its got to be the best view of all, when everything comes together and you can look back and see that everything you've done all ties up."