Dear Parents and Caregivers, Konnichiwa!
Start of Term 2
I hope you have all had a good break. This term we started the term with a student free day on the teaching of Writing. Across our state Writing has been an aspect of learning that has generally been less well done than other areas. Therefore, student writing alongside other aspects of literacy and numeracy is a high priority for improvement in all South Australian state schools.
Here at Grange we identified writing as an area to be strengthened in 2017. Over the past years we have been improving the development of student writing skills through the following key strategies -
- Debating at years 5 and 6 (oral language, planning for writing, seeing things from differing perspectives and delivering a clear message which all underpin writing success)
- Personalised Learning Projects at Years 6 and 7
- Bright Path Writing Moderation
- Seven Steps for successful writing
- Bookmaking in the early years
At Grange we have been working hard on instilling a love of writing amongst our students. Strategies such as bookmaking in the early years and the “Seven steps to Writing Success” have been highly successful in assisting our students to develop not only the language conventions of writing, but also the authorial craft of a writer to inform, persuade or entertain the reader.
At our staff professional learning day on Monday 29th April, we continued our work in writing and going deeper into the “Seven Steps to Writing Success”.
These seven steps are:
Step 1: Plan for Success
Step 2: Sizzling Starts
Step 3: Tightening Tensions
Step 4: Dynamic Dialogue
Step 5: Show, Don't Tell
Step 6: Ban the Boring
Step 7: Exciting Endings
Our work in using the Seven Steps has been recognised and celebrated through the National Seven Steps website and link below that highlights the success of Grange PS in the City of Charles Sturt Mayoral Make a Book challenge.
One of the 7 steps to writing success is to have a sizzling start. It was great to hear the high quality, entertaining recounts from Room 29.
Room 29 practised having a sizzling start to their recount. For example Patrick’s writing recount of a camping holiday begins with
“Scramble! Scramble! Struggle! Struggle! Wack! Wack!" gives such an exciting and engaging introduction to his recount on finding an echidna under the tent. You can see how this is a far more powerful introduction in setting the scene for the text than beginning with -
- On the weekend
- In the holidays
- Once upon a time
- One day
This is what authors and writers do in capturing the attention of the reader and using the text to entertain, inform or persuade.
Teachers work with their students, conferencing and discussing their writing and supporting the next steps which are in both the craft of writing and the language conventions, which includes spelling, punctuation, genre, text structure, paragraphing and grammar.
The high quality, high achieving writing form these year one students after 5 terms of school is outstanding and something replicated across the school. Great job! Some samples of Room 29 writing are attached.
Grant Small, Principal
Grange Primary School