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Composition: The Walkley 10 Step Approach to Writing

The Writing Process mirrors the way proficient writers write.

At Walkley, we believe that good teaching reinforces the close relationship between reading and writing. It is difficult to separate the two, as both should be combined to form a well-balanced English programme. The key purpose of writing is to communicate meaning and therefore all writing tasks should have an identified and clear purpose.


Walkley’s ten step approach to writing 

1, Mantle – set the context for the writing

2, Process and Presentational talk – talk through and process their ideas for writing and speaking out loud our sentences for writing in order to internalise our ideas

3, Talk for writing - using oral rehearsal to help internalise a text

4, Planning – brainstorming to include VCOP and SPaG

5, Composing: my turn - modelling writing composition from the brainstormed ideas to include VCOP and SPaG

6, Composing: your turn - shared writing with the class

7, First draft to include guided writing with a focus group

8, Pupil Editing of work using the resources in the classroom.

9, Edit and improve (redraft) - guided by the teacher marking this may be all of the writing or a part as directed through teacher marking.

10, Final published draft in the golden writing books


Children will then use these strategies increasingly independently as they become more experienced writers.

Mantle/Context for writing

Talk for writing

The Talk for Writing approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.  A model text is introduced to the children which is pitched well above the pupils’ level; and has built into the underlying, transferable structures and language patterns that students will need when writing. This is learnt using a ‘text map’ and actions to strengthen memory and help students internalise the text.  Once students can ‘talk like the text’, the model, and other examples, are then read for vocabulary and comprehensions, before being analysed for the basic text (boxing up) and language patterns, as well as writing techniques or toolkits.  Once students are familiar with the model text, then the teacher leads then into creating their own versions.  This process begins in EY and KS1 through the RWI programme.  During the 3 and 5 day weekly teaching plan, each group will ‘Hold a sentence’ that is differentiated to their reading level. This is delivered through a ‘Talk for writing’ session that introduces children to the concept. This adds another layer to help the child remember the sentence they need to write.








We don’t think in lists – we’re more like fireworks – one idea sparking another and another, revisiting old ideas, adding and expanding. Mapping, also known as clustering and webbing, is a graphic form of listing that simply involves jotting down ideas on a large writing surface and then making connections by associating similarly themed ideas with colour-coded circles or underlines of distinct patterns and then indicating other relationships by linking with lines. Brainstorming helps pupils to think logically by using all the aspects that are required in the task, learning objective and success criteria, VCOP and paragraphs and PLAN for their inclusion in their finished writing piece.



Modelled and Shared Writing: Modelled writing is when a teacher writes a passage of text in front of the class. It differs from shared writing in that the teacher does not ask for the input of the class when she or he is writing. A teacher will carry out a process of 'thinking aloud' when they are modelling writing.


Guided Writing: Children are ability grouped and given the opportunity to write an independent text with the support and guidance of their teacher and group. The group work together to begin a piece of writing and then continue independently while the teacher moves around the group and supports with individual needs as they arise.


Independent Writing: Children should be given the opportunity for a range of independent writing activities which clearly link to whole class writing objectives. These tasks will need an identified audience, clear purpose and to cover all aspects of the writing process. Pupils’ writing will be developed by the teacher or with the class as a whole as part of the teaching sequence leading up to creating an extended piece of writing (a first draft). Children should be given the opportunity to self-assess and peer-assess writing, based on remember tos linked to the learning objective, editing and improving their first draft using support materials in the classroom.


Editing and Improving:


Published work

Pupils have the opportunity to write a further draft, in a style that befits the context or mantle that inspired the writing genre. This is captured in the pupils' Golden Writing book or in a way that enhances the style of writing undertaken.