At the start of this year, teachers across the Junior School implemented a new approach to teaching writing. Teachers have been using Seven Steps for the creation of lessons centered around the explicit teaching of different strategies for high-quality writing. You will see elements of this present in your son’s learning.
Seven Steps allows teachers and students to focus on specific ‘Steps’ required to create a high-quality piece of writing. These steps are:
- Plan for Success
- Sizzling Starts
- Tightening Tension
- Dynamic Dialogue
- Show, Don’t Tell
- Ban the Boring
- Exciting Endings/Endings with Impact
As part of our refined approach, your son will write a pre-assessment, his teacher will mark this, and then teach the specific needs linked to the Seven Steps. At the end of the teaching phase, students will write a post-assessment so that students and teachers can see their improvement. To guide all assessments in writing, teachers are now using the same criteria as is used in NAPLAN writing assessments. The Seven Steps that we are using during explicit teaching of writing are linked to the NAPLAN criteria and this provides a clear correlation for student learning.
As Significant Assessment Tasks are released over the coming term, you may find that your son is assessed using the NAPLAN criteria. The rubrics show the spectrum of student development and are used up to Year 10 nationally; therefore, if your son does not have full marks in a section, it is to be expected in the Junior School. The purpose of sharing these rubrics is to provide greater clarity for a student to develop his writing, and how you might be able to support your son’s growth.
If you would like further information on this approach, please feel free to contact your son’s teacher in the first instance, or feel free to contact me to discuss the strategic implementation of raising boys’ levels of literacy.
Mr Jon Gelsthorpe
Deputy Head of Junior School – Teaching and Learning