The Springfields Academy

Reach South Academy Trust

Our central mission is for Reach South pupils to aspire to achieve beyond the expectations that others place on them.

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progression through genres.pdf


english text mapping.pdf




English - Writing

‘To build safe independent lives for autistic young people though support, understanding and enablement.’

 For pupils to have functional literacy skills to:

  • Understand that printed communication has a purpose
  • Write to access the curriculum successfully and show understanding across subjects
  • To write for a range of functional purposes
  • To have writing skills to access knowledge throughout life


A range of strategies and techniques are used at Springfields building on the strengths of our learners with autism and their individual learning styles. 

Springfields writing process

As a school we have adopted ‘The Write Stuff’ by Jane Constantine. All pupils following our Explorer Currluclum Pathway learn to write using the Write Stuff approach. This approach helps to bring clarity and consistency to the mechanics of writing and enables our pupils to apply basic skills, vocabulary and grammar knowledge to write effective and coherent sentences that have impact and keep the reader interested. As well as this, we want our pupils to understand the spoken word, use expression and participate as a member of society by speaking with increased fluency and articulately. 

The Write Stuff is underpinned by two guiding principles: teaching sequences that alternate between experience days and sentence stacking lessons that lead to confident independent writing. As part of the teaching sequence, teachers plan experience days; sentence stacking lessons and independent writing sequences. Experience days immerse children in experiences linked to their writing and submerge them in vocabulary linked to the lenses in 'The Writing Rainbow'. From the experience days, children take part in the sentence stacking lessons. Sentence stacking lessons include effective demonstration writing from the teacher and the writing of three high-quality sentences with focuses on lenses of the rainbow.

Structure of the writing lesson

An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken in to 3 learning chunks. Each learning chunk has three sections:

  • Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
  • Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
  • Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the model.

Children are also given the opportunity to 'Deepen The Moment' and add more to their writing using a lense of their choice. Independent writing sequences give children the opportunity to showcase everything they have learnt in their experience days and sentence stacking lessons. 

Children are also given the opportunity to 'Deepen The Moment' and add more to their writing using a lense of their choice. Independent writing sequences give children the opportunity to showcase everything they have learnt in their experience days and sentence stacking lessons.

In The Write Stuff approach to writing, the children explore high level, rich vocabulary and are taught grammar in context through different writing lenses on the Writing Rainbow. There are three zones used to support children with their writing:

Fantastics – ideas for writing
Grammaristics – tools for writing
Boomtastics – writing techniques

Pupils will produce a range of genres focused on high-quality texts. The chosen texts and genres cover a wide range of themes, including cultural, social and physical diversity.  All fiction texts are explored through a central character, where the children put themselves in their position and focus on the highs and lows of story events and discuss the range of emotions from plot point to plot point.


 Having followed the Write Stuff approach to developing their writing skills children should be able to:

  • Write for a range of purposes including diary entries, persuasive letters, stories, poems and recounts to name but a few.
  • Use their vast knowledge of vocabulary to excite, inform or entertain the reader.
  • Understand a range of punctuation and the effect it can have on the reader in both writing and reading.
  • Understand and be able to use a range of grammatical devices.
  • Understand the various sentence types that can be used to support different genres.
  • Spell with increasing accuracy by using their phonetic knowledge and spelling rules.
  • To speak clearly, fluently and coherently, to be able to listen attentively with understanding, pleasure and empathy and contribute to group discussions.

Action words/Whole word approach:

Some of our learners with more specific and complex learning profiles are more suited to learning to write and spell using a ‘whole word’ approach (particularly where blending and segmenting phonics has not been successful for example where a child has barriers to learning linked to weak central coherence and therefore is unable to bring details together to a central concept). Whole words are taught through a variety of multi-sensory mediums combining a visual prompt, an action and where required an association (building on the concept of Grandin (1995) ‘Thinking in Pictures). Writers are encouraged the use this approach in a variety of contexts to support the generalisation of the skill.

Pathfinder/Pathfinder* Qualifications  

For our pathfinder and pathfinder* pathway we have 3 different qualifications on offer. Entry Level (1, 2 &3), Functional Skills and GCSE English language and literature.  All pupils are expected to write effectively and coherently using English appropriately. They should use grammar, punctuation and spelling accurately as well as acquire and develop further, appropriate vocabulary.

For the Entry Level qualification, pupils are taught the skills based on those needed for GCSE English Language. They will communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively and be able to adapt their tone and style in order to write for different purposes and audiences. They will also be taught the different structural features of texts in order for their writing to be coherent. This will involve learning how and when to use bullet points, captions and sub-headings. Pupils will learn how and when to use full stops, commas, exclamation marks and question marks.

In the GCSE pathway, pupils are taught to write for different purposes and audience through writing to describe, narrate, explain, instruct, argue and inform. Pupils will learn how to use language imaginatively and creatively to write for impact across different forms. This will include learning how and when to use rhetorical devices. Pupils will learn how to cite evidence and use quotations effectively and pertinently to support their views.

Pupils who leave Springfields with an Entry Level or Functional Skills will have the opportunity to gain further qualifications at college alongside the subject they choose to study.


Measuring the Impact of the English Writing Curriculum:

Writing is assessed against the writing National Curriculum objectives that are cohort and pathway specific. 

Writing assessment is regularly moderated to ensure accuracy. Progress towards the end of year writing targets is evaluated through pupil assessment and progress cycle and then appropriate individual interventions are put in place to decrease the barriers to learning.

Feedback on writing tasks is given to pupils within the lesson . Pupils are given feedback on an area they did well and an area for improvement or ‘next steps’. The feedback is individualised so that they can develop the skills they need to progress in the areas which are important to them and the pathway they are on.

Impact Measures:

  • Feedback on writing tasks within the lesson
  • Teacher assessment against the writing Key Performance Indicators that are cohort/pathway specific. Writing assessment is regularly moderated to ensure accuracy.
  • Progress towards end of year writing targets is evaluated through Pupil assessment and progress cycle.

The writing curriculum is evaluated through the termly curriculum review which is informed by:

  • Progress Frameworks - autism, knowledge and skills bespoke to cohort pathway.
  • Progress towards EHCP outcomes 
  •  Accreditation achieved 
  •  Pupil progress and attainment cycle 
  •  Pupil voice
  • Staff curriculum evaluation 
  • Parent voice 


Impact of the English Writing  Curriculum:

All Springfields pupils will leave the academy with functional writing skills to lead a safe independent life. This will be evident in all pupils achieving, as a minimum, the Entry Level 1 qualification in English; many will achieve higher level qualifications such as further Entry Levels, Functional Skills qualifications and some may achieve GCSE English.