An issue highlighted in OFSTED’s latest briefing (based on their recent visits to schools) was a need to work on students’ writing – with a particular focus on their writing style and ‘stamina’ when writing at length. In addition, leaders in many schools were concerned about forgotten and lost learning for students with SEND, especially in literacy.
This is very much a key focus for us, so if you’re looking to support your students in extending and improving their writing, here are a few ways that you can use Word Banks in Clicker and Wordbars in DocsPlus to help.
Word Banks (and Wordbars) are arranged in tabs – either alphabetically as an A – Z or in topic tabs. With topic-tabbed word banks, the tab names can be used as signposts, so the student has an instant overview of the writing task. A tab may contain starters, acting as a frame to guide the writing, along with further tabs containing relevant vocabulary. Tabs can also act as guides by containing vocabulary suitable for specific paragraphs or sections of a piece of writing.
Not only does this help the student to structure their writing, it’s also a great way of prompting and reminding them to include subject-specific vocabulary and style-appropriate language. So they help to scaffold and guide an extended piece of writing (offering that key stamina support), but also expose students to pertinent and often more adventurous vocabulary, encouraging them to make more ambitious choices as they are writing. Unfamiliar, difficult or specific vocabulary relevant to the topic or the genre are readily available. This does two jobs – it reminds students of key vocabulary they ought to be using and sets the expectation of the language level and style.
Whether you are using Clicker or DocsPlus, tabbed Word Banks or Wordbars will focus your writers on appropriate and ambitious vocabulary within clear frameworks, helping to improve their writing stamina and performance.
So, if it’s extended writing support you’re looking for, committing to Clicker or DocsPlus is a great solution and could prove to be a really effective investment of your COVID catch-up premium or PEF funding.