Fake Headteacher: Writing – Newsletter No.10

Dear Staff,

Thank you for updating your writing objectives on our school tracking software that no one really understands.

I have to say how extremely pleased I was with some of the data. In particular, I would like to bring to your attention the outstanding hot task written by Josh in Year 3. He managed to hit nearly every objective on our tracking program. I am confident he will meet the end of year objectives.

The Haunted House

Tom went slowly into the haunted house after his grammar lesson     he ate a potato although he wasn’t hungry. He felt great. He wished he had grated his cheese so he could have it with his potato      Tom hoped to see a submarine in the house. He remembered learning about them in a comprehension lesson once    The boys’ toys were in the corner of the room. They always misbehave in class. He noticed a calendar above the table. Tom thought it was an untidy house    he was disappointed so he went the supermarket instead. “I am off”

  • Spell further homophones
  • Spell words that are often misspelt
  • Place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals:
  • Use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them 
  • Form nouns using prefixes (super-, anti-)
  • Use conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions
  • Use the correct form of ‘a’ or ‘an’
  • Inverted commas to punctuate direct speech

 

It would have been better if he had used capital letters and full stops in the right place but it doesn’t come up on the Year 3 tracking program so don’t worry about it.

Perhaps some amazing adjectives would have added more interest. Or maybe he could have varied his sentence length to create tension. Also, he could have used a range of punctuation marks such as ! ( ) ? … – ; but again, there is no need to tick these on the Year 3 tracking program, so don’t bother teaching it.

Please don’t teach children objectives that are in the year above (we are trying to emulate the maths mastery approach).

Many of you have said how frustrated you were with some of your writing tasks because, despite being very good, you were not able to tick off many objectives from the Year 3 list (because they are too narrow and boring, mostly focusing on spelling). Sorry, but you must show progress on the tracking system by ticking off the above. Don’t worry about the impact your writing has on the reader anymore or the composition generally. As long as you can tick off the year objectives to show good progress, I will be very happy.

One teacher I spoke to this week was in tears after her class had written some terrific instructions on how to look after a dragon. She had taught them how to use brackets effectively for additional information. They had also written very amusing introductions and used some short sharp sentences for effect. The impact on the reader was excellent. However, when she went to update her data on her tracking system, she struggled to find anything she could tick off. I have now told her to use the model text above in future (The Haunted House). She hasn’t stopped crying. I can’t think why.

Fake Headteacher

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