Fake Headteacher: Independent Writing – Newsletter No.19

Dear Staff,

I trust you are all relaxing and working hard at the same time. My bosses are very pleased with how I am running the school. They particularly liked how I took down children’s work from my office wall and replaced it with data analysis charts and predictions. I have to say, it does look great. It looks good when Ofsted walk in. It clearly shows I am all over it.

I haven’t forgotten to discuss workload and staff well-being with you. I thought it best to do so when the four members of staff, who are off with stress, return and the two other teachers, who are on UPS3, leave.

In order to make your life easier, I have updated our independent writing policy. I have called it ‘Ten Steps to Success’. I expect the writing to improve so make sure you read the advice very carefully. If the independent writing improves then I shall be very pleased and you will avoid capabilities and a pay freeze. Do what you need to do.

Independent Writing Policy: Ten Steps to Success

1. A pupil chooses to write a story in golden time. She sits on her own, plans a story, writes it and continues to redraft it. All, without the aid of story tool-kits or word mats with sentence starters, grammar and spellings on. She hands it to the teacher who immediately opens the online tracking program and assesses it.

2. The teacher tells the class to write something. She doesn’t mind what they write about and gives them some paper and pens. “Show me some great sentences – without any additional help, videos, photos or stories to inspire you.”

3. The teacher gives pupils a photograph of a haunted house to write about. Pupils share ideas before choosing what genre to pick for their writing. No word mats or spelling sheets are given.

4. Same as number 3 but pupils are given word mats with grammatical features and spellings on.

5. Pupils are given a video or a photograph to inspire some writing. They will all write a story. The teacher orally rehearses another story (everyday) so pupils can easily write their own based on the modelled text. The teacher then models how to plan the story. No word mats are allowed. The teacher gives verbal feedback throughout to help improve the story.

6. Same as number 5 but pupils are given word mats with grammatical features and sentence starters on.

7. Same as numbers 5-6 but written feedback also given.

8. Same as numbers 5-7 but the teacher writes extra advice on post it notes so there is no evidence of the extra support given.

9. Same as numbers 5-8 but pupils are told to redraft work several times with a purple pen to show self editing based on verbal feedback and post it notes feedback (so there is no evidence of the support given).

10. Same as numbers 5-9 but pupils told exactly what words would be good to include in their story! The teacher adds extra purple pen edits at home to please the up-coming book scrutiny.

I hope this helps. Did I miss anything? Please let me know.
If anyone asks in moderation meetings, pupils do No.1.
Play the game people. Play the game.

I look forward to reading their independent writing.

Fake Headteacher


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