Embracing the remarkable skill of writing, we open doors to self-discovery and provide a platform for individuals to share their unique voices with the world. At Magill School, we take immense joy in guiding our students on this exciting adventure, nurturing their development into proficient and confident writers. Writing is more than just a skill; it’s a form of self-expression that empowers students to articulate their thoughts, ideas, and aspirations with clarity and purpose.
At Magill School, we take immense pride in our commitment to fostering outstanding writing results among our students. Recognising the power and importance of written language, we believe in not only refining the technical aspects of writing through a focus on functional grammar, but also in nurturing creativity and self-expression. We are dedicated to challenging and stretching the abilities of every learner, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive approach to writing instruction.
Our dedication to individualised and tailored teaching strategies sets the foundation for success, recognising that each student possesses unique strengths and areas for growth. Through a holistic and responsive approach, we strive to empower students to become proficient and confident writers who can confidently identify their next steps and collaboratively set writing goals.
Your Child’s Writing Experience at Magill:
Starting Point Assessment:
At the beginning of the school year, teachers conduct assessments to understand your child's baseline writing skills. This helps tailor instruction to individual needs, ensuring a responsive and targeted approach.
Crafting Individualised Learning Units:
Based on these assessments, teachers design learning units that specifically address your child's needs, identified through 'cold tasks' or pre-assessments, and targeted through explicit teaching of writing skills as outlined in team planning sessions. This way, students are challenged in their writing regardless of their current ability level.
We empower our students by communicating, sharing and collaborating on skill based writing goals. Teachers make assessment criteria transparent through the use of rubrics, exemplars, checklists, and clear benchmarks, enabling students to understand and strive for specific outcomes while giving students ownership over their learning and the ability to self-monitor and critically self-reflect.
Functional Grammar Focus:
Teachers prioritise functional grammar concepts to empower students with a deep understanding of language mechanics. Teachers encourage students to apply functional grammar skills purposefully in their writing, fostering the ability to manipulate language effectively to achieve a purpose. Check out the videos below; one from a parent workshop around the why and how writing instruction may look in the classroom, and another that demonstrates this is action in a Year 5 setting.
Furthermore, all of our teachers are trained in ‘Writing Plus’, a development opportunity intended to build the capacity of teachers to effectively teach functional grammar.
Audience and Purpose Emphasis:
Teachers guide students to consider the audience and purpose in writing tasks, helping them adapt their writing style to suit different contexts.
Teachers follow a genre map, ensuring consistent and comprehensive coverage of text types. Writing instruction is aligned across teaching teams, promoting a cohesive and interconnected approach.
Talk 4 Writing (R-2):
In the early years (R-2), teachers implement the "Talk 4 Writing" approach, fostering oral language skills and supporting the transition from spoken to written expression. This approach involves explicit instruction on story mapping, imitation, and innovation, creating a solid and engaging foundation for young learners to develop their writing skills.
Support for All Students:
EALD support is provided in small groups within writing instruction, reinforcing functional grammar concepts to enhance language development for all students, with a focus on inclusivity. We also offer a variety of adjustments where required, including varying scaffolds tailored to individual needs, integration of technologies such as clicker, voice-to-text tools, and other personalised accommodations to ensure a supportive and inclusive learning environment for every student.
Assessment and Growth:
Throughout the school year, teachers conduct assessments, including cold and hot tasks within new text types, to monitor student progress. Assessment data is used to adjust instructional strategies, ensuring continuous improvement and growth in writing proficiency.
We foster a culture of reflective practice among teachers, encouraging regular analysis of writing assessments, instructional methods, and student outcomes. Collaboration among colleagues is key to sharing insights, best practices, and strategies for optimising writing instruction across the school.