The HBJ Writing Model

Writing at HBJ should follow the above structure.

The diagram  shows the direction of travel from immersion to review with the red ‘reading’ ribbon representing the need for high quality texts and reading throughout the process.

The arrow above shows the continuous need to refer to SPaG throughout the writing process, especially during the talk and reading stages in preparation for the writing section.


The key principle here is to ensure that children fully understand the context for their writing and are suitably enthused, engaged and interested in what they are going to produce. For example, if children are to write a diary from the point of view of Queen Victoria the children need to have access to all necessary facts and a good understanding of the historical context in order to be successful.

  • Learners learn though first hand experiences e.g. experiencing an evacuation (roll-call, physical removal from location, packing etc.)
  • Provocation leading to meaningful talk.
  • ‘Have a go’ - writing opportunities where appropriate, establishing baseline needs analysis for class.
  • Providing context and content for learning e.g. necessary subject knowledge.



Talk for writing is vital in order for children to write in the correct style and register. The talk stage is a chance for oral rehearsal and teachers should use talk frames to structure dialogue and allow children to orally prepare and record their sentences, phrases and ideas. Speech should be modelled and corrected by the teacher to ensure accuracy. Where relevant SPaG should be fed into this section e.g. correcting tense mistakes, making reference to word classes etc.

  • Drama and role-play which draws upon the immersion stage.
  • Modelled talk from class teacher and speech frames where necessary.
  • Hot-seating, P4C igniting enthusiasm.
  • Potential for brief recording as memory aid for working wall.
  • Oral preparation of sentences.


Read / Analyse

The main aim here is to unpick what a good example of the genre looks like, to identify the key skills, work out which ones the children need to acquire and teach these. A WAGOLL (model example) and or a WABOLL (a bad example) should be used to support this section but should be in a different context. Children should design a success criteria under the teacher’s guidance and then lessons should be taught around specific SPaG skills which learners require.  This should all be a different context but with explicit references as to how this could be applied to the context which the writing will use e.g. this would be just the same in your diary. Can you see how this links to what we’re going to be writing?

There is also the opportunity to bring in some reading comprehension here and to allow children to unpick what high quality texts mean and how they have been crafted. Children should be guided to use the same techniques for comprehension as shown in the HBJ reading model.

  • Shared reading and stretching texts.
  • Opportunities for oral and written responses.
  • E.g. reading race, SATs question
  • Quality texts from published authors / teacher WAGOLLs that focus upon SPaG needs analysis from ‘have a go’ writing attempt or year group progression documents.
  • Direct teaching of skills and success criteria generation within context of genre.
  • Past examples of pupil work
  • WABOLLs to contrast and stimulate discussion—What makes this better? How does this impact on the reader?
  • Whole class end of day stories and guided reading links where relevant.



Children use the range of skills they have studied to produce a plan for their piece of writing. The planning should be chunked into key ideas or paragraphs and should use the agreed planning sheet (seen appendix 2) or post-it notes to help children have a familiar concrete structure. Planning should include children’s key ideas for their writing but also must include the skills they will use and examples of how they will be used (full sentences and phrases). The talk frame used earlier should be used again to structure the planning.

  • Referencing their talk and orally prepared sentences supported with non-verbal writing techniques (Pie Corbett) learners will plan high quality sentences linked to SPAG objectives.
  • Considerations of whole text structure and links within text—’boxing up’.
  • Planning skeletons to be used (Sue Palmer).
  • Peer and teacher feedback to have impact prior to writing.



Children need time to write and produce a quality piece of work. They should be using their plan and their generated success criteria to ensure quality and that they meet the SPaG skills which have been taught.  During the writing process, children’s work should be shared, analysed and used to form mini plenaries. There should be time for peer and self-assessment against the success criteria and against the non-negotiable check list.

  • A range of approaches
  • E.g. shared writing, slow writing, guided writing, part writing, group writing, independent writing, (Y3 lesson study 2016-17 is a good place to get ideas)
  • Objectives for writing will be centred around genre success criteria and key SPaG outcomes e.g. diary entry focusing on fronted-adverbials.
  • Pause points, visualiser, mini plenaries, test-based SPaG questions, mid point oral performance, formative ongoing feedback (post-it notes, verbal feedback stamps)

Review / Publish

Children need to be given a chance to find and fix any errors in their writing and, where necessary/possible, to improve what they have produced. This process can be hard for learners and needs teaching, modelling and assessing by the class teacher. Using examples of children’s work or WABOLLs the teacher should model how to edit writing including dictionary skills, the use of the working wall, SPaG errors and successful use of peer support. This section cannot be rushed.

Where possible children should be given an element of choice as to how they publish their work. The correct environment needs to be present in order for work to be accurate and neatly presented.

  • Model how to edit and improve—focus on basic errors (SPaG) and other factors making for a more powerful read.
  • Peer and self assessment to be used.
  • Focus on quality published outcome reigniting enthusiasm with real purpose and audience
  • E.g. film performances, letters to real people posted, aged paper etc.
  • Handwriting to be taught alongside this. 
  • Establish and feed forward targets.

All published work to be collected in a portfolio which will follow learners through school and can be used to show progress and development.



Spelling should be predominantly taught following the school scheme of lessons – 'No Nonsense Spellings'. This is a daily session which ensures coverage of the curriculum spelling objectives.

Patterns which have been taught should be referred to during writing and reading sessions where relevant and addressed in marking and feedback. This will help to revisit and re-enforce learning alongside raising the profile of spelling across the curriculum.

Words from the curriculum lists should from part of the planning process for writing with children picking selected words to learn which link to the context for their writing. They can then show application of spelling by correctly using these words in their writing.


SPaG should play a key role in the teaching of writing and skills should be taught in context e.g. fronted adverbials as part of narrative writing following the year specific SPaG objectives.

During the writing process, next steps can be used to assess the understanding of SPaG skills, provided there is a gap between teaching and the use of the next step e.g. teach the skill during the analysis and pose the next step after the writing process. These should focus on identification and common misconceptions rather than usage as this represents how SPaG is assessed at the end of KS2.


Underline three adverbial phrases you have used.

Change the text from present to past for your opening sentence.

Find three determiners and rewrite the sentences they are in with different determiners.

SPaG should also be taught discretely, especially higher up school (Y5 + Y6) as this is how it is assessed.  Shorter skills based sessions should be delivered which focus on understanding key terminology and skills as well as children being given the time to attempt SATs style questions.  See SPaG Boom and SPaG Pop Y6 planning for examples of how this might look.