Do you have enough independent writing to assess your year 6 pupils against the writing Teacher Assessment Framework for the end of Key Stage 2?
Plazoom has created a selection of writing activities, linked to the foundation subjects where possible, to provide opportunities for independent writing. These could be used to assess pupils against the TAF statements for writing, providing vital evidence of the standard that pupils are working which could be used for internal or external moderation.
‘Pupils’ writing, on which teachers base their judgements, must be produced independently by the pupil.’ (Key stage 2 teacher assessment guidance, October 2019). This writing activity provides success criteria to help pupils understand what they have learnt and a stimulus for writing but teachers should ‘avoid modelling or over scaffolding the expected outcome.’ (Key Stage 2 teacher assessment guidance, October 2019)
In this writing task, pupils are asked to write an explanation text about light and how it travels. This could be used at the end of a science unit on light to ensure pupils have sufficient knowledge to write their explanations.
What is an explanation text?
An explanation text explains how or why and includes information about causes, motives or reasons. The writing should not only include a description of what happened but explain how or why. They are used to explain the processes involved in natural or social phenomenon or to explain why something is the way that it is.
Examples of explanation texts include explanations of processes in science, explaining how something works (such as an invention), explaining phenomenon such as volcanic eruptions or the water cycle or question and answer style articles.
Key features of an explanation text
- A general statement that introduces the topic.
- The steps or stages in a process are explained logically, in order.
- They are usually written in the present tense.
- Questions can be used to form titles.
- Adverbials of time can be used to sequence steps or phrases in the process (Firstly …, Then…, After that… Finally…).
- Conjunctions are used to show cause (so, because, as, yet, since etc).
- Headings, subheadings and other layout devices can be used to organise and aid presentation.
- Possibility can be indicated using modal verbs (must, can, should, will etc).
- The passive voice can be used to focus on the action or process.
What is included in this Year 6 SATs writing evidence resource?
- Personal writing skills checklist
For pupils to write their own writing checklists to encourage independent editing.
- Explanation: Light and how it travels writing skills checklist
A list of features of explanatory texts without modelled examples, for pupils to use as a checklist for editing writing.
- How to write an explanation text poster
A poster for display with the key features of an explanation text.
A poster to display a variety of devices that can be used for cohesion.
A poster with examples of how pupils can achieve a more formal register in their writing.
PDF cards with scientific diagrams and questions for the pupils to discuss
- Light true or false cards
PDF cards with statements to prompt scientific discussion.
- Explanation planning sheet
To support pupils when planning and organising their ideas.
A PDF writing sheet for pupils to use when writing the final draft of their writing.
- Teacher assessment sheets
For teachers to use to assess pupils against the year 6 writing TAF statements which could be placed in pupil’s books as a record of evidence seen.
How can this resource support assessment against the TAF statements?
The activity can be used to provide an opportunity for cross-curricular writing, allowing pupils to demonstrate their writing skills independently, whilst also demonstrating their subject knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts taught.
End of KS2 TAF Statements the writing could provide evidence for:
To use paragraphs to organise ideas.
In non-narrative writing, use simple devices to structure the writing and support the reader (e.g. headings, subheadings, bullet points)
To select vocabulary and grammatical structures that reflect what the writing requires, doing this mostly appropriately (e.g. passive verbs, some formal vocabulary structures)
To use a range of devices to build cohesion (e.g. conjunctions, adverbials, pronouns and synonyms) within and across paragraphs
To exercise an assured and conscious control over levels of formality, particularly through the manipulation of grammar and vocabulary to achieve this.