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Guided writing

Guided Writing 

In the Foundation Stage the most important aspect of the adult’s role in developing children’s writing is to respond positively to the child’s attempt at written communication. The adult responds to the message or idea being communicated and acknowledges the effort involved. Meaningful interactions with an experienced writer help to extend the child’s understanding of the writing process. 

Guided writing sessions enable the teacher to support an individual or small group of children in thinking and talking about their ideas before writing; prompting them to apply and extend their knowledge, skills and strategies during writing; and reading and talking about their work after writing. 

During guided writing children should try out what they have seen
and absorbed from modelled and shared sessions. It is the teacher’s role to scaffold these attempts, encouraging the children to take on more of the writing process for themselves. The teacher should identify each child’s stage of development and gauge the level of intervention appropriately. 


Some children who are ready for conventional writing may not be willing to write by themselves. They may need some of the following: 

  • extra modelled and shared writing in a small group or individual sessions; 

  • a clear reason for writing that will motivate them,for example,a label for their own model, an invitation for a party; 

  • support in verbalising what they want towrite; 

  • teacher and child writing together,for example,the child writing some words and the teacher writing others


    Other children will be at the role–play/scribbling stage for a considerable length of time and they need specific support in order to progress. If the children can ‘read’ their own ‘writing’ the focus is to move them towards more conventional writing. These children will need: 

    • extra modelled and shared writing in a small group or individual sessions; 

    • increased emphasis on developing sound-symbol correspondence; 

    • increased focus on the concept of words and spaces; 

    • support in verbalising what they want to write. 

      Teachers should ensure that children have ample opportunities to ‘have-a-go’ at writing independently. 

P.1 Guided writing activities