Improving any kind of writing for KS4 audience is in the planning. Strong students have experience planning; it is prioritised in their classroom, and they enjoy multiple occasions of practice.
Weaker students focus almost entirely on the sentence level aspects of writing: their awareness of grammar and of style is so shaky that achieving lucidity is a tremendous achievement.
With this in mind, writing for a text type is tricky. Trickier still is the article. If students do not read articles, this is a turgid activity.
Despite newspapers increasingly transforming into app-based story dispensers, the division between broadsheet and tabloid is still to go-to for examiners.
A quick search for resources relating to broadsheet and tabloid focus on the performance indicators of the writing: its physicality. For students that read online, this is slightly unhelpful.
The following quote (supposedly attributed to Elaine Roosevelt) focuses students on an apt planning method:
Small minds discuss people. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.
Students need not lose sophistication when writing for a tabloid: they can, instead, focus on people rather than ideas…
Of course, planning the same task but for a broadsheet and a tabloid is an ideal situation.