We want to help all our pupils to develop into creative writers. We achieve this through the Talk for Writing approach. It enables pupils of all ages and abilities to learn to write a wide range of stories and varying text types. The multi-sensory and interactive teaching activities used include:
- Listening to and learning texts and stories;
- Taking part in drama and role-play;
- Drawing and story mapping;
- Using exploratory and presentational talk:
- Collecting words and language strategies;
- Building their working knowledge of grammar;
- Taking part in debating and discussion.
Talk for Writing is an innovative approach to teaching writing. It was developed by the literacy specialist and writer Pie Corbett. It uses high quality model texts to introduce the pupils to different story/text types. They then learn these off by heart and scrutinise with a writer’s critical eye
They learn the underlying structures and the process of planning using story maps. They also learn about the key strategies for creating interesting characters and settings. They learn to use a range of sentence types and literary devices to create different effects including suspense or adventure.
Talk for writing has three key phrases which work together to develop knowledge, confidence and independence in writing.
Imitation and Immersion
Talk for Writing units begin with a hook which fires up the creativity and imagination of the children before they are immersed in the model text.
During this phase, the pupils learn the text using actions and story maps. The key to success for the pupils is that they internalise the text type through repetition and rehearsal. They explore the structure of the narrative and investigate the different characters, settings and events. They also begin to look closely at the language used and the effects this has on the reader. The pupils ‘read as a reader’ and ‘read as a writer’ during this process. The classroom becomes a dynamic, interactive resource filled with word ideas, sentence types and language tools collected by the pupils to use in their stories later.
During this phase, the teacher and the pupils begin to change aspects to model the text using their own ideas. They explore the text using different characters, settings or events and develop new ideas for descriptive language whilst sticking closely to the underlying structure.
It is during this phase that the pupils work using their toolkits. The toolkits, based on the features and ingredients of the model text, remind pupils of the different strategies they could use in their stories and helps them to see the progress they are making.
During the invent stage, the pupils plan and write their own story based on the text type they have been learning. They experiment with the ideas and begin to explore their own style of writing – they are able to do this by hugging the original model text tightly or they can develop in their own way – flying away from the text.
In order to develop independence, we have implemented a new structure that provides pupils with the opportunity to have more freedom and choice with their writing. The teacher, on occasion, may choose to skip the imitation stage and move to the invention stage. An extra stage would then be added where the pupils will be provided with a stimulus, such as a short video, a picture or a story opening, and will then be allowed to choose one of the four purposes for writing (to entertain, to persuade, to discuss, to inform). The pupils will then plan their own piece of writing using a text map and will then independently create and edit a piece of writing.
The teacher may also choose to do this to extend high attaining writers by providing them with the opportunity to write at length in a way that will stimulate their interests and creativity.
We believe that by providing this choice, it will further develop a love for writing and will also provide each child with a bank of truly independent pieces of writing that can be used for assessment purposes.
Please see the table below that shows a brief outline of some of the learning in each year group.
|Year group:||Some of the new skills taught:|
|Foundation Stage||Forming letters correctly Using phonic skills to write Introduce Capital Letters and full stops.|
|Year 1||CL FS Use joining word and Introduce question mark and exclamation mark ?! Writing with finger spaces Adding ed and ing to verbs|
|Year 2||Writing in past and present tense Using conjunctions or, and, but, because, when, if, that Writing simple sentences that make sense Spell many of the harder to read and spell (HRS) words correctly Use CL FS ? ! correctly|
|Year 3||Use adverbs to express time then, next, soon, after, before, during Use prepositions inside, on, off, beside, outside, amongst Begin to use paragraphs to organise ideas Use the punctuation taught in Key Stage 1 correctly CL . ! ? , Begin to use inverted commas to punctuate speech “hello” Begin to join some letters in handwriting|
|Year 4||Develop descriptive writing using a range of skills; adverbs, prepositions, expanded noun phrases, conjunctions Use tenses accurately Write with legible joined handwriting Spell most words correctly adding prefixes and suffixes Write fiction and non-fiction pieces and think about who they are writing for (the audience)|
|Year 5||Write for a range of purposes and audiences Use the full range of punctuation taught in KS1, Y3 and Y4 Describe settings, characters and atmosphere to enhance writing Begin to use brackets, commas and dashes for parenthesis ( ) , , – – Spell correctly all harder to read words from KS1, Year 3/4 and some Y5/6 Use a range of devices to build cohesion conjunctions, adverbials of time and place, pronouns, synonyms|
|Year 6||Write for a range of purposes and audiences thinking about the reader Engage the reader by choosing appropriate vocabulary verbs, prepositional phrases, adverbials in any place, relative clauses, expanded noun phrases, Use hyphens, semi-colon and colons – ; : Use verb tenses consistently throughout a piece of writing Use correctly punctuated speech|
The teacher may also choose to extend high attaining writers by providing them with the opportunity to write at length in a way that will stimulate their interests and creativity. We believe that by providing this choice, it will further develop a love for writing and will also provide each child with a bank of truly independent pieces of writing that can be used for assessment purposes.