At Twyning School, we aim to enable our children to become confident and imaginative writers who can write across a range of different text types (genres). They learn to write a variety of styles of writing across Fiction and Non-fiction such as Traditional Tales, Historical Stories, Myths and Legends, Instructions, Debates, Explanations, Reports, Poetry, Play scripts etc. All of our writing genres are covered through Talk 4 Writing.
The childrens' reading will play a key role in the development of their writing and one of our important messages is that THE MORE YOU READ, THE BETTER YOUR WRITING BECOMES! For this reason, we ensure that children read and discuss the different text types within English lessons and recognise the features of each style of writing.
The technical aspect of writing is taught across the school discretely through SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) sessions. This forms an important part of developing the individual writer in terms of accuracy and fluency.
Handwriting is taught throughout the school with the majority of children learning to join their letters at the end of KS1. By the time the children leave KS2, the expectation is that their handwriting is joined fluently and neatly across all pieces of work.
At Twyning School we follow the Oxford Reading Tree levels and Collins Big Cat book bands. We ensure that each child is reading books suitable for their ability in both reading and comprehension.
In EYFS, the children begin to learn the actions to stories that they listen to. They are able to follow a story map and will quite often begin to attempt their own story maps.
Talk for Writing does not form the basis of Literacy Lessons in EYFS, instead children enjoy this approach during afternoon sessions.
Key Stage One
Children begin the ‘Talk for Writing’ process by internalising a text. This is done in a range of ways including text maps, inventing actions for parts of the text and drama. The children learn the text by heart. They are able to identify key features of the text, sometimes independently and other times as a group or class.
Following on from this, the children then have to imitate the text they have learnt. They may make simple changes to the original text to alter it slightly. Once they have internalised the reworked text, they then have to ‘box up’. This simply helps them to organise their ideas and acts as a plan for their writing towards the end of the week.
The final part of the Talk for Writing process is ‘innovation’. Over the previous weeks the children will have been equipped with the skills required for inventing their own text from beginning to end. They will come up with their own ideas and be able to box them up. They will then be able to produce an independent piece of writing showcasing their text.
Key Stage Two
Year 3 follow a very similar approach although it is more advanced. It follows the same internalise, imitate and innovate structure as is used in KS1. Children, again, have to identify key features of the text they are learning and think about the key ingredients they need to include in their own work. Children are given lots of opportunities to re-draft their work using the comments from the teachers marking. Over the course of the unit, children are encouraged to share ideas for others to ‘magpie’. This means they can use the good ideas from their peers in their own writing.
The most important factor of Talk for Writing is that each stage is heavily guided and modelled in the early stages of each unit by the teacher and other adults. This gives the children the necessary tools they need to become confident writers of any genre.
Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’
Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’’ encourages the children to talk about their ideas and the key features of different genres. The children learn texts using visual text maps as a prompt and then practice the texts by incorporating drama and games. They then ‘box up’ the text which acts as a plan for later independent writing. In this plan they are able to ‘magpie’ ideas from the original text that they would like to include in their own writing later in the week.
Following this, the children are then encouraged to change aspects of the original text to produce a new piece of writing. Again, the same procedure is followed; text map, boxing up, magpie key words and phrases, identifying key features etc.
In the final week, it is hoped that the children will have a secure knowledge of the genre and be able to produce a piece of work entirely independently.