In our writing lessons, we follow the Talk 4 Writing approach. This has been developed by the English educational trainer, writer, author and poet, Pie Corbett.
The Talk 4 Writing website defines the approach as...
The Talk for Writing approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.
In simple terms, children always start a writing unit by reading a model version of the text which uses key language, punctuation, grammatical features and the structure that will be effective in that text. They learn the text and unpick the different elements that are key to making it a great piece of writing. They can then develop their understanding of the different features so that later on they can apply them to their own version.
An intermediate step is when the class teacher and the whole class use the model version to help them create their own piece. They share write a version and this is when the teacher models the writing process and demonstrates how to apply what they have learnt when writing a similar text. By the time the children come to produce their own, independent piece of work, they are already very knowledgeable about what they need to include in the text type and have experienced the language and vocabulary appropriate to it.
Further information on the Talk 4 Writing approach can be found at https://www.talk4writing.com/
In the Early Years and Year 1, our reading lessons are primarily aimed at developing the building blocks of early reading, primarily children's phonic knowledge and automatic recognition of the most common words needed for children to read fluently.
At the end of Year 1, children will take a Phonic Screening Check which is a national test of children's ability to use their phonic knowledge to read a collection of real words and 'alien' words. Alien words are nonsense words that are made up of sounds that children should have learnt in their first years of school.
As children move up the school, they will still meet and learn new sounds, but much more of their time is spent learning how to read, understand and analyse longer and more complicated texts. They will begin to explore texts at a deeper level and develop their skills of inference and prediction, as well as considering their own response to a text, i.e. whether they agree with an argument or why they have enjoyed a story. They will begin to think like authors and identify how the author has used language and their purpose for writing a piece, identifying how they may be biased in their views.
The types and level of questioning for Year groups 2 -4 are given below. Children who are deemed ready in Year 1 may also begin working on the Year 2 objectives.