We have developed a powerful and effective approach to teaching English based on Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’. Our aim is to empower children as readers and writers, to inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning. Our exciting and creative curriculum has been designed around top quality children’s literature – putting it at the heart of everything we do.
At Southill, Talk for Writing begins in Reception and continues right through to Year 6. Children gradually build up a bank of stories and non-fiction text types so that over time they can tell (and write) imaginative and exciting stories and confidently instruct, argue, discuss, explain, inform and persuade. Children build up an internal bank of language that they can use to create their own versions of stories and texts.
Talk for Writing lessons at Southill are lively, multi-sensory and inclusive for all. Everyone joins in and can succeed. The first stage (imitation) is to learn stories and texts really well. We do this by mapping them out using pictures and symbols. We use drama, music and ICT to bring the stories and texts to life. They can then be developed through innovation (changing characters, altering the setting, adding in extra events or changing the ending). Through imitation and innovation the children are then able to invent their own stories or versions.
As teachers we love Talk for Writing because we have seen the difference it can make to children’s learning – it gives them the confidence and ability to write knowledgeably for a range of different purposes.