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Talk for Writing

In EYFS and KS1 we follow Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ model for teaching narrative writing skills. As a result of this, we aim to achieve high quality writing and a love of literacy. We strive to increase reading experiences and deepen understanding. There are daily phonics, spelling or sentence level games to release inhibitions, generate ideas and extend vocabulary, develop creative thinking and grammatical understanding. These activities will act as ‘building blocks’ for writers thus improving content and composition.

The following information aims to give you an insight as to some of the activities we use in our teaching. There is a strong emphasis on oral storytelling throughout the school. The children become familiar with high quality texts. As a result, the children learn new language and specifically the language of storytelling. They learn, rehearse and demonstrate an understanding of the language features of narrative writing. The children increase in confidence


  • Most effective as a whole school approach which must be adhered to, consistently.
  • Will strengthen teaching practice, increase understanding and enjoyment of texts and raise standards.
  • Content, composition and comprehension, when immersed in language and literature, will improve across all phases in our school.
  • Will intensify our literacy teaching programme.
  • Create a ‘writer culture’ in all classes.
  • Shared writing to take place daily, across curriculum.
  • Reinforce correct terminology.
  • Daily spelling/grammar games in relation to text type.
  • To use visual texts –images very useful for broadening vocabulary.
  • All children to succeed- remove fear of failure thus increasing confidence and creativity.
  • Completed work on display on walls, ‘washing line’ for drafts, tools, ideas.
  • Actions for connectives – photos of our children doing these, build up from FS.
  • Success criteria to be referred to as ‘writer’s toolkit’, ‘ingredients’, ‘top tips’, ‘writer’s secrets’.
  • Short bursts/overlearning.
  • Throughout school – build up bank of familiar stories – focus on learning, retelling stories – use actions, story maps.
  • Assess beginning/end of term – asking ‘Can you tell me a story you know?’ and ‘Can you make a new story up?’.

Overview of Teaching Sequence

  1. Establish a creative context – role play, drama, art, music etc.
  2. Imitation* – getting to know text.
  3. Innovation** – creating new version based on original text.
  4. Invention*** – creating own version
  5. Perform and publish.

* Imitation – Get to know the text really well through:

  1. Big creative context.
  2. Learn model text orally and communally or independently.
  3. Read as a reader – use artefacts, role-play, make porridge etc.
  4. Read as a writer – ‘box up’ the text – create writing ‘toolkits’

** Innovation KS2 – Creating a new version

  • Spend up to 5 days of shared / guided writing (refer to model and toolkits).
  • Scaffold next section with drama, images, film clip, guided fantasy etc.
  • Feed-back / feed-forwards – AFL – Discuss ‘What makes a good one?’ Share quality work in class using visualiser.
  • Children all re-read and polish work for few mins following AFL

** Innovation KS1 – Creating a new version

  • Only innovate when story is in long term memory through repeated exposure, learning by heart.  Use substitution / inserting new information / addition / alteration / change of view.
  • Change class map – retell and develop
  • Children change theirs then retell in pairs.
  • Class version – refine in shared writing.
  • Guided / independent recording or writing.

Why Incorporate Creative Games?

  • To release inhibitions.
  • Generate ideas.
  • Develop creative thinking.
  • Build vocabulary.
  • Foster an interest in ‘words’.
  • Develop grammatical understanding.
  • Act as ‘building blocks’ for writers thus improving content and composition.