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English at St George’s and Talk 4 Writing!

 

At St. George's, we recognise the importance of the effective teaching and learning of English. English has always been taught everyday at St. George's and this year sees an exciting change to our English curriculum with the inclusion of "Talk4Writing" across the school which will begin in the summer term...

 

Talk For Writing (T4W)

Why T4W?

Our mission is to help all our children develop into thoughtful readers and creative writers and it is through the Talk for Writing approach that we believe we can achieve this. Through its multi-sensory and interactive teaching, it enables children of all ages and abilities to learn to write a wide range of story/text types using various methods including:

listening to and learning texts and stories;

taking part in drama and role-play;

drawing and story mapping;

collecting words and language strategies

building their working knowledge of grammar.

At St. George’s CVA we are all very enthusiastic about this approach as it will bring out the best in the children and the teachers!

 

What exactly is it?

Talk for Writing is an innovative approach to teaching writing developed by the literacy specialist and writer Pie Corbett (www.talk4writing.co.uk). It uses high quality model texts to introduce the children to different story/text types which they then learn 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 and how to use a range of sentence types to create different effects including suspense or adventure.

 

The T4W Process

 

Talk for Writing has three key phases which work together to develop knowledge, confidence and independence in writing:

 

Imitation and immersion

We usually like to start our Talk for Writing units with a ‘wow’ starter which fires up the creativity and imagination of the children before they immerse themselves in the model text.

During this phase the children learn a model text using actions and story maps. The key to success for the children 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 effect this has on the reader. We call this process ‘read as a writer’. The classroom becomes a dynamic, interactive resource filled with word ideas, sentence types and language tools collected by the children to use in their stories later.

 

Innovation

During this phase the teacher and the children begin to change aspects of the model text using their own ideas. They explore the text using different characters, settings or events and new ideas for descriptive language whilst sticking closely to the underlying structure.

It is during this phase that the children work using their toolkits. The toolkits, based on the features and ingredients of the model text, remind children of the different strategies they could use in their stories and helps them to see the progress they are making.

 

Independent Application

During the invent week the children 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 using sentence types from the model text.

 

Talk for Reading (T4R)

T4R is scheduled every day for KS2 children. This is a strategy which immerses children in reading and centres itself around the importance of reading for pleasure. Across the school, children need to know, understand and be able to utilise some seriously difficult vocabulary (particualrly in Year 6). Our focus on Talk 4 Reading will give them the skills to do this.

 

Each child has the opportunity to participate in a range of reading activities:

uAll children get whole class daily reading sessions which supports the development of answering all question types that arise in SATs effectively.
uEvery child has the opportunity to read 1:1 with an adult each week.
uAll children have a pre-reading session whereby they study their guided book, understand the vocabulary and answer questions so that they come to a guided session ready with a good understanding of the book.
uEvery child has a guided reading group with the class teacher each which to continue rapid progress in those SATs style questions.
uEach child has the opportunity to read for pleasure at least twice a week with the opportunity to use an Ipad to blog about their book.

 

When children use 'MyBookBlog' during reading for pleasure time, children are able to blog about their book, complete comprehension and vocabulary quizzes, vote in live polls with other children across the country, write book reviews that can be accessed by all users subscribed to MyBB and learn new facts about places or events that happen in their book. Our children's excitement and love of reading has improved incredibly through using MyBB for a just a term! We aim to ensure that their reading journey continues to be a positive experience and make an impact on their learning!

 

Whilst T4W and T4R will be delivered across the school, we will continue to teach phonics, spelling and sentence formation through Read Write Inc. in KS1.

 

We are enormously excited about what is around the 'English corner' for us at St. George's and we can't wait to share it with you when you visit us in the autumn term!

 

 

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