Langland’s Expectations and Guide for English – 2016-2017
At Langland Community School we use the Talk for Writing approach (T4W), developed by Pie Corbett, because it is a powerful tool and based on the principles of how children learn.
Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, our children are helped to write in the same style. The approach is taught in 3 stages.
The Imitation Stage – stage 1
The teacher establishes a creative context and an engaging start (following the whole school long term plan). The unit begins with some engaging activities warming up to the tune of the text, as well as the topic focused on, to help children internalise the pattern of the language required. This is then followed by using an exemplar text, supported visually by a text map and physical movements to help the children recall the story or non-fiction piece. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down. Once they have internalised the language of the text, they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the key ingredients that help to make it work. This stage includes a range of reading as-a-reader and as-a-writer activities. The children use the boxing-up technique to analyse the features that have helped to make the text work. The class then start to co-construct a toolkit for this type of text so that they can talk about the ingredients themselves – a key stage in internalising the toolkit in their heads.
The Innovation Stage – stage 2
Once the children have internalised the text, they are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. This begins with more advanced activities to warm up the key words and phrases of the type of text focused on so the children can magpie ideas. The key activity in this stage is shared writing, which helps the children to write their own by “doing one together” first. This begins with using a boxed-up grid to show how to plan the text and then turning the plan into writing. This allows the children to see how you can innovate on the exemplar text and select words and phrases that really work. By demonstrating how to regularly read your work aloud to see if it works, enables the children to write their own versions through developing their ability to generate good words and phrases. During this process flip-charts of words and phrases suggested, are put on the washing line alongside the shared writing so when the children come to write they have models and words and phrases to support them.
The Invention/Independent application Stage – stage 3
The teacher now has the opportunity to assess the children’s work and to adapt their planning in the light of what the children can actually do. This stage begins with activities focused on helping the children understand aspects that they were having difficulty with and includes time for the children to have a go at altering their work in the light of what they have just learnt. This stage will continue to focus on the next steps needed to support progress so the children can become independent speakers and writers of this type of text. At the end of the unit, the children’s work is published or displayed. The teacher now has a good picture of what features to focus on in the next unit to move the children’s learning forward.
Read Write Inc (RWI)
In the Early Years and Key Stage 1 provision, the Read Write Inc. programme, created by Ruth Miskin, is used to provide a cohesive and creative approach to teaching children the early stages of reading and writing. In Years 3 and 4, RWI is used as an intervention for those children who still need further support in this area.
When using RWI to learn to read, the children will:
- Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- Learn to read words using ‘Fred Talk’ – Fred is a frog who can only talk in pure sounds
- Read lively stories featuring words the learned to sound out
- Show the have understood the stories by answering questions
When using RWI to learn to write, the children will:
- Learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds
- Learn to write words by saying the sound in ‘Fred Talk’
- Learn to ‘hold’ a sentence
Reading is taught throughout the Talk for Writing process and by using the RWI programme. In early Years and Year 1, classes should experience a variety of picture and story books daily. Year 2 to Year 6 classes are expected to read a class reader each half term, as well as the text used for T4W. All classes enjoy a poem of the week and a word of the day.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG)
SPaG is taught throughout the Talk for Writing process. These skills are discretely taught but in the context of the unit. The ‘Teaching Guide for Progression in Writing’, alongside the National Curriculum objectives on Target Tracker, is used to plan the teaching of grammar and punctuation. Spelling is taught using key words needed for the Talk for Writing unit, as well as using the ‘No Nonsense’ spelling programme.
In addition to this, he Fast Spelling approach is used as a tool to secure foundational skills in spelling.
Early Years children through to Year 6 use the school’s bespoke handwriting policy to teach and support the children to write at the expected standard. All adults are expected to model the expected standard of handwriting for each year group.
Helicopter Stories is a story telling approach that is taught across the Early Years and Key-stage One. It is a strategy that builds on children’s confidence in story-telling, use of vocabulary and the skill of sharing their own ideas with others. Adults gather stories verbally from children at any point during the school day they feel ready to share their ideas, characters and props are highlighted and then the class or group come together to celebrate that child’s story through role play. This approach is also used to support the immersion and innovation stage for key texts during the Talk4Writing process.