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Here at St Barnabas we use The Talk for Writing approach which was developed by Pie Corbett. It 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. We strive to equip children to develop a rich vocabulary which can help them bring their writing to life. Basic skills and non-negotiables underpin writing in all areas of the curriculum. Teachers model the writing process and demonstrate the ambitious high standards expected of all children. Every child is encouraged to let their imagination and personality shine through in their writing.


We underpin our English work by establishing a core reading spine of quality fiction, poetry and non-fiction that all children experience and draw upon. Imaginative units of work are developed to create a whole-school plan that is well-resourced. Talk for Writing is powerful because it is based on the principles of how people learn. The movement from imitation to innovation to independent application can be adapted to suit the needs of learners of any stage. We take children through a writer’s journey in order to improve them as writers. They explore and record their ideas through classroom dialogue, drafting, editing and proofreading, honing their skills through focussed teacher feedback. Finally, children present their completed work before being challenged to compose their own independent piece of writing based on their studied genre. Throughout the process, spelling, punctuation and grammar weave into work through morning challenges, warm-ups and shared writes, ensuring that skills are recapped and reinforced to embed and instil deeper understanding. We promote handwriting through ‘Handwriting Heroes and Heroines’ where we have a clear set of criteria for identifying children who are making progress in their handwriting.


The National Curriculum specifies spelling rules to be taught each year as well as specific word lists which the children need to learn.  These can be found in National Curriculum Spelling Appendix 1.

Talk for Writing Actions to support Storying