Talk for Writing

Talk for writing logo
'Talk for Writing'- initially developed by Pie Corbett and Julia Strong

During this academic year, the English Department at Banbury Academy have been involved in trialling a method for teaching writing that has been used with much success at Primary and Secondary schools all over the country.   We have worked closely with Dashwood Primary school in order to observe the successful use of Talk for Writing principles and explore how they can be adapted for effective use in secondary schools.

Talk for Writing principles are centred on teaching in a way that enables students to talk about the text they need to create before they actually write anything.  It involves warming up the vocabulary through different activities and using text maps to internalise the language of a text.  It provides a pattern for students to imitate, and then innovate on in a variety of ways so that they internalise it and are able to apply it independently.

Students are first involved in imitating the text before being shown how to innovate on the pattern so that they can achieve their own version.  With practise, they fully internalise the approach so that they can write independently in the style required.  This helps students not only to express their knowledge more clearly, thereby gaining higher marks in tests, but also to engage more with their learning and thus become more effective, confident learners.

At Banbury Academy the English Department have developed this approach  and evaluated the impact it has had on students writing.  The cold copy to hot copy writing process as outlined below has been the most significant feature of the trial and a clear way of tracking the progress of students.  The next steps involve developing schemes of learning in summer 2015 to include the Talk for Writing key principles so that all students benefit from this supportive and effective method of developing writing skills.  Banbury Academy will also be developing this method for teaching texts types across the school, focusing on the Science department initially and developing the teaching of extended writing in Science.

Our vision is that students will move from department to department, familiar with the features of each text type and how to create them effectively.  Through this process they will be further supported to develop high quality writing through high quality talk, teacher modelling of writing, exploring exemplars and then working independently to demonstrate successful writing.

Mrs C. Berry  Assistant Principal

Talk for Writing Chart
To read examples of students' work for Talk for Writing please click here: Talk for Writing