At Woodfield we want all of our children to become budding young authors and to enjoy all stages of the writing process. To do this, we begin by encouraging the children to enjoy a range of literature through the use of quality texts; this develops their own vocabulary and their use of vocabulary which then becomes shown through their communication in their writing as well as communicating verbally with peers and adults.
Where appropriate, we use Talk 4 Writing methods to teach the writing process. The concept was originally developed by the author Pie Corbett and is a fun, creative and exciting way to develop and accelerate children’s progress in writing. It inspires and encourages our young writers and helps to develop young, imaginative and effective writers and also generates a love and enjoyment of writing. Talk 4 Writing improves children’s confidence to communicate through speech and develops their vocabulary that they uses with their peers as well as with adults. Talk 4 Writing looks different within EYFS and Key Stage One but it follows the same process where each stage is built upon. Perhaps most importantly, Talk 4 Writing starts with the enjoyment of sharing a text and can also be incorporated into non-fiction information texts. Talk 4 Writing draws on other areas of the curriculum and gives the children experiences of developing their metacognition skills such as being resilient and being able to self improve. It also develops excellent communication skills, personal and emotional development, confidence to have a go and has a huge impact on their love of reading and learning.
There are three stages of the Talk 4 Writing process that we follow at Woodfield. The first stage is the ‘imitation’ stage where children learn the text off by heart in a multi-sensory approach so that they have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of it. This is reinforced by using story maps or text maps alongside the use of actions and animated expressions which are often created by the children. All of these tools help to reinforce their knowledge of the story or text which enables the children to retell it with confidence. As children learn the story/ text word for word, it encourages the use of specific sentence structures and grammar which help the children with their own independent writing. If the child can tell a story, then they will be able to write it.
Once the story or information text is learnt, the children then learn to adapt it; this is called the ‘innovation’ stage. During this stage, children develop the text and make it their own. This could be by improving a part of the story by adding adjectives or adverbs to make the story more exciting for the reader, or by changing a character or setting. In a non-fiction text they may choose a part of the text to adapt, for example, a text about mammals changed to one about fish. The children will change text map to reflect their own ideas, and then they will rehearse it orally to embed their own changes.
The final stage of the Talk 4 Writing process is called, the ‘invent’ stage. This is when children write their own story or text with as much independence as possible and consolidate their learning. They are able to ‘hug’ closely to the text for support whilst using their own ideas.
Special Educational Needs and Writing
Effective quality first teaching is the key to enabling all children to participate and develop their writing knowledge and skills. We have high expectations and differentiate carefully to ensure that all pupils receive a high level of challenge appropriate for them to thrive.
Support specific to writing may include:
- Pre-teaching of the text
- Pre-teaching of more advance vocabulary
- Rehearsing language structures through actions and repetition
- Visual supports such as a text map to support sequencing and aid memory
- Group write
Pupils not secure within a lesson sequence are noted and adjustments made to the differentiation or level of support given. Similarly, added challenge is given to those pupils requiring it. This may be through questioning or expectations in their written work.
Throughout the writing process at Woodfield children think about and reflect on their learning. They are expected to use the ‘Learning Powers’ from the ‘Learning Jungle’ to help them. This encourages our pupils to think with growth mind sets and begin to use powerful metacognitive strategies to support their learning. For example, children may show resilience like ‘Albert the Armadillo’ and learn from their mistakes. They may continuously improve and get better like ‘The Monkeys’, by proof reading and editing their writing. We endeavour to ensure that the Talk 4 Writing process that we provide at Woodfield inspires and motivates our children to have a love of writing and approach it with excitement.