At The Berkeley Academy we strive to ensure that our focus is on the quality of provision for all aspects of English. Our children are given opportunities to read, write, speak and listen through a creative and varied curriculum which places an emphasis on the individual child performing to the very best of their ability.
We seek to ensure that each child becomes a confident individual who develops as a fluent writer, capable of expressing emotions and opinions clearly. Children are encouraged to think about purpose and target audience when writing, studying both fiction and non-fiction genres. An emphasis on working to a high standard of presentation ensures that children produce work of which they can be justifiably proud. In addition, the children enjoy celebrating activities such as World Book Day, whole school reading challenges and currently actively participate in the BBC Radio 2 “500 words” competition.
In order to develop a consistent approach to the teaching and development of the writing, the school is proud to be part of the National Primary Writing Project. The project is a programme for implementing Talk for Writing across schools by providing support and training for staff over a period of time. Talk for Writing, developed by Pie Corbett, supported by Julia Strong, is a really powerful way of teaching children to become confident, resilient writers because it is based on the principles of how children learn. This is because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.
The principle of Talk for Writing focuses on three main elements:
Imitation – This initial stage of teaching our children a unit of writing focuses on development of how writing is structured. Children become familiar with a quality text through practical activities such as learning the language, mapping the story visually or acting out the storyline. Children are then able to understand the key ideas of the text type and make their own ‘Writers’ Toolkit’ to assist with understanding when attempting their own versions of the text.
Innovation – In this second stage of teaching children are able to take their learning forward. They use a simple but effective planning idea known as, ‘Boxing-up’ which allows them to plan their own version of the text before attempting the writing. Children gain confidence as writers because teachers spend time modelling good examples and offering the opportunity to share ideas as a whole class.
Invention – In this final stage, the children apply their knowledge and understanding to write as independent writers. Again, they have the opportunity to evaluate their work carefully and craft their writing to produce a final published piece.
Through the use of these principles, children build their knowledge of the fundamentals of each different genre of writing and develop in confidence to become resilient, independent writers. At The Berkeley Academy we are delighted to see the development of all of our children as confident writers – along with the enjoyment of the writing process and pride in written work.
For further information about the Primary Writing Project and the Talk for Writing process, please follow the following links:
To watch Pie Corbett delivering aspects of Talk for Writing, you may find the following link useful as well.