Talk 4 Writing

At Topcliffe, we strive to instil a love of writing through fun and enjoyable activities. We use the talk for writing process to build resilient, successful and independent story-tellers. We focus on both oral and written pieces of work across a variety of both fiction and non-fiction genres.

Children are encouraged to magpie ideas from well-loved tales to create their own story plots and characters. As children progress, they will increase their bank of writing skills and techniques. Lessons are exciting and engaging using multi-sensory methods to ensure that all children can access the learning regardless of age or ability. Wherever possible, we link writing genres to current year group topics and use a range of up to date visual literacy to provide stimulus for writing.


Talk for Writing is an approach developed by the educationalist Pie Corbett. This is a powerful way of teaching as it enables children to imitate language, to develop their speaking and listening skills and to build their confidence.We start of our teaching with a WOW! This is to get the children inspired and excited.

The children then have a go at writing a story. This helps their teacher to see where they are with their writing and what to work on next. Then we read and write poems which helps the children develop the language they will need for the topic. The next stage is to learn a story. This is done as a whole class using a text map. This is where pictures are drawn to represent parts of the story.

The children will work as a class to say the text using the text map and also using the actions for key words.

At this stage the children will also do lots of different activities to get to know the story really well, for example drama, describing characters etc.When the children are confident with the story, we move on to changing the story. We will use the same structure but change some aspects such as the characters. Then the children write the story in small groups with an adult. Finally the children will plan and write their own version of the story applying what they have learnt.

A similar process is then repeated with a non-fiction text.

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