Teaching literacy at Warren Road Primary School
Subject Leader: Mr Thomas
Warren Road Primary School has adopted Talk for Writing as our whole-school literacy strategy. Talk for Writing is a well-established approach to the teaching of writing in primary schools.
Talk for Writing is a whole-school, cumulative and systematic process for teaching writing, based on what has been developed in many schools, to help children make faster progress and gain confidence as well as pleasure in becoming writers. It is grounded in the processes of shared writing with a strong and systematic focus on securing the basics of handwriting, phonics/spelling and grammar in relation to what is needed for progress and the text type being taught. It is also founded on the principle that schools should increase the amount children read/are read to and establishing a very strong ‘literature spine’ which identifies key stories, picture books, poems and non-fiction which will be read and drawn upon and referred to when teaching writing.
Over time, children gradually build their bank of well-known texts, supplemented by picture books, novels, poems and non-fiction books. Gradually this living library of language begins to equip the children with the words they need to express themselves. In the same way, the ability to manipulate that bank of texts increasingly enables children to create new versions and become inventive, blending and experimenting.
Constant shared writing also develops writing habits within the class community of writers. Each year, new strategies and techniques are introduced, building on previous learning and giving children confidence as writers. A central concept is the importance of children enjoying writing/creativity, being praised for ‘trying hard’ so that children’s confidence and self-image as a young writer is enhanced. If we all try hard then we will all have every chance of making progress.