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Barnes Farm Infant School

Barnes Farm Infant School

Building Futures, Inspiring Success

Talk for Writing - A Creative Approach

Writing is taught throughout the school as part of the English lesson and through most subjects across the curriculum.  Frequently, writing is connected to a topic and so a clear purpose for writing is established.   It may be taught as part of a whole class lesson, with the teacher modelling writing or using pupil’s or published author’s own writing.   It may be taught to groups or individuals during guided sessions.  The school also uses a Mantle of the Expert approach in lessons when appropriate.

Talk for Writing (Pie Corbett) will be regularly used to improve structure and increase the range of vocabulary used in the form of non-chronological reports, letters, fantasy stories and poetry.  

Talk for Writing is developed over three stages:

  • The imitation stage – Each unit begins with the teacher sharing an engaging, topic related text with the pupils. As a class, or in groups, children create actions to accompany the oral re-telling of the story. They also create story maps, using pictures and symbols, to depict actions and events from the text.  They then explore the key ingredients and language that make the text work and build a tool kit of important features to use when writing their own versions of the text.

Image result for talk for writing story map year 1


  • The innovation stage – This stage of the process is where children and teachers work together closely using the structure of the example text but changing certain aspects to make it different in some way. This process enables the children to write their own versions through developing their ability to generate good words and phrases. This stage begins with shared writing between teacher and the class and develops into children working with peers to edit and review their work regularly as they re-write their own versions.


  • The invention stage – This stage is where children write their own text on a different topic but based on the structure and genre of the example text and using the key features they picked out and placed into their toolkit.


Our children will be taught to use dictionaries, thesaurus and word banks to improve their vocabulary choices. They will also be taught to link sentences together coherently and use correct punctuation. They will develop an awareness of audience and we will provide opportunities to write for different audiences.