Winning House Team
Here at South Milford Primary School, we aim to develop a lifelong love of reading. In order to do this, children are encouraged to read a wide variety of genres; they have access to reading materials through a well-resourced library and are immersed in a text-rich school environment. We intend that our pupils will be both independent and reflective readers who can read fluently and for meaning. We aim that children use a variety of reading skills to enable them to access all other areas of the curriculum. We aim to bring reading to life through structured comprehension sessions, music, drama and performance. As children’s reading develops at different rates, teaching is tailored to each child and their ability. Children will be exposed to and immersed in texts through guided reading, 1:1 reads, shared texts and through listening for enjoyment. Children are encouraged to read a range of books in school and at home, and communication between staff and parents is encouraged.
At South Milford Primary School we believe that by providing children with a multitude of real and exciting stimuli, we will inspire them to become confident, capable and enthusiastic writers. We encourage children to read their work for enjoyment, to read it aloud to others and provide an audience for writing. They will use writing to express themselves and communicate with others and will write independently for a range of purposes. They will reflect on their own and others’ writing and have an understanding that writing has a real purpose and that word choice and style can bring about change.
Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’
Throughout school we use an approach to writing called Talk for Writing. Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’’ encourages the children to talk about their ideas and the key features of different genres. The children learn texts using visual text maps as a prompt and then practice the texts by incorporating drama and games. They then ‘box up’ the text which acts as a plan for later independent writing. In this plan they are able to ‘magpie’ ideas from the original text that they would like to include in their own writing later in the week.
Following this, the children are then encouraged to change aspects of the original text to produce a new piece of writing. Again, the same procedure is followed; text map, boxing up, magpie key words and phrases, identifying key features etc.
In the final week, it is hoped that the children will have a secure knowledge of the genre and be able to produce a piece of work entirely independently.
In EYFS, the children begin to learn the actions to stories that they listen to. They are able to follow a story map and will quite often begin to attempt their own story maps.
Talk for Writing does not form the basis of all writing in EYFS, instead children have an identified ‘story’ session each afternoon.
Key Stage One
Children begin the ‘Talk for Writing’ process by internalising a text. This is done in a range of ways including text maps, inventing actions for parts of the text and drama. The children learn the text by heart. They are able to identify key features of the text, sometimes independently and other times as a group or class.
Following on from this, the children then have to imitate the text they have learnt. They may make simple changes to the original text to alter it slightly. Once they have internalised the reworked text, they then have to ‘box up’. This simply helps them to organise their ideas and acts as a plan for their writing towards the end of the week.
The final part of the Talk for Writing process is ‘innovation’. Over the previous weeks the children will have been equipped with the skills required for inventing their own text from beginning to end. They will come up with their own ideas and be able to box them up. They will then be able to produce an independent piece of writing showcasing their text.
Key Stage Two
Key Stage Two follow a similar, more advanced approach, following the same internalise, imitate and innovate structure. Children, again, identify key features of the text they are learning and think about the key ingredients they will need to include in their own work. A toolkit is built over time, including learning about grammatical structures matched to the genre and children are given opportunities to practise new skills. Over the course of the unit, children are encouraged to share ideas and others can ‘magpie’. They draft and re-draft their work using comments from their peers and teachers.
The most important factor of Talk for Writing is that each stage is heavily guided and modelled in the early stages of each unit by the teacher and other adults. This gives the children the necessary tools they need to become confident writers of any genre.
We teach children to write using the Martin Harvey ISHA program from the beginning of their time at SMPS. We believe that good presentation skills are important as we want children to value their own work and for others to do the same. By introducing and teaching a consistent script from Early Years, our aim is for children to be able to focus upon the content of their writing from Year Two onwards rather than on the mechanics of handwriting.
We aim for our children to develop a clearly formed handwriting script that they are proud of.
Speaking and Listening
English is at the heart of all learning. It enables us to communicate with others effectively and for a variety of purposes. At South Milford Primary School, we believe that the ability to both speak and listen well is essential for children to be able to articulate their feelings, opinions and ideas. Alongside this, valuing thoughts and views of others, treating them with respect and integrity is a vital part of their lifelong learning.