Children often find writing difficult, so when Front Lawn Primary Academy was given the chance to join a writing project with the aim of improving writing across the whole school it grabbed it, writes assistant headteacher Kate Couldwell.
The project has been designed to support schools to implement all aspects of Talk for Writing and is being supported by Pie Corbett – an English educational writer and poet.
Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the language they will need for a particular topic by learning the text orally. This brings the text alive for the children, introduces them to a range of new vocabulary and above all is great fun. Children then read and analyse the text before being shown how to craft their own writing.
The idea behind the project is that daily storytelling will impact on the children’s own composition skills and therefore increase the rate at which they make progress in writing.
So far, at Front Lawn, we have seen an increase in children’s motivation to write.
All children feel they can write because they have learnt stories and non-fiction texts orally and are therefore confident about putting pen to paper.
We have seen a great improvement in the ambitious vocabulary children are now attempting to use.
They are always trying to think of ways to improve their word choices and make sure their writing is interesting to the reader.
Children are now more analytical about what they read and can identify language features they think have an impact on the reader and ‘magpie’ them to use in their own writing.
All the teachers have been given training in how to deliver lessons and although we have only been teaching in this way since September, impressive progress can be seen in the children’s books.
As part of the project, teachers have been working hard to motivate the children by planning interesting topics for them to write about.
So far they have been goblin experts and written instructions on how to catch them, they have been the Queen’s recruitment officers and written persuasive adverts encouraging people to become knights and they have written their own versions of a variety of stories such as The Gruffalo and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
We have been extremely pleased with the results so far and, as the project progresses, we are confident that children at Front Lawn will continue to develop as self-assured, competent writers.