Early Years literacy

As a school we utilise an approach called Talk 4 Writing, this starts with our very youngest children and goes all the way through to Year 6.

Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language orally through fun activities that help them rehearse the rhythm of a story, followed by shared writing to show children how to write in the same style. Our children learn to write through the three I’s: Imitation, Innovation and Invention. We use a Literature Spine to ensure that our children learn through a wide range of outstanding books. 


How the three I’s work (Pie Corbett)


We begin with some engaging activities based around a text to help children internalise the pattern of the language required. This is often followed by talking an exemplar text, supported visually by a text map and physical movements to help the children recall the story or non-fiction piece. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down. Once they have internalised the language of the text, children will create their own story maps to assist them in re-telling the story in groups and pairs.


Once the children have internalised the text, they are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. This could begin with a simple substitution (ie changing the character/setting) pictorially at first. Younger children alter their text maps and orally rehearse what they want to say, creating their own version. The key activity in this stage is shared recording/writing, helping the children to draw/write their own by “doing one together” first.  This allows the children to see how you can innovate on the exemplar text and select words and phrases that really work. Once they have finished their innovated version children are encouraged to swap their work with a partner.


Our teachers carefully assess the children’s work and to adapt their planning in the light of what the children can do. We continue to deliver daily word and sentence games. Children now start to invent their own piece of writing utilising all the tools that they have been learning. Each day, the adults in class respond to the needs of the children. At the end of the unit, the children’s work is celebrated and displayed.