Creative Writing at Acre Heads
At Acre Heads, we strive to give our children the best start in establishing secure foundations in writing. Our primary intent is to create avid readers which we believe is the foundation for any greater depth writer. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing and write clearly and accurately whilst selecting and adapting their language and style to suit a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
We plan engaging units of work in order to enthuse, inspire and motivate our children, which are underpinned by core texts from our carefully developed reading spine. Our learning environments are stimulating but supportive and calming to ensure children are able to access the scaffolds needed to support their developing talk and writing through the Talk for Writing process. It is our intention that by the end of their primary education, all of our pupils will be able to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas effectively and with a developed awareness for purpose and audience.
The Teaching of Writing Through a Structured Process
We deliver English throughout the school using Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing approach. By focussing on the oral retelling of various text types, familiar structures become fully embedded in the long term memory so that the children can later apply these structures to their own writing whilst developing the language techniques taught for the particular area of focus.
Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. It is built on three stages of teaching:
1) Imitation – the children learn a text and the language they need
2) Innovation – the children adapt the model text with ideas of their own
3) Invention – the children create their own text using the language and skills that the model taught them.
During the initial ‘imitation‘ stage of Talk for Writing, a text (fiction and non-fiction) is introduced and read to the children. Together they learn to tell the story off by heart. To help them remember the text a multi-sensory approach is used. They retell a text with expression and actions and use a visual story map to support their retelling. As children learn the text word for word, they build up a bank of interesting vocabulary, phrases and types of plot which they can then use in their own writing. The principle is that if a child can tell a story, they will be able to write a story.
Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At this ‘innovation‘ stage, children make the story their own. They could start with a simple change of character or for older children it may involve telling the story from a different view point. They will make changes to their story map and rehearse retelling their innovated story orally. They will then write out the innovated story in manageable sections and will receive feedback from the teacher. There is an opportunity to respond to this marking before they go on to write the next section. This very supportive and structured approach allows children to gain confidence and know what they need to do in order to get better.
The final stage is the ‘invention‘ stage where the children use all the skills they have learnt to write an independent piece. There is the freedom to draw upon their own ideas and experiences, or they can ‘hug closely’ to the shared text should they need to.
Impact of Writing at Acre Heads
Our pupils are able to think and write creatively, they are adventurous in their vocabulary choices and write with a clear purpose and audience in mind. More than anything, we want our pupils to enjoy the process of writing and write for pleasure. We promote high standards of language and literacy and equip pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word, as well as promoting a lifelong love of literature. Our children go out into the world as confident readers and writers; ready to engage with the world with purpose and enthusiasm.
Our curriculum prepares pupils for a life immersed in literature and ensures our children celebrate the joy of reading and writing.
“Talk for Writing helps me organise my writing.”
“I liked doing the actions for the Stick Man story.”
“I like the freedom of Talk for Writing and thinking of new ideas.”
“I liked visiting Wymersely Park and writing about it.”
“I enjoy exploring the feelings of different characters.”
“I like writing big sentences because I like writing and expressing myself.”
As part of their hook day Year 6 have been comparing foods from America and the UK during a blind tasting #acreheads #English #year6 🇺🇸🇬🇧 ... See MoreSee Less
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As part of their ‘Healthy Me’ topic Year 2 have been making fruit kebabs #year2 #acreheads #english #hookday ... See MoreSee Less
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My child enjoyed making his fruit kebab, and made more at home 🍓🫒🍉🍡
Rob Brown x
Mark Brown x
Our focus text is the hungry caterpillar to further develop the children's understanding of spring. This week the children have welcomed caterpillars and tadpoles in our classroom. We are very excited for the tadpoles to grow legs and for the butterflies to emerge out of their chrysalis #acreheads #foundation #science #English 🦋🐛🐸 ... See MoreSee Less
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