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Writing - Intent, Implementation and Impact statement


At Balliol Primary School, we believe that developing communication skills is vitally important for our pupils to access and be successful in an ever-changing careers market. Therefore, we aim to develop pupils’ confidence, fluency and accuracy to communicate their ideas in a variety of styles and formats for a range of purposes. Also, we aim to enable pupils to recognise the difference between the written and spoken forms of language. At Balliol Primary School, we believe that success in writing is partly determined by your experience of reading. A child who has heard many stories and is familiar with a wide range of conventions in different text types will be able to draw on them in their own writing. We aim to provide a wide range of high-quality model texts and a rich vocabulary, that pupils can accurately apply and creatively innovate from. Furthermore, we aim to provide frequent, purposeful and varied opportunities to write across the curriculum, enabling the children to make judgements concerning the tone, style, format and vocabulary appropriate to the audience.



Based on the National Curriculum, we teach writing using Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing approach, employing the three stages of imitation, innovation and invention to a range of non-fiction, fiction and poetry genres.


Our long-term English plan ensures that all genres are mapped out across each year group. High quality texts, linked to our cross curricular units, model the language, vocabulary, structure, punctuation and grammar that we expect our pupils to independently apply in their own speaking and writing. Our progression document carefully plans for progression in genres and toolkits such as setting, tension and characterisation. Basic skills and non-negotiables underpin writing in all areas of the curriculum.

We link our writing context to our cross curricular units, finding real life reasons and a purpose for children’s writing; recent examples include letters to our governors and reports for a newspaper.


The three stages of Talk for Writing:

  1. Imitation – getting to know the model text really well: All units begin with a hook for writing. The children complete a cold write, which is used to assess prior knowledge and understanding of the genre and to plan the next steps in the teaching and learning sequence. In addition, pupils are given personalised targets based upon their cold write. Through oral retelling of the model text, children internalise:

• memorable blueprints

• building blocks – character, setting, action etc

• syntactical patterns

• vocabulary e.g. conjunctions

• images in the mind


Children learn the model text word by word –sentence by sentence using actions and pictures to help them remember key vocabulary. Initially the retelling should be led by the teacher - communal, leading to group story circles and then paired retelling of a story.


The children then read as a reader. They read for meaning, finding out, for example, about any vocabulary that they do not understand. They discuss the ingredients of the genre and think about the effect on the reader and how writers create this. This enables pupils to co-construct with the teacher a writers’ toolkit of the conventions that they can apply in their own writing. Pupils magpie (steal) words and phrases that they can use or innovate in their own writing. Furthermore, they.


Then the children read as a writer and box up the underlying structure/pattern of the text.


2. Innovation - substitution, addition, alteration, change a viewpoint of the basic text pattern:

Once the children know the model text really well, they use the model text and boxing up plan to innovate/make changes to the original. During this phase, it is vital that teachers model the writing process and demonstrate the ambitious high standards expected of all children. Wherever possible, explicit teaching of grammar, punctuation and spelling is taught through use of the shared text and shared writing. Guided Writing and reasonable adjustments are also used to further consolidate and develop writing skills.

Moreover, we encourage pupils to plan, draft, ‘read back’, edit and revise their writing through the compositional process. Pupils use purple polishing pens, peer and self-feedback and explicit edit and improve lessons.


3. Invention:

When children have completed their first innovation of a text, they then independently apply the skills taught into a hot write. This is then assessed against their cold write targets.



Pupils are taught to ‘Fred talk’ the sounds in words and learn the complex code of alternative spelling patterns in Read Write Inc lessons.


Spelling teaching is interwoven throughout the English Talk for Writing genre and across the curriculum. However, we have also introduced, from Year 2-6, a discrete spelling lesson using the Read Write Inc Spelling programme. Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings. Through an instructional approach (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges help children to commit new words to memory.



Early Years and Key Stage 1 children use the Read Write Inc ‘patter’ to support them to form letters accurately. In Year 2, we begin to explicitly teach cursive handwriting, in the Summer term. Cursive handwriting aids fluency and speed, helps to eliminate letter reversals, supports spelling and improves presentation. We award pen licences to children who can prove that they can form letters accurately and legibly across a range of subjects and genres.


Subject knowledge:

Staff have been involved in the Primary Writing Project (PWP) Talk for Writing training. Top up Talk for Writing training has been delivered by the local authority and class teachers continue to share best practice in staff meetings, planning meetings and book looks. Coaching and mentoring cycles ensure that all staff have a clear understanding of how pupils learn to write. All teachers and teaching assistants ensure that their own speaking, listening, writing and reading of English supports pupils in developing their language and vocabulary well. This ensures consistency in teaching and learning from one year to the next.



Termly progress meetings are held and there is particularly close monitoring of children making the slowest progress. Children in danger of falling behind, or who are working under expected levels (lower 20%), are swiftly identified and additional support is provided to enable them to keep up.


For those children who are below age-related expectations: Through quality first teaching, we ensure that pupils ‘keep up not catch up’. However, any pupils who are falling behind receive immediate targeted support. For example, at a pupil progress meeting, small, achievable steps are identified to overcome the child’s barrier to learning.



 The impact will be measured through:

Book scrutinies - showing clear progression in application of skills and knowledge, cross curricular links being made, correct use of vocabulary and appropriate reasonable adjustments.

Lesson visits (sometimes with link governors) - will show pupils enthused about and engaged with their learning.

Pupil Voice - will evidence pupil's enthusiasm for the subject, aspirations for English based career choices and pupil's abilities in recalling and applying their English knowledge to a range of contexts.

Parent voice - will evidence an understanding of the English learning their children are exposed to as well as the vocabulary they have been introduced to.

Learning environment - will demonstrate the Talk 4 Writing 3 stages of Imitate, Innovate and Independent Application, subject specific vocabulary and key concepts learned as well as a celebration of the learning journey where appropriate.

Assessment data - will show systematic acquisition of Reading and Writing skills and knowledge assessed through practical application and recall. Our expectation is that pupils will be fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of key stage one. Pupils will read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age. All pupils, including the weakest readers, will make sufficient progress to meet or exceed agerelated expectations. Pupils will be familiar with and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction.