Talk for Writing

At St Chad's, have adopted the Talk for Writing approach (first developed by Pie Corbett and Julia Strong). Talk for Writing is a way of supporting the improvement of children's writing. It develops their ability to 'read as writers' and enables them to explore the thinking and creative processes involved in generating and planning ideas and incorporating techniques learned from other writers into their own work.

Talk for Writing involves teachers, children and families engaging with stories and rhymes. A key aspect is to help children to build up a 'bank' of tales, developing their imaginative and linguistic repertoire. The foundation of this work involves Early Years and Key Stage 1, establishing the very roots of imaginative play and early language development through stories and rhymes.

Research into early language development highlights the importance of children being read to as well as the role of interactive language and play. From a young age, children should be brought up within a rich language context, including plenty of family chatter, being read to, as well as storytelling and singing rhymes. Talk for Writing develops a systematic approach to early language development through story and rhyme. Children are taught a bank of well-known stories so that over time they begin to internalise the imaginative world as well as language patterns. These are then used as a basis for creating new stories, drawing on the known patterns as well as reading and children's lives. Finally, the children make up new stories by calling on the imaginative bank of ideas.


Talk for Writing further allows children to rehearse the structure and sequence of a piece of writing and guides how the text should sound - its style and voice. It also encourages them to generate and rehearse appropriate language and grammar as they work collaboratively to plan, draft and improve their writing.

Talk for Writing builds on 3 key stages:

  • Stage 1 – imitation

  • Stage 2 – innovation

  • Stage 3 – independent application

One of the key ways St Chad's supports the teaching of writing is through the above recommended approach to planning. Teachers follow a structured approach to planning where the children and teachers begin by familiarising themselves with a text type, capturing ideas for their own and writing followed by scaffolded writing experiences, resulting in independent written outcomes.

In each classroom, there is an English Working Wall to actively support the Talk for Writing approach. This should always include:

  • A quality text linked to the current theme- and, some evidence of an exciting hook to engage the children with their leaning

  • A text map to support the oral performance of the fiction/ nonfiction text

  • The writer’s toolkit

  • Magpie words

Further information about Talk for Writing can be found here.