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What is Talk for Writing? Pie Corbett explains

At Farne, we want all our children to develop into thoughtful and creative writers and it is through the Talk for Writing approach that we achieve this. Through its multi-sensory and interactive teaching, it enables children of all ages and abilities to learn to write a wide range of story/text types using various methods, including:


  • listening to and learning texts and stories;


  • taking part in drama and role-play;


  • drawing and story mapping;


  • collecting words and language strategies


  • co-constructing toolkits to draw upon to effectively write for different purposes


  • building their working knowledge of grammar.


  • applying learning within Short Burst Writing tasks



Talk for Writing is embedded at every phase of the teaching sequence which is structured to include teacher talk, supported pupil talk and independent pupil talk. We believe that Talk for Writing is an approach that goes beyond the development of children’s general speaking and listening skills – it allows children to explore the processes involved in being a writer, and extends oral rehearsal so that it becomes a draft for their written pieces. The approach supports the children to move from talk into writing.

Talk for Writing fundamentally teaches children how to be writers – not just how to write. It supports children to be able to generate ideas, draw upon their reading and write confidently for a variety of audiences and purposes.


The methodology follows a three-tier pattern: Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application. During the imitation stage, children get to know a text really well by orally learning it, exploring it through drama and then reading it for vocabulary, comprehension and writer tools. The Innovation stage is grounded in the processes of shared writing, with a strong and systematic focus on securing the basics of handwriting, phonics/spelling and grammar in relation to what is needed for the text type being taught. The final stage, Independent Application, promotes children to draft, edit and publish their own independent versions.



We emphasise the importance of exposing children to a diverse range of reading and writing genres and underlying patterns as they advance through their journey as writers. To guarantee that our children are exposed to a wide variety of rich and captivating genres, we have carefully outlined the progression for each year group ensuring they revisit different text types across each phase. While the key genres and patterns we cover are listed below, we do delve into additional genres, exploring sub-genres and other forms of writing to enrich their learning experience


Children are encouraged to identify underlying patterns in the stories they read and to internalise their structures to use within their own writing. This helps them to make connections and to develop their writing. 



  • Wishing Tales                                      


  • Warning Tales


  • Finding Tales


  • Losing Tales


  • Tale of Fear


  • Defeating the Monster Tales


  • Portal Stories


  • Journey or Quest Stories


  • Rags to Riches or Change Stories