At Winterton C of E Infant School, we use the Talk for Writing approach as a tool to help our children learn to write. Talk for Writing was developed by the author Pie Corbett. It is a fun, creative yet also rigorous approach to develop writers.
Talk for Writing starts with enjoying and sharing stories. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on children reading stories and enjoying a range of literature. We have quality story times at the end of each day where children can enjoy stories from different authors. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing.
During the initial 'imitation' stage of Talk for Writing, children learn to tell a story off by heart. They retell a text with expression and actions and make use of a story map to support their retelling. Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At the 'innovation' stage, children make the story their own, for example, by changing the character or setting. Adults will write with them, modelling how we think like an author. Finally, at the 'invention stage, children write their own text independently, using all of the ideas collected to support them in creating their own stories and information texts.
At Winterton Cof E Infant School, we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their reading. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics.
Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
When using RWI to read the children will:
*learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
*learn to read words using ‘Fred Talk’ (breaking words down in to their sounds)
*read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
*show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions
During our RWI sessions we practise our reading skills by reading ‘Green Words’. These are words that are decodable because they only contain sounds that your child will be able to recognise. The children have met Fred during our sessions. Fred is a frog who cannot read words as we can but says everything in sounds, or ‘Fred Talk’.
The children know to sound out or ‘Fred Talk’ each sound whilst pointing underneath the letters, then to blend the sounds to make the word. If your child knows them on sight they can read them without sounding out and this is an important progression in their reading. We aim to have children ‘speedy reading’ the words with no sounding out once they are confident with the sounds they contain.
Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
At Winterton C of E Infant School, we aim to ensure each children becomes a fluent reader who has a love for literature.
Reading has two parts – word reading and comprehension.
We teach word reading through RWI phonics, which enables the children to use the sounds they know to read words but reading is about more than just saying what they see on a page.
Comprehension skills allow children to really understand what it is they are reading and learn from it. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
We develop children’s comprehension is several different ways.
Talk For Writing – during the writing process in our English lessons, we plan activities that help children understand what the focus text is about and why the author has used the language they have chosen.
RWI – during RWI sessions, the children will take part in activities that require them to answer questions around what they have read and give some reasons for their answers.
Read with ERIC – each week the children will have the opportunity to read as a whole class. They may read an extract of a text, or use pictures or film. The children will then answer different types of questions to develop their understanding of the text.
E: Explain (explain what different words and parts of the text mean)
R: Retrieve (find the words which answer questions about a text)
I: Interpret (use clues from the text to give reasons for ideas)
C: Choice (explore what the author has done to make the text interesting and enjoyable)