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talk for writing - experiences

(28 Posts)
nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 18-Jul-16 12:38:18

Does anyone's school use Talk for Writing and would you mind sharing your experiences of it particularly with regard to children who can already write very well for their age, do they still make progress, do they like it, do they switch off etc.


Galena Mon 18-Jul-16 13:41:45

DD's school did it. She didn't get bored. She made progress. However, the school found it ultimately too restrictive and have moved on now.

MangoIsTheNewApple Mon 18-Jul-16 14:18:44

I think dd's school does it (I certainly heard talk about it a few years ago). She's a good writer for her age, and it certainly doesn't seem to have held her back. Like everything at primary, I suspect it completely depends on how it's taught.

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 18-Jul-16 20:19:58

thank you, my two hate it. their school started it in the autumn, one hates it but seems to have carried on regardless but has moaned constantly it has taken all the fun out of writing and it is too restrictive, the other one hates it and appears to be producing next to nothing now whereas before they started it she loved writing and was very good (teachers opinion too, not just mine) and would write for fun too. now she hates anything to do with writing and the only thing I can put this down to is this way of teaching it. She says it is silly, restrictive, too structured and I think she is trying to explain in some ways it is patronising to some degree.

You are probably right though it comes down to how it is taught and also potentially what age/level they are at when the school start teaching it.

Galena Tue 19-Jul-16 21:28:26

How old are your two?

Galena Tue 19-Jul-16 21:28:28

How old are your two?

Galena Tue 19-Jul-16 21:30:06

(sorry, unnecessary double post!)

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 19-Jul-16 23:05:20

just finishing yr2 and yr3.

Galena Sat 23-Jul-16 18:38:30

DD is just finishing Y2 too. She did it for YR and Y1, but less so this year, if at all. Her teacher was delighted to tell me at parent's evening that her writing was photocopied as an exemplar by teachers at various schools locally during moderation meetings because it was the top of the children working at greater depth in writing.

I do think it depends a certain amount on whether the teachers feel it will work. If they are sceptical, I think it won't work as they will not see how it is supposed to work.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 23-Jul-16 23:36:07

The teachers seem happy with it (although TAs have different feelings....) and were surprised when I reported what my girls were saying. perhaps if they start with it then it isn't so bad but having had more freedom until Yr3 when this was introduced DD1 felt it was quite insulting that she could only write a story by taking another story apart and she really didn't like any stupid hand signs or whatever it was they had to do. felt it was babyish and I can't say I blame her. hopefully in yr4 it won't be so bad.

mrz Sun 24-Jul-16 06:37:01

Talk for Writing is used by schools across primary and secondary phases. It's intended for all writing abilities from complete beginners in nursery and reception to very able writers in KS3 and 4.
It works best if all staff have attended the training and fully buy into the method.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 24-Jul-16 21:55:26

thanks Mrz, The staff all seem very keen, mixed reactions from children speaking to friends, some like it because they feel they actually do less writing and more drawing pretty pictures/story map things, some find it very difficult, some say it is helpful and then some say it is restrictive. like anything it won't be perfect for everyone but I am trying to explain to my eldest how it can help her/be a good thing and get her enthusiasm for writing back as she really isn't keen at all now they use this and I am not entirely sure how to persuade her otherwise. I wonder if perhaps because they introduced it new this year they therefore included some of the younger stages of it at older ages to start with? (not sure - I did go to a meeting about it when they introduced it but I didn't expect my children to react against it).

oh well it is what they are using so they have to put up with it I suppose.

goingmadinthecountry Mon 25-Jul-16 20:14:09

I went to a day's session with Pie Corbett (the Talk for Writing man) and must say it was inspirational and lots of fun. Our school hasn't bought in to the whole thing - as Mrz says, like most things, it requires all staff to be fully on board.

Whisperingeye1 Mon 25-Jul-16 23:16:24

I think like anything it depends on how well it is taught. I have seen it work amazingly well and children love it, I've also seen it be like flogging a dead horse.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 26-Jul-16 12:33:16

yes perhaps it was one teacher was better at it than the other hence one child not being SO bothered by it even though she wasn't keen. Perhaps it was just the teachers being new to it were still getting used to it. Fingers crossed next year my children will buy into it a bit more.

tulippa Wed 27-Jul-16 08:27:27

My DCs' school uses it and I have to say I was hmm and a bit confused when I saw children doing the memorising bit with the hand actions when I was doing a placement there. However DS (just finished Year 2) loved it and was insistent about reading and trying to memorise the stories at home. He has made amazing progress with his writing this year both in terms of results and motivation. DD has been less vocal (just finished Year 6) but she still did well in her SATs for writing. Think it has a lot to do with how it it is delivered; both DCs' teachers have been excellent this year. I have heard of it not working so well in other schools.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 27-Jul-16 13:53:49

some of the children do seem to like it and I gather some have made great progress but my children (and a few others) who were already enthusiastic about reading and writing and doing both at a high level it seems to be holding them back a bit and putting them off which is such a pity.

MirrorMirrorOnTheFloor Sun 31-Jul-16 08:50:53

DDs' school does it, and uses the memorised stories and actions as part of Class Assemblies, so perhaps that makes the kids feel like there's more point to it? Anyway, seems to be working for both my kids (just leaving YR and Y3), though the little one still finds the physical act of writing really hard. So telling the story, pictures etc are good for her.

They do both enjoy drama and storytelling and are quite keen on repetition (still! Aagh!), so I think that helps.

LockedOutOfMN Mon 01-Aug-16 23:33:55

I'm a secondary teacher and think Talk For Writing is excellent, but do agree it could be bizarre for children in say, Year 2, being introduced to it for the first time having learned to write differently. I feel it works best starting from Nursery or Reception age.

Great in secondary too, helps students to write like scientists / historians / economists etc. and transfer oral eloquence to their essays but for all age groups the teachers need to be well trained and sadly some schools or LEAs have not invested, or been able to invest, properly in this, e.g. just sending one member of staff on the Pie Corbett session then expecting him or her to pass on the content to the rest of the school's teaching staff probably in a rushed meeting at the end of the day when everyone's hungry and tired.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 13-Aug-16 22:42:34

thanks - only just seen these other replies.

I hadn't even thought about it being used at secondary level. I think that might be the problem LockedOut. My daughters had already been writing stories and accounts for a long time before they were suddenly then changed to this new method which must feel odd and a bit of a backward step in a way.

The younger one has tolerated it better, both mine love art and also drama but I think they felt their writing was separate to that and now it all seems to overlap.

mrz Sun 14-Aug-16 06:54:41

Talk for Writing isn't about writing stories and definitely not a backward step for a child who can already write.
It's a structure that is used across different genre to provide a "scaffold" for the different features that need to included to improve stories but also non fiction, instructions, non chronological reports, persuasive letters or advertising etc

Fuckingmoles Sun 14-Aug-16 07:00:39

This is some research into the impact of Talk for Writing - it's generally positive

mrz Sun 14-Aug-16 08:48:43

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 14-Aug-16 16:17:03

Mrz I understand it might not be a backward step but to a child who has been taught to write more traditionally for want of a better word and who is actually pretty good at it then to go back to having to learn a story, take it apart, change 2 things, rewrite the same story etc or to draw the story map of a story that has already been written it must seem a bit like that surely. They seem to have done very little actual writing from what I can see in an entire year.

Even staff at the school have admitted that the ones making progress are the EAL and SEN children and that there doesn't appear to have been much progress among the already high achievers. This is my concern as MY priority is obviously my children and I need to find a way to get it to work for my children so they keep some enthusiasm for it. They used to love writing and now can't stand it. something has changed and the only thing that has changed is talk for writing.

mrz Sun 14-Aug-16 17:04:37

It's the taking part and understanding that different structures are used for different genres. Looking at word order and formal/informal grammar and understanding why it's important. It's "magpieing" vocabulary to make writing more mature. And finally it's nothing to do with being taught "traditionally" it's about moving on and improving, maturing and growing as a writer

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