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Elmhurst School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust


Writing Curriculum Intent

At Elmhurst, we recognise that writing is an essential life skill to be enjoyed and used as a way to express ourselves and communicate with the world around us.  We aim to unlock our pupils' writing potential through engaging lessons and high quality texts. ​


Through exploring, imitating and innovating engaging, age-appropriate texts using the Talk for Writing process we provide our pupils with the tools they need to become creative authors with a continuously developing knowledge and a love of reading and writing. ​


We aim to prepare children to be successful communicators and writers so they can achieve their aspirations throughout their education and beyond. 

Quote from a Year 4 child:

"Writing makes me feel complete, it is a door to your wildest dreams, writing is an opportunity to express your feelings and show your true colours of what you can do.

Curriculum Content

Writing Curriculum Implementation

At Elmhurst School we teach writing through the Talk for Writing approach. Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. 

‘Talk for Writing’ was developed by the author Pie Corbett.  It is a fun, creative yet also rigorous approach to develop writers.

There are 3 key stages to the Talk for Writing approach:



A text is introduced and read to the children; together the class learn to tell the story. To help the children remember the text a multi-sensory approach is used:

  • A visual story map

  • Actions

  • A focus on lively, animated expression


As children learn the stories word for word, they develop the use of specific sentence structures, which they can then use in their own writing. The principle is that if a child can tell a story, they will be able to write a story. changing the characters or the setting. You may have heard the children talking about the key stages: imitation, innovation and independent application



Talk for Writing Actions for Key Words


In this stage the original text is adapted by the children. This could start with a simple change of character or for the older children it may involve telling the story from a different view point. Children will make changes to their story map and rehearse retelling their innovated story orally . Children then write out the innovated story in manageable sections. Pupils then receive feedback from their teacher and have an opportunity to respond to this before writing the next section. It is a very supportive and structured approach so children gain confidence and know what they need to do in order to get better.


Independent Application

The final stage is the independent application stage where the children use all the skills they have learnt to write an independent piece. There is the freedom to draw upon their own ideas and experiences, or they can ‘hug closely’ to the shared text should they need to. 

Quote from a Year 1 child:

"I like writing because you can use new words like 'crushed'"

Quote from a Year 3 child:

"I like writing because every time you practise, you get better.  It keeps me calm and helps me to improve my handwriting."

Writing Curriculum Impact

Quote from a Year 6 Child:

"I like using lots of description and varied punctuation in my writing.  I enjoy polishing and ending my stories in suspense!"

Page last updated: 09/07/21