Sonia Thompson, Talk for Writing Lead
Main School Contact: Sonia Thompson Email: T4W@st-matthews.bham.sch.uk
St Matthew’s is a successful one-form entry primary school close to the centre of Birmingham. We celebrate the diversity of our children, with nine out of ten pupils coming from minority ethnic groups and with 16 different languages spoken at home. We believe talk is very important across the curriculum.
In February 2015 Ofsted stated in its report that “It is clear to see why the school was recognised as one of the top 100 most improved schools in 2014…Writing is taught exceptionally well because teachers and adults who support them focus on making sure pupils receive exactly the right level of help they need to succeed.”
In 2011/12 we started to implement the Talk for Writing approach to the teaching of English and it has had a huge impact on the progress of our pupils. Our pupils will tell you that they love writing.
“My vocabulary is much better. I use exciting words in my writing now.” Year 3 pupil
“I want to be a lawyer and I know that I have to be able to write well…the toolkits definitely help me.” Year 6 pupil
We are very proud of our creative and coherent programme of professional development. Having embraced the Talk for Writing approaches to learning, we have adapted them to a Talk for Maths process. As a result, we have implemented our ‘Talk for’ ethos across the whole school. Our dedicated members of staff are determined to ensure that our pupils are the very best writers, readers and mathematicians they can be.
By combining learning strategies such as mental warm ups text mapping tool-kits and hand actions with a formal and consistent approach to handwriting spelling grammar and phonics, our Topic RE and Science books demonstrate that ‘the proof is in the pudding’. You will be given an opportunity to judge our cross-curricular work for yourselves, as work scrutiny will be part of your ‘Talk for’ experience at St Matthew’s.
Organised visits to the school will include opportunities to observe lessons across the whole school, training from our leaders, Sonia Thompson and Tracey Adams and looking at our books. In our bespoke learning hub, you’ll also have the opportunity to engage in and reflect on the lessons we’ve learnt on our journey.
More details and how to book
Instructions for booking can be found on our dedicated school Talk for Writing webpage here:
www.st-matthews.bham.sch.uk/t4w.html Should you have any questions, please contact Theresa Lynch on 0121 359 1604. We are happy to discuss any questions that you have so that you can get the most from your experience with us.
Other training we offer
We are able to offer:
• An overview of the Talk for Writing/Maths process and its impact on raising standards
• A school improvement model
• An opportunity to watch the teaching of Talk for Writing/Maths
• Practical activities to support the implementation of Talk for Writing/Maths
• An opportunity to talk with teachers, leaders and children about how and why Talk for Writing/Maths works
• Refreshments will be provided
Talk for Writing – Planning (£120 for a full day)
Overview of how to plan a Talk for Writing unit for teachers already familiar with the philosophy/strategies.
• An opportunity to discuss ideas and processes for planning a unit, based around a quality text, picture book or film
• Plan a unit of work (please bring the text you will be using for the unit with you)
Talk for Writing – An Introduction (£120 for a full day)
• An overview of the Talk for Writing process and its impact on raising standards
• Practical activities to support the implementation of Talk for Writing
• Opporunities to compare practice with colleagues from other schools and share ideas and techniques
• Lunch and refreshments provided
Spotlight on Leading Talk for Writing Across the School (£60 for a half day session)
• Strategic implementation of philosophy to support whole school improvement
• Aimed at Head/Deputy, Principal, Regional Directors, Associate Head, Senior Leadership Team, Academy Subject Advisers and English Lead
• Breakfast and refreshments provided
Bespoke training can be discussed with Theresa Lynch on 0121 359 1602 or 07772 843802.