Hallsville is a two-form entry primary school situated in the heart of East London. The school was judged to be outstanding in 2007 and has maintained its outstanding status ever since. Situated in an area of deprivation, Hallsville has around 25% of its pupils eligible for free school meals and the vast majority of pupils do not speak English as their first language.
We began our Talk for Writing journey in 2010. At the time, boys’ writing was an issue. Two of the school’s senior leaders attended one of Pie’s conferences and after returning feeling inspired, they implemented parts of the process across the school. Over the last seven years, our implementation of the approach has grown in momentum and the Talk for Writing process is now fully embedded across the school. We achieve fantastic results at the end of KS2. In 2016, 98% of our children achieved the expected standard in reading and 88% achieved the expected standard in writing. Over the last few years, we have also supported a local school in their journey from special measures to good and have gained experience of implementing the process in other settings through the modelling of best practice.
Choosing our Talk for Writing texts is one of our favourite things to do and we are extremely passionate about creating a community of readers and writers at Hallsville. We strongly believe in giving the children access to high quality picture books like Shaun Tan’s ‘The Lost Thing’ and Grahame Baker Smith’s ‘FArTHER’ as a starting point for their writing and we strive to provide engaging hooks to introduce them to a text each term.
As a school, we are constantly reviewing and developing our practice in all areas of Talk for Writing. Working closely with Alison Cooper, a Talk for Writing trainer, has been pivotal to our success. Alison has supported with the leadership of Talk for Writing across the school by carrying out yearly audits with the school’s literacy coordinator and delivering development days to teachers and teaching assistants across the school. This process is carried out annually to ensure that new members of staff are developed and existing members of staff are kept up to date. We also use the lesson study approach to allow staff to support and learn from each other.
We are currently running open mornings to provide an insight into the Talk for Writing process. These are targeted in particular at literacy leaders and members of the senior leadership team although all teachers are welcome to attend. The mornings will consist of the opportunity to meet the leaders who have implemented the programme across the school, time to observe teaching and look in books, a chance to meet with children and teachers to discuss their feelings about the process, and finally an introduction to the three main stages of Talk for Writing: imitation, innovation and independent application.
Current training offered
• See the Talk for Writing programme in action
• Talk to teachers and children
• Hear from Talk for Writing leaders on how to lead the programme effectively in school
• Look at books/curriculum maps
£100 per delegate
• Using teaching assistants effectively in Talk for Writing lessons
• Leadership of Talk for Writing across the school
• Immersion/Innovation/Independent application
• Invention and encouraging children to write creatively
• Shared writing
• Talk for Writing in EYFS
• Using hooks to engage writers with texts
• Using oral rehearsal to support writing