English - Talk for Writing
Year 1 – Non-fiction report writing based on toys
Have you ever played with Lego? Lego is stuff you can build with. Lego is quite old. It is made from plastic. It was invented in 1932. The country was Denmark. It can be any colour. They have little dots on top and they can be any shape.
Do you like playing with robots? Robots are machines that you can control. The first robot was invented in 1954. Robots don’t make any errors (mistakes). Robots can be any colour.
Year 3 - Non-fiction recount based on a school trip
One month ago, our class excitedly prepared to go on a school trip to the Chiltern Open Air Museum. We went so we could learn about Iron Age and the Stone Age.
At the beginning, we looked at some houses and one of them had a bed that was about the size of a short, rectangular table. After that, we saw a blacksmith making some tools.
Following this, we had lunch. Mrs Baker, our teacher, showed us a spacious barn where we then had our yummy lunch. I had a chicken sandwich, hula-hoops that went everywhere, banana, a pot of grapes and a chocolate bar. It was all very yummy.
After that, we walked up to an Iron Age house. When we got there this Iron Age man showed us his house and it looked very different to the ones we are in now. Then, we had to do some jobs and they were mixing cream to make butter, making clay pots, grinding wheat to make flour and making bread.
Firstly, my group went to mix the cream. We all had two turns at mixing the cream. At a later time, we went to make small clay pots. Mine was the smallest you could imagine! After that, my group went to grind some wheat. There were two types, one had a stone and a rectangular stone under, the other had a round stone at the bottom and another at the top.
Next, my group went to make our breads (it was very messy) and we put the water and flour together and that made our dough. Next, we sat down and asked some questions.
Soon it was time to go and we had all planned to visit again. What a wonderful day it was!
Year 5 - Fictional 'Rags-to-Riches' story
Harry the pick pocket
One gloomy, cold midday, Harry crept across the streets of London. He stared at the happy family entering a butcher. He then imagined of a family that would care for him that had a home.
“Get to stealing somebody’s pockets this instant!” Mr. Rot barked at him. “When you come back, your pockets should be full of shillings!”
Mr. Rot was the cruel leader of the pick pocket gang. He had a pale, crackly face, which normally freaked people out! He had dark, bushy eyebrows, which covered his bloodshot eyes. He also had rotten teeth, and spittle rattled through them when he shouted, which was pretty much all the time. When Mr. Rot had taken Harry off the streets of London to work with him, he thought he would work with a butcher – but the cold-hearted brute forced him to pick people’s pockets.
After a while, Harry still hadn’t found a single shilling. Finally, he found a man with posh, clean clothes. Harry walked up to him, filled with temptation, and flung his arm deep into the man’s pocket, which had twenty shillings in it! Harry quickly pulled them all out and ran off. Then, Harry heard shouting from behind him. It was the police! Harry ran as fast as he could, but he was no match for the police, and Harry was arrested. Why was his life so unfair?
As he was being arrested, a rich lady on a carriage came by. “Are you ok darling?” a comforting voice asked. Harry looked at the woman and his eyes shone. She had bright, golden hair, a soothing voice and a clean face. She introduced herself as Miss Sweetee. Harry told her he was arrested as a pick pocket, and she feared him going back.
“I have an idea,” Miss Sweetee declared, “come and live with me.” Harry’s heart leapt with happiness. Could this really be true? Miss Sweetee opened her arms for a hug. Harry’s one and only dream had come true!
Year 6 - Speech focus based on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
“Would you like to be King, my dear?” Lady Macbeth crossed her arms and smiled. Her voice was too soft – Macbeth knew that tone. She was planning a scheme.
“Why, of course, my fair lady, but what do you mean?” Macbeth was genuinely confused.
The woman closed her eyes, and then looked back up again. “Promise you won’t scream,” she whispered. “Please.” Macbeth paused.
“You don’t mean…”
“Yes. In order for your dreams to come true, Duncan must die.” Macbeth opened his mouth to scream, but no sound came out. His wife’s hand was firmly on his lips. “HUSH!” the lady whispered frantically. She took her hand away and Macbeth took a step back.
“This is insane! Are you mad? That is treason against our King!” Macbeth murmured. Angry, Lady Macbeth’s face paled.
“I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but I guess you either want to divorce… or die too.” Lady Macbeth turned on her heel and started walking away.
“Fine! I’ll do it. Just don’t leave – I can’t live without you.”
What is Talk for Writing? How can you help?
For the past three years, we have been one of the schools in Luton taking part in the Primary Writing Project: Talk for Writing. It aims to motivate children as writers, developing classrooms and whole schools where everyone is passionate about writing and passionate about reading.
The project is based on the idea that a child cannot write a sentence if they cannot say the sentence and they cannot say a sentence if they haven’t heard it. Therefore, the children will learn a bank of stories and texts off by heart before using the vocabulary and sentence structures they have rehearsed in their own writing.
Once they have learnt a text, children will then explore the features of it in order to embed what makes a good text of this particular type. They get to unpick what they like about it, 'play' with the different features with adult guidance and then have a go at writing their own independently. Pupils get particularly excited about their chance to create something of their own!
You may know that all classes now enjoy a time each day when their teacher reads to them. Each year group has a selection of stories that we believe all children should hear during their time at primary school. We have also purchased, with help from our Friends Association, a large selection of new reading books which are available for children to take home and share with you.
It has been an exciting journey for Bramingham so far which continues to excite both staff and pupils alike. We believe it will impact on the children’s enjoyment and passion for reading and writing which will ultimately have an impact on their attainment. At home, you can a play a huge part in helping to promote this passion for reading and writing.
There are many ways you can help by:
- Listening to your child read regularly at home
- Questioning your child about the text they are reading
- Asking your child to recite or perform the story they are learning in school – can they remember the actions?
- Watching videos of your child reciting the stories they have learnt
- Reading texts from some of our recommended authors
- Discussing if your child can recognise a text type that they have learnt, in a book you are reading together
- Can they find some key features in the text with you?
Thankyou for your continued support, as always.