At Upton Westlea, we use a Talk4Writing approach to teaching English. This includes 3 phases of learning:

1) Imitate

This kick starts a new genre where children learn a model text by reading the text and then creating a story map of pictures to help them understand the language patterns and grammar being used. Here, they will also practise speed words (key words used in the model text), answer comprehension questions about the text and also create a 'toolkit' of the features which are used in that text type. This is their own 'success criteria' for what they will include in their own writing. 

A recent example in Hazel Class is that the children are learning to write a non-chronological report about a 'Storm Unicorn'. 

2) Innovate

Here, the children start to change some key details from the model text to create their own version. This is called 'hugging the text' and it supports children to write in similar patterns to the genre. This is an integral part of the process and where the majority of skills are learnt! We focus on different spelling, punctuation and grammar rules when writing, in line with the National Curriculum guidelines for each year group.

Children will change the 'Storm Unicorn' here to a different type of unicorn. Recent suggestions have been a 'Rainbow Unicorn', 'Frost Unicorn' and a 'Sunshine Unicorn'. 

3) Invent

This is where children get to apply their learning and understanding of the text type. They use the features and skills they have been learning to write a different version of the genre, such as a non-chronological report about the Roman settlements in Britain. 

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