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Great Missenden Church of England Combined School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust


English- Writing

English- Writing


At Great Missenden we are passionate about English! A child’s ability to read, write and express themselves clearly and with a rich and complex vocabulary is priceless and we have adopted the Talk for Writing system to support this aspiration.

Talk for Writing is a system for teaching English which creates strong links between a child’s reading and their writing and that empowers children to create independent pieces of written work through a step by step process. Children first become inspired by a new topic or genre, then imitate, learn off by heart, an example text which provides a great example of how this type of writing should appear in its finished form. They then innovate parts of this example text, change more and more and adding their own creative flourishes until they are ready, at the end of a unit to independently write their own version of the story or text they were introduced to at the beginning of the teaching sequence. This system could be simplified as a movement through the following stages:-


Inspiration, Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application


This approach underpins our teaching of English throughout the school and is adapted to teach all age-groups, but we also teach English skills - reading, writing and oracy- throughout the broader curriculum, allowing children to apply their knowledge in different, creative contexts.


Over the course of the year, children will have the opportunity to use a range of discussion, performance, writing and reading activities to develop their literary, linguistic and language skills. 

They will have opportunities to develop their ability to:


  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, using drama to further understanding and literary depth.


To truly understand the impact of our English Writing curriculum, you have to come and see us!


The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills.  Talk 4 Writing is now well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages; children are becoming more confident writers and are developing a love for writing for different purposes. By the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.


The teachers use formative and summative assessment to ensure children are making progress from their starting points. These assessments show the percentage of children at Age Related Expectations and Greater Depth Standard is above National Average. We monitor progress very closely to quickly and efficiently identify and support children not making progress.


As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives. 


We hope that as children move on from Great Missenden School to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.


Pupil Voice Impact Analysis

Year 3

Writing lessons wake up my imagination (which is actually a bit of personification)

The teachers give you an example, but they help you write about anything you want.

Year 4

English is fun! It’s not boring like the old days. We talk about what we need to do and then we feel confident writing independently.

Great stories can change the world.

You can have fun with writing, let your imagination run wild.

Year 5

Talking brings ideas to life and puts ideas in our heads.

We write because we want to, not because we’re told to.

Year 6

I like the ability to see myself develop as an author f throughout the unit of work we are studying.

I like the innovation stage, we’re given a structure and then encouraged to mess with it.



Message from Anthony Horowitz

Still image for this video
Author Anthony Horowitz recorded a special message to us at Great Missenden School!