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Great Missenden Church of England Combined School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust





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.


Message from Anthony Horowitz

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Miss Bassett was fortunate to meet and chat with author Anthony Horowitz yesterday at Dr Challoner’s girls’ school. Mr Horowitz recorded a special message to us at Great Missenden School!