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Although reading is a central part of the teaching of English, we have made a separate page for this which you may wish to look at. On this page, we hope to present our approach to the other aspects of the English curriculum, principally writing. To explain how we teach this, we have broken this page into three broad sections: 

Intent: the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain 

Implementation: how the curriculum developed or adopted by the school is taught 

Impact: the outcomes that pupils achieve as a result of the education they have received


Curriculum Vision Statement:

'By the time children leave Navigation they will be learners who have developed excellence in English skills in order to equip them to understand the world and have the crucial foundations to access all other areas of learning.'


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Our curriculum vision statement outlines our broad goals for English, whereas our whole school curriculum progression map gives a detailed breakdown of what each year group is taught in writing. There is also an overview of the different units of work that each year group covers. Go to the bottom of the page and you can open these documents and take a look.


Implementation - writing at Navigation:

The curriculum is delivered in a variety of ways that best suit the needs and stages of our children’s development. This page will discuss how we teach some of the following:

  • Talk for Writing
  • Spelling
  • Grammar and punctuation
  • Spoken word 


Talk for Writing Introduction:

Talk for Writing is a powerful approach because it is based on the principles of how people learn. The movement from imitation to innovation to independent application can be adapted to suit the needs of learners of any stage. Research has shown that schools already performing well have not only increased attainment, but also enjoyment and engagement by following this method. 

The Talk for Writing approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.

We underpin out English work by establishing a core reading spine of quality fiction, poetry and non-fiction that all children experience and draw upon. This can take the form of high-quality model texts that we use for writing, or our class readers that children enjoy at the end of the day. Imaginative units of work have been developed to create a whole-school plan that is refined each year, is well-resourced and documented to release teachers from planning and preparation so that they can focus on adapting their teaching for children’s learning.

The key phases of the Talk for Writing process, as outlined below, enable children to imitate orally the language they need for a particular topic, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version.


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Baseline assessment and planning – the ‘cold’ task:

Teaching is focused by initial assessment. Generally, teachers use what is known as a ‘cold’ task or a ‘have a go’ task. An interesting and rich starting point provides the stimulus and content but there is no initial teaching. The aim of this is to see what the children can do independently at the start of a unit, drawing on their prior learning. Assessment of their writing helps the teacher work out what to teach the whole class, different groups and adapt the model text and plan. Targets can then be set for individuals. By the end of the unit, pupils complete a ‘hot’ task or a ‘show us what you know’ task which is an independent task on a similar type of writing with an interesting stimulus. Progress should be evident which encourages pupils and helps schools track the impact of teaching.


The imitation stage:

The teaching begins with some sort of creative ‘hook’ which engages the pupils, often with a sense of enjoyment, audience and purpose. Writing challenges, such as informing Dr Who about how the Tardis works or producing leaflets for younger children about healthy eating, provide a sense of purpose. The model text is pitched well above the pupils’ level and has built into it the underlying, transferable structures and language patterns that students will need when they are writing. This is learned using a ‘text map’ and actions to strengthen memory and help students internalise the text. Activities such as drama are used to deepen understanding of the text.

Once students can ‘talk like the text’, the model, and other examples, are then read for vocabulary and comprehension, before being analysed for the basic text (boxing up) and language patterns, as well as writing techniques or toolkits. All of this first phase is underpinned by rehearsing key spellings and grammatical patterns. Short-burst writing is used to practise key focuses such as description, persuasion or scientific explanation.


The innovation stage:

Once students are familiar with the model text, then the teacher leads them into creating their own versions. A new subject is presented and the teacher leads students through planning. With younger pupils, this is based on changing the basic map and retelling new versions. Older students use boxed-up planners and the teacher demonstrates how to create simple plans and orally develop ideas prior to writing. Ideas may need to be generated and organised or information researched and added to a planner. Shared and guided writing is then used to stage writing over a number of days so that students are writing texts bit by bit, concentrating on bringing all the elements together, writing effectively and accurately. Feedback is given during the lessons, as well as using some form of visualiser on a daily basis, so that students can be taught how to improve their writing, make it more accurate, until they can increasingly edit in pairs or on their own.


Independent application and invention – the ‘hot’ task:

Eventually, students move on to the third phase, which is when they apply independently what has been taught and practised. Before this happens, the teacher may decide to give further input and rehearsal. Students are guided through planning, drafting and revising their work independently. It is essential to provide a rich starting point that taps into what students know and what matters so that their writing is purposeful. Writing may be staged over a number of days and there may be time for several independent pieces to be written. With non-fiction, students should apply what they have been taught across the curriculum. The final piece is used as the ‘hot’ task, which clearly shows progress across the unit.

It is important that at the innovation and independent application stages, the writing becomes increasingly independent of the original model rather than a pale copy. Whilst four-year-olds may only make a few simple changes, older students should be adding, embellishing, altering and manipulating the original structure. From Key Stage 2 onwards, almost all children will be using the text structure and writing tools to write, drawing on the model, their wider reading and experience so that they are writing independently at a high level. This has to be modelled in shared writing.

The aim of Talk for Writing is to develop imaginative, creative and effective writers. In the same way, the aim of Talk for Reading is to grow confident, critical and appreciative readers. No student can be said to really be a reader until they make their own choices about what to read and begin to develop a taste. In the same vein, children are not really writers until they decide what they want to write and have opportunities to create their own writing tasks and write about their interests and lives creating stories, poems and informative writing for themselves.

For this reason, schools plan ‘invention’ units which often sit between taught units. These ‘invention’ units are when students have time for their own writing. Teachers may provide a stimulus such as a film clip, interesting object, drama, wordless picture book, work of art, music, visitor or visit as a starting point but the students decide what and how to write. This is truly independent writing. In the early years, children should be playing at making up stories daily, acting stories out and at least once a week be led by the teacher through making up class stories for future sharing.


Building on previous learning:

The quality of the model texts is crucial to progress. The models should be short and provide excellent examples of the key linguistic features being focused on, and they should increase in difficulty. With younger children, the imitation stage will take longer, as the children need to establish the language patterns that will underpin their learning; this is so that they can see how to innovate on a text and write their own version independently. As they get older, more sophisticated ways of imitating text and a greater range of models can be used, and there will be a greater emphasis on ensuring that the innovation stage helps the pupils to move away from the initial model, so that they become increasingly skilled as independent writers.

When the children are first taught a text type, they will co-construct the toolkit to help them understand the ingredients to consider. As they progress up the school, these toolkits should travel with them so that, year-on-year, they are refined as the pupils develop their skills. Over time, they should internalise these toolkits so they select appropriate features automatically and no longer need a visual support to scaffold their writing.



This section is soon to be updated.


Spoken word:

The majority of the spoken word element of the English curriculum is interspersed throughout all lessons, during which children are taught and encouraged to speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English. In addition to this, there are specific times in each year when the spoken element of the curriculum becomes the central focus. For example, pupils participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates as well as gaining and maintaining the interest of the listeners. Every year group has at least one parental performance here is a non-exhaustive list of some examples: nativities, Easter and Harvest performances, poetry recitals, enterprise days and a whole range of musical performances. Finally, in Y6 we hire out a whole theatre for the children to put on their performance with all the trappings of a professional show.



Each subject is driven forward by a member of staff who monitors the attainment and progress of our children. We do this in a variety of ways including speaking to children, looking at their learning in their books, observing lessons and using data gathered from our school’s assessment system. This analysis can then be used to provide support and resources where needed to maintain high standards across all subjects.

In writing, judgments are primarily informed by teacher assessment. This is largely drawn from their 'hot tasks' and their independent application of their learning in writing in a variety of genres. Writing is evaluated as a whole and includes all the different strands in the writing curriculum. Teachers are also given opportunities to engage in quality assurance - moderation - of their judgments by working with other teachers within and across year groups at Navigation, but also working with others schools in a variety of networks. Reception, year 2 and year 6 are also subject to periodic external moderation of writing by the local authority. All of our recent moderations have confirmed that teacher judgments are sound.


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Navigation Primary School

Hawarden Road



WA14 1NG

Contact Mrs Turner

0161 912 5937


'Working Together. Learning Together.'