Talk for Writing

Talk for Writing

Testing a programme which aims to improve pupils’ writing skills.

The project

This pilot project will develop and test a writing intervention developed by Pie Corbett and John Stannard. The EEF is funding the initial development of the programme and, if successful, will consider testing it in a larger, more robust trial. The approach consists of three teaching methods: ‘imitation’ (where pupils learn texts by heart, so they can discuss and dissect them), ‘innovation’ (where pupils adapt stories to create their own versions), and ‘invention’ (where teachers help pupils to create original stories). These tasks aim to improve writing ability by giving pupils a much better understanding of the structure and elements of written language. The developers are working with schools and other experts to create a structured training programme so that the approach can be rolled out in other schools.

Why are we funding it?

Teaching children how to write well remains a challenge for primary schools. Fewer 11-year-old pupils achieve the expected standard in writing than in reading, and even fewer achieve the higher level 5 (20%, compared with 42% for reading). This project aims to tackle this problem by bringing effective interventions together in a single package.

How are we evaluating it?

This pilot project is being evaluated by a team from the Institute of Education, led by Professor Julia Dockrell. The evaluation will be a preliminary study to assess the feasibility of a full-scale trial and allow further development of the programme.

To view the project's evaluation protocol click here.

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in Spring 2015.