Dashwood Banbury Academy, Banbury, Oxfordshire

Dashwood is a very culturally and ethnically diverse two form entry academy in the town of Banbury, North Oxfordshire, with a nursery provision. We are above national average for FSM and have approximately 50% of our children from a range of ethnic backgrounds. This percentage is increasing as Banbury continues to be a popular location for migrant workers.

Oxfordshire is one of the poorer performing counties for writing and Banbury schools in particular, along with Oxford City, has poor outcomes for writing. However, Dashwood was judged ‘good’ by OFSTED in January 2014 with the quality of our writing highlighted in the report.

The level 4 and 5 outcomes at the end of Year 6 have risen from 9% level 4 and 0% level 5 in 2008 to 88% level 4 and 46% level 5 in 2014. In terms of value added progress for writing we are ranked in the 2nd percentile nationally. The transformation of attitudes to literacy has been a key factor in the journey from special measures to this ranking of the top 2% nationally. Talk for Writing has transformed writing across the school from Nursery to Year 6. The children have gone from reluctant, groaning writers to confident storytellers and authors.

The Talk for Writing teaching and learning strategies have become embedded over time at Dashwood through a commitment to staff training both in-house and with Pie Corbett and Julia Strong. As a result teacher confidence has grown throughout the school and consequently attainment has risen along with pupil enthusiasm and engagement. This teacher confidence is now underpinned by well-structured, whole school planning that ensures both quality and coverage. Progression is guaranteed by an evolving bank of model texts that stretches from Nursery to Year 6.

Dashwood Banbury Academy offers a range of professional development opportunities and training for different stages of the Talk for Writing journey:

• Model lessons to show the Imitation, Innovation and Invention stages in EYFS; KS1 and KS2
• Guided teaching to show clear differentiation and challenge in KS2
• Talk for Writing across the curriculum in both fiction and non-fiction texts
• Leadership of Talk for Writing
• Progression of model texts from Nursery to Year 6
• Effective Marking and Feedback in practice and policy
• The use of peer collaboration to foster independent learners within and across year groups
• Whole school literacy map that ensures both coverage and progression

Our training is aimed at primary school Headteachers; SLT; subject co-ordinators; teachers; teaching assistants. We welcome individuals, groups or staff teams; anyone that wants to transform writing in their school, at whatever stage!

Whilst we are unable to offer training days in our school during term 1, we can offer consultancy, twilight, staff meeting and inset day training at your school. Please contact us for costs and available days.

Current training offered

A full day’s training, including lunch, which provides an overview of the 3 stages of imitation, innovation and invention. The day will include a tour of the learning environment and Talk for Writing in practice. It will provide practical advice to support implementation back in schools.

£100 per delegate

To book please download a booking form and email the form to cearly@dashwood-aspirations.org. Once confirmation of the date and the numbers required has been received, we will then confirm your booking and send an invoice out for payment. Please note that places will only be confirmed on receipt of payment either by cheque or BACS (details on invoice) made prior to the course. Refunds will be made for cancellations made no later than 14 days before the training session.


Centre training webpage
Pupils concentrating Dashwood Banbury Academy
“All groups of pupils throughout the school make good progress, particularly in literacy and numeracy. Attainment is above average by the end of Year 2 and by the time they leave Year 6. Writing is a particular strength”Ofsted, January 2014
“[A] thoroughly enjoyable day with your knowledgeable and experienced vice principals learning about the theory and practice of the programme. Your school and particularly your children and staff were very inspiring…It was very encouraging to hear your journey and to see the approach up close and in action!”Training delegate (Headteacher)
“I was impressed with the enthusiasm and confidence of the children. Everyone was able to implement the style and vocabulary they had learnt so well. Children were actively improving their own writing and they were very proud of what they had done.”Training delegate (KS2)
“From the displays on the walls, to the atmosphere of the class and the happy determination of the children, it was immediately obvious how much Talk for Writing was working with the class. Definitely something to aspire to!”Training delegate (KS1)