Planning English Lessons

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Hanna Beech

Hanna Beech has been teaching for ten years and has a range of experience across Key Stages 1 and 2 in a large Primary School in Kent. She is a phase leader for Years 3 and 4, and also leads on teaching and learning for...
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How can you develop pupil voice during English lessons?

Try using the ‘Voices and Choices Planning Method’ to help you get the most out of your English text and your children’s writing!

Voices and Choices

  • Before the lesson, choose a key event within the text. Something emotive or with suspense is great!
  • Voices: Consider how you could offer the pupils different character voices from the part of the text. Do this by listing the different characters in that passage. e.g. Harry, Ron, Hagrid.
  • Choices: Decide which writing genres might fit well for this extract. For example, might a poem work well, or perhaps a narrative or a diary entry? List three genres.
  • During the lesson, pupils will choose one voice and one genre, e.g. they might have a poem written by Harry or a diary entry by Ron.
  • Start the lesson by reading the extract to the pupils, unpicking the events and the characters’ feelings and actions.
  • Show the pupils the different voices and choices you have planned, discussing or modelling as you explain.
  • Pupils then have the autonomy to choose any character and any genre from the list.
  • Allow pupils time to discuss and/or plan which voice and genre choice they might make for their piece of writing.

Why is it a good strategy?

This strategy allows pupil voice and autonomy. It allows pupils to explore one event through different perspectives and through different genres.


Before you model, ask your least confident writer to help you by selecting their preferred voice and choice of genre. To extend the most able, ask them to explore how their completed writing would change with a different voice.

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