Initially, the twelve structures for writing came out of Tower Hamlets. This was adapted by St Helen's to recognise the requirements and needs of their children. Features of the initiative include:
- Whole school approach to teaching language structures, with displays and resources adapted at every level, using the same terminology;
- Each language structure is attributed to a creature with perceived similar traits. This is embedded across the school, and can be seen in class names, breakout areas, learning mats and learning walls;
- The children are explicitly taught the structures through a range of methods and approaches. Although there is a common label (e.g.: ‘Lion Language’ for expressing an opinion) the language learned develops in sophistication through the year groups.
- The Headteacher and staff team have trained other schools in using this approach and the materials and training is bookable through the school’s website.