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Does anyone still use VCOP in the classroom?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by 2kool4skool, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. 2kool4skool

    2kool4skool New commenter


    Just as the title really. Does anyone still use VCOP/big writing? It was so popular around 10 years ago and then when I came back from maternity leave my displays had been taken down and I was told ‘we don’t do that here anymore’. I think ‘Talk for Writing’ was then the latest thing. I have never heard about anyone using it since. I’m now at a school where I have a lot more freedom with regards to what/how I teach and I’m thinking of reintroducing it as I got great results from it and super enthusiastic writers. Did I miss something, is there some reason why no one uses it anymore that I need to be aware of? Perhaps it was actually a bit **** and I’m just remembering it incorrectly!
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I don't use it, but can see the benefits of taking the best of it and using those.
    If it suits you, and you have the freedom, then go with it.
    If I ever have the misfortune to go back to UKS2 teaching, I'd probably use bits of it to be honest.
  3. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren Occasional commenter

    We don't officially have VCOP at my school any more. It used to be policy that every classroom should have a VCOP display at the front of their room, but now it's just stopped. Why? Probably because people just got bored with it. I think it's kind of a shame. I do have VCOP pyramids in my class, which I often make part of the writing lessons and encourage children to use.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Around 10 years ago, we used to do 'Big Writing' and have the VCOP punctuation pyramids and connectives (as they were called then) in every classroom. Long gone now. I agree, elements of it worked very well - and I didn't have a problem with Big Writing either - I remember we actually bought posh hard-backed exercise books for UKS2 for their Big Write; they loved them.
    It's just gone out of fashion now - like Springboard Maths; Read, Write, Inc and so many other programmes. No profession re-invents the wheel as often as education!
  5. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    As each new 'best way of teaching writing ever invented' comes along, self-promoting consultants get paid to run training sessions, teachers are told (by their SLT) to adopt it and told off if they don't. The new approach fails to achieve wonders and then the next new big thing comes along. The previous miracle cure quietly dies out as the new one is forced upon us. No one method ever works for raising the attainment of all pupils across a school.

    In my opinion, individual teachers should be made aware of the different methods and allowed to decide which aspects of each they want to use with their class at any one time. Teachers could then use their analysis of their pupils' writing to work out what their pupils would most benefit from focusing on next and which method would be most likely to achieve progress in that particular area of learning.

    Most new initiatives have some good parts and some bad ones. It makes sense for practising teachers to be able to choose to adopt the parts that are more effective and ignore the rest.
  6. annie apple

    annie apple New commenter

    As with everything, a new shiny scheme comes along and the school jumps on board with promises of improved results. Its very easy to forget what you did in the past that actually worked really well. I use elements of all sorts of things that I thought worked, including VCOP.
  7. flumps103

    flumps103 New commenter

    Yep, we were also a Big Write school and used VCOP - displays in every classroom etc. Since then we've had Talk for Writing training, Jane Considine Write Stuff training and worked with a consultant who has advocated teaching a 3 phase approach (reading, GPS, writing). I haven't ever 100% bought into any one scheme, but I use bits and pieces of what has worked for me and what gets the best results. I'd advise doing the same.
    Kartoshka, JessicaRabbit1 and bonxie like this.

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