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Improving Writing

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by way2serious, May 28, 2011.

  1. We know that an issue for us (and many other schools) is raising standards in writing. We are in the process of identifying the particular areas of weakness for us to address through curricular targets and teaching and learning. I also know that this is not a 'quick fix' area, but are there any specific things that anyone has done that has really had an impact on standards and has raised the profile of writing in their school.
  2. In the relative luxury of working in Wals-where we can gather eidence over time to level our year 6s, one strategy we have used is the topic approach.
    For example-year 3 Celts topic. In the class the children make a roundhouse big enough for few pupils to go in. the children then write creatively about life in their roundhouse
    Year 5-WW11. Teacher puts an anderson shelter up in the class. When the children are least expecting it, teacher blows a whistle and one group have to get to said shelter as quickly as possible. Pupils then write about how it feels to be a child in WW11.
    Year 6-Victorians-as part of oracy class put on a production of 'Queen VictoriaThis is your life' with Victorian characters being interviewed by Eamon Andrews. Children then write Queen Victoria's biography.
    What I am getting at is actually making the children write, dare I say it, less! but making it much more relevant to the topic they are studying. When they do their writing, you do all the preprep stuff (VCOP etc) but they are always writing from their experiences.
    Again, I know in England it's all a bit false and to the test (I was Y6 teacher for 8 years in England) but in my experience, I have never had such high quality writing.
    Good luck-it's great that we can all share ideas on raising standards,
  3. Wals-should be Wales damned keyboard
    Who'd give me a job?
  4. Those real life projects sound brilliant. We've struggled with Children's lethargy where writing is concerned so enthusing them has been key through topics which mean something. Improvement has included writing more though for us, especially allowing the most able more time to expand their ideas. Of course, those who write absolute nonsense benefit from restrictions on quantity and insistence on quality sentences. Also, making sure writing happens every day helps.

    Is writing an art encouraged in secondary school? I visit secondary schools and am usually shocked by the poor writing on display and very little seen in books.
  5. I agree with you entirely. More reading and writing because you want to and because the subject matter is engaging. I think the Literacy strategy was a criminal waste of time and put a generation off reading and writing. Such boring lesson structures and awful made to measure short texts. So pleased that is all over. The Numeracy strategy seems to have supported the plummeting of understanding in maths too. Bloody governments!

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