Our BRAND NEW Writing Competition!

To celebrate International Literacy Day, we have teamed up with some colleagues at Pearson to launch a brand new writing competition #ATwistOnATale.

We have categories from 4 years old all the way up to 16 and it starts today! Make sure you register now to receive your entry pack. We can’t wait to read your tales!

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Calling All London-Based Primary Schools!

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The Grammar and Writing Project From The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy

This exciting project is exploring the effectiveness of a new approach to teaching grammar to improve children’s writing, as part of the national curriculum. The research involves Y2 teachers, using random selection from the list of all Y2 teachers in London. The research will be very robust – it involves a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) and qualitative process evaluation. The project is being led by Professor Dominic Wyse of UCL Institute of Education.

The RCT:

Randomised selection will result in some schools being in an ‘intervention group’ and other schools in a ‘comparison group’.

  • Schools in the ‘intervention group’: will receive free training and support in academic year 2019-20 to use Englicious with their classes (one Y2 teacher per school)
  • Schools in the ‘comparison group’: will receive this free training and support in academic year 2020-21 (one Y2 teacher per school)

The Process Evaluation:

Some schools will be visited so that we can better understand practice ‘on the ground’.

The training that teachers would get:

  • Intervention group: one Y2 teacher in each school would receive training and support to use Englicious with their class and be involved in some activities that enable the research team to gather data about this.
  • Comparison group: one Y2 teacher in each school would be involved in some activities that enable the research team to gather supplementary data for the project.

What we would need from participating schools:

  • some standard administrative data and pupil data, e.g. data about EAL, FSM
  • collaborating with us on the organisation of the project’s tests of writing
  • assistance with seeking parental consent (we would provide the relevant paperwork)

Data Protection and ethics

All pupil data will be treated with the strictest confidence and stored in accordance with current data protection legislation. All results from the study will be anonymised so that no schools or individual pupils will be identified; confidentiality will be maintained at all times. The research team are all from the world-leading University College London and the UCL Institute of Education so we have lots of experience of dealing with data ethically.

Potentially interested in being involved?

To register your school’s interest in this study (please be assured this would not formally commit you to anything at this stage), simply send an email to our researcher, Dr Sue Sing, to the following email address: grammar-project@ucl.ac.uk by no later than the close of Wednesday 18th September.

The Common Misconceptions Of Writing For Pleasure Debunked

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Writing For Pleasure, as a pedagogy at least, is fairly new ground. It’s an exciting movement to be a part of. I love hearing from other practitioners who tell me about how they are taking it on and the really positive results they are seeing in their classrooms.

However, I also hear a lot of things said about the pedagogy which are simply untrue. With this is mind, I hope this article can attend to some of the most common misconceptions I hear about a Writing For Pleasure pedagogy…

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GUEST BLOG: When Teachers Are Writers … By Jonny Walker

Image result for jonny walker education‘Teaching writing is arguably an artistic event, involving creativity and artistry, but if few teachers see themselves as writers or write alongside their students then the teaching of writing may be constrained by a lack of awareness of the complexities of composition and the significance of writers’ identities.’ Teresa Cremin and Debra Myhill, 2012, ‘Writing Voice: Creating Communities of Writers’, p. 126

This piece is all about teachers as writers. Whilst there is now a solid and growing body of research that indicates the benefits of teachers developing and reflecting on themselves as writers, knowing about this and doing something about it are different things.

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GUEST BLOG: A writer-teacher’s reflection on her process and writer-identity by Lucy Fidler

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In this blog post, Lucy Fidler (@misslkfidler13) discusses her writing process and how it is influenced by her writer-identity. She then reflects on her writing process as a writer-teacher and how it affects how she teaches her young apprentice writers. Enjoy!

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GUEST BLOG: The future is make believe by Laura Hamm

Image result for laura hammThe Future Is Make Believe

I don’t remember much of primary school. But I have never forgotten the feeling of pride and delight at having my stories turned into books at school.

I started Fabled to capture that feeling, to help kids create and share their tales. I created the web app, aimed at home use (though I love seeing it in schools!) for the joy of it, for the 8 year old still in me. But 18 months of running it has turned me into a zealot for your cause – Literacy For Pleasure matters now more than ever.

I had a podcast, a newsletter, social media – but none of it felt enough. I wanted to shout far louder about why kids’ storytelling matters. And that’s why I’ve just launched a Kickstarter to publish a beautiful book of kid-authored tales – we’re calling the book, and the movement, The Future Is Make Believe. And it needs your help – spread the word, and please send me your kids stories (laura@fabledkids.com) – there’s room in the anthology, the podcast, and anywhere I have space I’ll be celebrating kids writing!

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#WritingRocks Summary: The Tidy House

This is the June’s #WritingRocks chat summary on the topic of The Tidy House by Carolyn Steedman. Enjoy!

Thank you to Nicola at the @TheWritingWeb as always for her great work and commitment to organising and sharing these #WritingRocks chats.

To find out more about #WritingRocks, you can read more about our schedule -> here.

The Tidy House first came out in 1982. The book The Tidy House was written as a group effort by Carla, Lindie and Melissa, three 8 year old schoolgirls in East London who their teacher, Carolyn Steedman taped. In her book Carolyn discusses the children’s writing processes and motivations for writing what they wrote.

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