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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Writing For Pleasure & The New Ofsted Framework

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With the new Ofsted framework coming out recently, we wanted to look at where Writing For Pleasure fits. If you’re new to the idea of a Writing For Pleasure pedagogy, you can read about it here. 

Below is our response to the different aspects of the framework including: intentions, implementation, impact, progression of skills, acquisition of knowledge, tackling social disadvantage, providing cultural capital, honouring the local community, children’s personal development, child engagement, supporting children with SEND, challenging advanced writers, teachers’ subject and pedagogical knowledge.

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GUEST BLOG: Creative writing is an essential skill for our children, not a nice-to-have by Ben Payne

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At our launch event for the Ministry of Stories (MoS), held at No 10 Downing Street in November 2010, I overheard the PM, David Cameron, quizzing some of the children that we had brought with us from a Hackney primary school:

 “So, first you go to school and do your lessons; and then you go to Ministry of Stories and have fun. Is that right?”

I couldn’t blame him for asking because, at this point, we’d only been open for four days. When I left MoS, the writing and mentoring centre for children in east London that I founded with Lucy Macnab and the writer, Nick Hornby, a few months ago, I realised the thousands of children we’ve worked with since 2010 taught me a few things about writing and creativity.

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REVIEW: Welcome to Writing Workshop: Engaging today’s students with a model that works. Stacey Shubitz & Lynne R Dorfman

Image result for Welcome to Writing Workshop: Engaging today’s students with a model that works.It’s refreshing to see Stacey Shubitz and Lynne R. Dorfman come right out and say it: writing workshop is a model that works. Research has pointed towards this fact for many decades now and yet writing workshop remains on the periphery in the UK.

With a view to creating the conditions where Writing For Pleasure can flourish, the authors make the excellent decision to discuss the importance of setting up a writerly environment and to give practical advice on how to create a community of writers at the start. It’s only once this is established that they delve into the specific routines that make up the workshop approach.

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Give A Class ‘One’ Book To Write Through And You’ve Taught Them For A Day. Teach Them How To Use ‘Any’ Book And You’ve Taught Them For A Lifetime.

The goal of literary work (of literature as work) is to make the reader no longer a consumer, but a producer of text (Barthes 1975, cited by Rosen 1985, p.385)

This article is written with the intention to inform and provide reflection. With the Book Trust’s ‘The Write Book research summary coming out in March – we were excited to see what it concluded.

We have entitled our article after the saying that: you give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day – teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. That is what we have tried to achieve through our own approach to the idea of traditional ‘Book Planning’ or ‘Novel Study’.

Continue reading “Give A Class ‘One’ Book To Write Through And You’ve Taught Them For A Day. Teach Them How To Use ‘Any’ Book And You’ve Taught Them For A Lifetime.”

Writing For Pleasure: Primary School Management Interview

Do happy writers make better writers? Lucy Starbuck Braidley talks to two primary educators who believe so, and sees what leaders can learn from their findings…

If you’re looking to refresh, optimise or even radically change the approach to writing pedagogy within your school, the Writing For Pleasure movement can give you an interesting new perspective to consider.

The overall approach aims for children to make progress in their writing, alongside developing a genuine love and sense of satisfaction from the activity of writing itself – thus setting them up to be lifelong writers, as well as learners.

It’s an evidence-based pedagogy that places the child as an autonomous writer at the centre of decision-making about their writing. It enables children to write independently through explicit teaching of authorial skills, and its leading proponents say it’s getting results.

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50 Ways Children Can Improve Their Writing

I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for a while.

My understanding of pupil conferencing (the process of talking and giving advice to children whilst they are undertaking their writing) has got much better, sharper and focused since I first wrote about it here. The list below takes in the most common  and valuable advice I give to my apprentice writers. Some of the advice here comes too from Gary Provost’s book 100 Ways To Improve Your Writing.  Like any good writer-teacher, everything below is advice I try and enact for myself too.

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Writing For Pleasure CPD Review

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Hi dear Writing For Pleasure friends!

This is just a quick post to share the CPD review from our UKLA Writing For Pleasure conference. It was created by the wonderful writer-teacher Sadie Phillips. You can find Sadie on Twitter @SadiePhillips

Sadie also has a blog at: https://literacywithmissp.wordpress.com/

Click on the image below to download her review as a PDF

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National Literacy Trust’s Annual Survey Reveals That A Writing For Pleasure Pedagogy Is Needed Now More Than Ever.

The headline from this year’s National Literacy Trust’s survey into young people’s attitudes towards writing is unsurprising but increasingly concerning.

For a number of years now we have used the trust’s annual survey, which focuses on responses from over 40,000 apprentice writers, to make the case for a Writing For Pleasure pedagogy.

Throughout these years, we have seen that young people have either an indifference to or a dislike for writing but this year it has climbed to over 50%. We also have 40% of children who only ever write when they have to. This is quite staggering.

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Writing For Pleasure: Explicitly Teaching The Writing Processes

This week’s #WritingRocks was about explicitly teaching the writing processes to children with a view to them creating and then using their own personalised process independently. This is because research has, for a long time, advocated for such an approach when teaching apprentice writers:

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  • The first thing to state is that Writing For Pleasure teachers are likely to know that there isn’t really a single agreed upon writing process.
  • With this said, Writing For Pleasure teachers will also know that many children are unaware of typical processes involved in writing and they may not, at first, be able to control all aspects of the writing process at once. As a result, Writing For Pleasure teachers will likely teach children how to prioritise writing processes. This strategy can be modelled and involves showing children that when producing a piece of writing not all writing processes have to applied at the same time and in fact this can be too demanding (Locke, 2015, p.162)! Instead focus on one process at a time. For example, when drafting, children can focus on the composition of their manuscript and proof-read and edit it at another time.

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