Teaching Writing: Reflections from a Head of Faculty

Leila is an English Literature graduate with no real experience in teaching writing, or, indeed, writing creatively herself. She started her teaching career with little knowledge or understanding of how to help pupils write well. In my experience, most English teachers are those who have studied English (be it linguistics or literature), rather than thoseContinue reading “Teaching Writing: Reflections from a Head of Faculty”

The Power of Simplicity: Supporting Reluctant Writers at Key Stage 4

It is the first week in December, and as I stand at the front of my classroom I can feel the rainwater in my shoes: it is a bleak day to do duty, and I realise I am still absent-mindedly carrying the bottles that I have confiscated on the yard. My Year 10 class observeContinue reading “The Power of Simplicity: Supporting Reluctant Writers at Key Stage 4”

‘Becoming a Writer’.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lotand write a lot.” Stephen King The thought of reading and writing “a lot” to be a writer might dismay some students, and if you asked a student, ‘Why do you write?’ their response might be, “Because IContinue reading “‘Becoming a Writer’.”

Talk for Writing

Why is effective talk important? On attending my first Oracy Pioneers session with Voice 21 I was astounded to discover the profound impact which talk, or lack thereof, can have on students. Of course, in preparation for attending the course I had begun to reflect on this: What opportunities for talk did I provide inContinue reading “Talk for Writing”

Improving Non-Fiction Writing

“In my writing life, I seem to have navigated an odd course between fiction and its negation, always half-wishing when I’m immersed in one that I were embarked on the other. I want the free flight of story when I’m hunkered down in facts and wish for a character who could offer a statement contradictedContinue reading “Improving Non-Fiction Writing”

Teaching Writing: a Work in Progress

Teaching creative writing used to bring me out in a cold sweat. I’m not a confident writer sotrying to explicitly teach the writing process often left me flummoxed. And really, that wasthe stumbling block for me – I wasn’t explicitly teaching the writing approaches at all. I neverslowed the process down enough for my students,Continue reading “Teaching Writing: a Work in Progress”

Using Word Classes to Empower Struggling Writers

I walked down the corridor and then I wondered what was through the door so I looked in but there was nothing so I went downstairs and I thought I heard a noise in the living room and I felt terrified. I’m sure many of us have experienced a sinking feeling after reading descriptive writingContinue reading “Using Word Classes to Empower Struggling Writers”