Support for Writing: The local authority approach in Cambridgeshire

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Authors
Smith, Karen
Issue Date
2009
Educational Level
ISCED Level 1 Primary education
Curriculum Area
Geographical Setting
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Abstract
Background: The purpose of the study was to raise attainment in writing by developing teaching approaches and use of curriculum resources in targeted schools, and to measure progress towards success criteria using CVA data, teacher assessment, text-type guidance, progression papers, steps in learning, and pupil writing targets.

Aims: The main aim of this development work was to raise attainment in writing by developing teaching approaches and using curriculum resources in targeted schools, especially for teachers who recently joined the profession. Drawing attention to existing materials, inspiring teachers with texts, and providing guidance on text types, steps in learning, and pupil writing targets were all key elements of this work. The main barriers to successful implementation were lack of confidence and headspace among teachers, and competition for staff meeting time.

Methods: Participants included Head of School Improvement, National Strategies Consultants, Y2 and Y4 teachers, Literacy Subject Leaders, NQTs, and experienced teachers, all of whom were inspired by texts and found Progression papers and text types guidance to be the most useful. Barriers to successful implementation included lack of confidence and headspace due to being overloaded, and competition for staff meeting time. Methods used included targeted support in school, coaching model, demo guided writing, team teaching, and tailored impact measures devised by the literacy team to review progress.

Findings: The main findings are that teachers need more confidence and resources to successfully implement new ideas, and that targeted support and CPD sessions have had a positive impact on teaching and school organisation.

Implications: The findings suggest that teachers need more support and resources to successfully implement new approaches to teaching, such as guided writing. Additionally, there needs to be more time allocated for staff meetings and lesson study, as well as more funding for CPD.
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Keywords (free text)
Primary education , English - writing
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