Is teaching writing the ‘Neglected R’?

If you can write well, you can succeed in school. But the impact of being unable to write with confidence can be crippling, in the classroom, as well as far beyond the school gates. The recent White Paper on ‘levelling up’ education by the government, predictably attempts to address writing and the age-old ‘3Rs’. By …

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Teaching Vocabulary and Mighty Morphemes

How do you teach a tricky new word, or seek to boost the word hoard of the pupils you teach? One of the most common approaches to developing academic vocabulary is to study morphology – breaking words down into their component parts and roots. It can support the development of academic vocabulary in subjects like …

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Leading Literacy… And Communicating Complexity

This short blog series is targeted at literacy leaders – either Literacy Coordinators, Reading Leads, or Curriculum Deputies – with a key role in leading literacy to ensure that pupils access the curriculum and succeed in meeting the academic demands of school.  Few school leaders get trained in communications. Yet, in almost all facets of …

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The Grammar Gap

There are few topics in education – indeed, English life – that inspire fear, loathing and unfulfilled expectations quite like the subject of grammar. Researchers are quick to challenge notions of ‘standard English’ and how grammar is being taught in primary school, or the tyranny of tests. Sadly, amidst these loud debates, too many teachers …

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Introducing… Closing the Writing Gap

Writing a book about teaching writing is a daunting prospect. Sharing the reality that I spent years in the classroom struggling to support weaker writers only adds to the trepidation. What if my teacher knowledge gap wasn’t the norm? What if my attempts to translate practical strategies fell flat? I was delighted and relieved then …

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