Closing the Writing Gap

Revising writing and why it matters

If I was to identify one important writing process that is most neglected by pupils, I would pose revising their writing. Why is this vital strategy so commonly neglected? In my ‘Closing the Writing Gap’ book, I propose that ‘revising’ writing is misunderstood and confused with ‘editing’. So, what is the difference between these admittedly …

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The Struggle with ‘Writing Stamina’

After some grim national writing results last year, and lots of conversations with school leaders about their post-Covid teaching and learning priorities, writing is high on many schools’ priority list. Common issues that have been raised to me by school colleagues are wide ranging, from issues with spelling, to extended writing, problematic writing assessments, and …

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Is there a hidden writing problem in secondary schools?

Are pupils new to secondary school this year prepared for the challenges of academic writing? After a couple of terms of secondary school, it becomes clearer whether pupils are getting to grips with the academic demands. As they write narratives in English, essays in history, notes in science, or annotate in art, pupils are expected …

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5 Free Research Reads On… Teaching Spelling

Debates about spelling never really go away. No matter what technological advancement is ushered in, it appears that spelling development still matters and we should sustain the teaching of spelling. For young writers in particular, spelling is linked to writing, reading and vocabulary development. But teachers need support to understand the challenge and teach spelling …

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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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