Unlock the art of writing with my comprehensive blog series. Dive into effective strategies for teaching spelling, handwriting, sentence construction, planning, editing, and much more. Explore disciplinary writing across various subjects. Whether you're a teacher or leader, discover valuable tips and techniques to enhance writing skills. From mastering the basics to refining complex compositions, my curated content offers practical guidance to unleash successful writing for everyone.

Revising writing and why it matters Post feature image

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 Struggle with 'Writing Stamina' Post feature image

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

The Challenge of Editing Writing Post feature image

The Challenge of Editing Writing

“To write is human, to edit is divine.”  Stephen King, ‘On Writing’ ‘I’ve finished’ is a common refrain you hear in the classroom soon after pupils are set a writing task. Pupils’ urge to write can see them rush to pour their ideas onto the page. Alas, for too

What should we do with WAGOLLs? Post feature image

What should we do with WAGOLLs?

Few teachers would teach writing in primary or secondary classrooms without using a WAGOLL to model writing for novice pupils. The language of ‘WAGOLL’s – or ‘What A Good One Looks Like’ – is common, but there may be less shared understanding about how to use them most effectively in the

Write Less; Read More Post feature image

Write Less; Read More

There are few simple solutions in education. If you are being promised one, it is at best a hopeful fib, at worst a deceptive sales-pitch. But there are some helpful principles that can guide our actions. A useful one I think could help improve literacy in primary and secondary schools:

Crafting Great Sentences Post feature image

Crafting Great Sentences

We can take the brilliant complexity of sentences for granted. Each sentence written in the classroom is a distillation of a near-infinite number of complex moves. For pupils, practising one sentence brilliantly may be worth a hundred sentences written in haste. Too often, in the classroom, sentences are modelled, but

Prioritising Writing Progress Post feature image

Prioritising Writing Progress

Do our pupils need support for bolster their writing development? In my last blog, I posed the question about whether there was a hidden problem with the damage wrought by the pandemic on pupils who have joined secondary school. The evidence of a dip in national date at both Key

Is there a hidden writing problem in secondary schools? Post feature image

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

Learn to write Like an American President Post feature image

Learn to write Like an American President

Benjamin Franklin may be one of the most interesting people in modern history. Born into poverty, leaving school aged 10, he then became a famed president, inventor, thinker, and writer. His story of teaching himself to write may be a little famous too. Franklin, without a teacher, and with very

Does writing *really* matter in art and design? Post feature image

Does writing *really* matter in art and design?

What do you assume are the skills of a successful art and design pupil? Perhaps you consider an understanding of perspective and proportion, colour and tone, or knowledge of different media, all deployed with creativity. We know pupils must do some writing in art and design, but it doesn’t

Is teaching writing the 'Neglected R'? Post feature image

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