A bit about my background
I qualified as a primary school teacher in 1985 – long before any National Curriculum dictated that we should be teaching children skills associated with improving their writing standards.
Yes, we had fun with writing assignments and the results were often madly creative, BUT….. try as I might, no amount of just giving them more and more creative writing prompts actually made a difference to the standard of writing that they produced.
I soon realised that some direct instruction that was both pertinent and accessible was badly needed (even if this was mildly ‘frowned upon’ at the time). Since then, I continued to teach in primary schools for several years both KS1 and KS2 (in charge of literacy) and as a secondary English teacher.
“I was part of a literacy-based school improvement programme that was launching under the banner of the University of Nottingham“
In 1997, I was part of a literacy-based school improvement programme that was launching under the banner of the University of Nottingham, helping to implement it in my own school; and for the next 18 years after that I continued to work with other schools associated with the programme across the UK as a consultant and trainer, specialising in tackling issues related to children’s writing. I also wrote and edited curriculum materials developing both reading and writing.
Other experience gathered along the way includes nearly 15 years’ experience of marking English tests, giving me a unique insight into common pitfalls associated with children’s writing attempts, the fixes that offer ‘best value’, as well as an ability to make an objective judgement about a child’s writing abilities.
Using my expertise to drive up writing standards
Achieving high writing standards is still a huge challenge for primary schools, particularly as so much focus is usually place upon reading, and this is only likely to increase with the introduction of SPaG.
Using my cast experience in this area I now work with primary schools, helping them idenftify issues and providing teachers with the tools and skills to make a difference.
Supporting primary schools across England
I am based in Brighton and Hove in Sussex but I work with schools across England. Please contact me to find out more.