Big Writing works! Big Writing provides a school with a definitive, comprehensive model that ensures both teachers and children know what they can and can’t do, identifying any gaps to accurately inform the next steps in teaching and learning. It specifically addresses the teaching of ‘Writer’s Voice’ whilst ensuring highest quality of Basic Skills.
Writing, like most things, improves with practice. We are governed and influenced through writing and if there are no young writers capable of encapsulating their thoughts and emotions in written form, the future looks bleak. Big Writing embraces and celebrates the thoughts and emotions of children, recognising them first through talk and then in writing. As Ros Wilson has said for years, “If a child can’t say it, a child can’t write it!”
Ros created Big Writing through her work in assessment of tens of thousands of pieces of children’s writing whilst working with Kirklees and Ofsted in the late 1990s. Big Writing was shaped and refined at DESS Al Khor, an English speaking school in Qatar, where Ros worked closely with Principal Michael Farley to build a new school that embraced multi-cultural challenges and high levels of EAL. Big Writing worked, with staff and children flourishing and enjoying the results.
The features of Big Writing have become so widespread and copied that many fail to recognise the elements and practice that have been implemented in isolation. We guarantee that any school implementing Big Writing will raise standards in writing and have done so for over a decade without failure. However, simply having a VCOP display or a WOW Word of the week is not Big Writing! For more information about the elements of Big Writing, please click on the links below.
At its heart, Big Writing has the Criterion Scale, widely regarded as the definitive model for assessing writing. Comprehensive, logical and accessible for all teachers, the Criterion Scale deciphers the detail to ensure that assessments are accurate and consistent, informing teaching and ensuring progress.
Such is the power of Big Writing and the Criterion Scale for Writing, Oxford University Press (OUP) has worked closely with Andrell Education and Ros Wilson to develop their Big Writing Adventures website and resources. Having published new versions of the main Big Writing titles and worked with NFER to confirm the impact that Big Writing has in schools, OUP committed great time and effort to produce a truly inspiring product for children everywhere.
Big Writing is a methodology that is highly enjoyable and motivating and – when done right – has an immediate impact for all children. Proven and effective, Big Writing is the perfect teaching method to raise standards in writing, with an incredible minimum average increase of 20% in the first year of implementation and with 90% or more of pupils achieving National Expectations by age eleven. Andrell Education offers training and resources, some of which are published by OUP to ensure that schools receive all of the support necessary to raise standards.