How Writing Friendly is Your School?


A couple of days ago I wrote a blog which suggested we should ask children about their attitudes and self perception when it comes to writing. I offered a couple of sample questionnaires that could be used. Writer's Profile questionnaire

 

But what about your whole school approach to writing?  When a school really puts writing - in all its guises - at the heart of school life - there are some visible indicators.

 

Here are few of those indicators for you to consider in relation to your school.

So - How 'writing friendly' is your school right now?  How many of these could you 'tick ' ?

 

(There's also a PDF grid to download at the bottom)

 

 WHOLE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT:

You can see different types of writing on display across the school.
Children’s writing is celebrated in public spaces within the community.
Children are encouraged to write voluntarily, outside the curriculum, but in school.
Children create and contribute to signs and displays in school.
Children produce a school guide or leaflet for visitors to the school.
Children’s writing is published in a range of forms and media.
All staff, including support staff, are encouraged to model the writing they do.
There are specific outdoor spaces to encourage writing.
Children write notes to each other and adults in the school as a form of communication across the school.
Children have their own designated writing / display

 

CROSS CURRICULAR LINKS

Work samples show a range of cross curricular subjects and text types.
All class teachers look for opportunities that will provide writing links with other subjects.
Planning demonstrates the links between progression in writing and other subjects.
There is a clear progression throughout the school of writing at different ages and stages of writing maturity.

 

HOME & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

 

Children make books or write for younger/other children in school.
Parents take part in writing events organised by the school.
Children design and write letters and invitations for members of the community: to a local old people’s home, local MP etc.
Children have pieces of work in local publications: parish newsletter, local newspaper, supermarket notice board etc.

Parents are regularly invited in to work alongside their children on a piece of writing or to see writing done by children.

Children blog or write for the school website or radio station.
Children interact by writing in a variety of ways with local and global audiences.

 

SCHOOL LIBRARY

The library has a changing display of children’s work that is voluntarily produced as well as taken from class work.
There are writing clubs at lunchtime or after school.
Professional writers and other adults who use writing in their work are invited into school.
The librarian or person in charge of the library space introduces the work of other writers to children.
Children can make suggestions via a ‘Suggestion Box’ for things they want to see in the library.
The library runs a writing / philosophy / writing club for children to think about subjects for writing as well as writing stories or articles etc.
There is a school newspaper with minimal adult intervention.

 

For a PDF Version Click here Whole School writing

 

If you have any questions or suggestions for blogs and free resources please email me:  sue@thinkingchild.org.uk

 

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