To improve the outcomes for our pupil's writing, one of the tools we use is Big Writing. This was introduced across the school in 2016-2017 and we have seen our children's writing stamina increase, their vocabulary use and genre understanding improve and their love of writing soar.
To understand what Big Writing is, please read below and watch the video explanation from the creator, Ros Wilson. For further details you can also visit: www.andrelleducation.com/big-writing/
What is BIG Writing?
Big Writing is a way of teaching writing, based on the research of Ros Wilson. It focuses on four main aspects of the writing process (VCOP) and gives the children the skills to improve their own writing through peer and self-assessment.
It's approach to teaching writing and raising writing standards uses the following foci:
- The importance of TALK and oral rehearsal
- Accurate basic skills – spelling, punctuation, grammar, handwriting
- Regular and meaningful assessment and target setting
- High expectations for all pupils
- Giving writing a purpose and making it fun!
What is V.C.O.P?
VCOP are the four core targets we use to teach writing. The letters stand for:
In this area we promote the use of "WOW" words in their writing, these are words which are ambitious for the children to use. We encourage the children to look for WOW words in their reading or texts, (for example, reading books/novels read at home) and we also highlight the fact that WOW words can be found in conversations (for example, on TV or with friends and/or family). Share WOW words from your own reading and tell them words which you would use in different situations. Another great resource is @vocabularyninja.
Connectives make sentences longer because they join pieces of information together.
There are different ways of opening sentences. Younger children will use words like I / Then/ They. We want to encourage the children to think of other words to use. Older children will be introduced to Power Openers. Here we ask the children to use connectives to start sentences. We would develop their skills by showing them how to use words ending with ly, ing or ed. (For example; Amazingly, John was happy to get on with his work.)
The children are aware that there are different levels of connectives; therefore they are able to develop their writing appropriately. We ask the children to use connectives at the beginning of sentences so they can be used as sentence openers too.
We show the children different forms of punctuation and give them examples of how to use them. Punctuation is differentiated into Levels 1-5.
The children play lots of games using the Punctuation Pyramid. This pyramid shows the differentiation of the punctuation.