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Big Writing has infected many, but in different ways

The front page of The TESS last week presented an interesting juxtaposition of opinion on Big Writing. Under the headline "Literacy ethos slammed", Vivienne Smith attacks one of the fundamental elements of the Big Writing methodology - VCOP (vocabulary, connectives, opener and punctuation activities), describing it as "a disease" in schools and stating that "it was based on nothing".

However, the photo above the article, of a pupil from St Mirin's Primary, invites readers to discover how they have achieved excellence - through the Big Writing approach. Indeed, an informative double-page spread serves to explain that it is the introduction of Big Writing four years ago that is responsible for significant improvements in writing attainment. Is this the disease that Smith is referring to? Let's hope it is catching.

Anne Glennie, primary teacher, North Galson, Isle of Lewis.

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