Big Writing has infected many, but in different ways

14th May 2010 at 01:00

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.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today