9th March 2001 at 00:00
MODELS FOR WRITING 3. Ginn. Teacher's book pound;23.99. Pupil's book pound;6.50. Photocopy masters pound;28.75. OHP transparencies pound;59.99

An early draft of the Framework for Teaching said that the national curriculum and national literacy strategy were there to save teachers the trouble of having to work out what to teach, leaving them to concentrate on how to teach it. As far as writing is concerned, this Ginn scheme does that in spades. The teacher's creativity will be primarily deployed in explanation, diagnostic and enabling skills with groups and individual children.

These materials constitute the Year 3 element of Ginn's comprehensive provision for teaching writing throughout key stage 2. The approach is in line with the national literacy strategy, and satisfies Northern Irish and Scottish requirements.

It operates in two-lesson (two literacy hour) units and demands extended writing beyond the lessons. There are 30 units, in each of which the firstlesson is concerned with shared reading and learning from a model text and the second with shared writing leading on to guided, group and independent writing.

The model texts are to be found in the pupil's book (and on OHPs if the lesson requires the text to be annotated). The texts themselves seem well suited to the age group in terms of variety and interest.

The format, with individual pupil's books and lots of photocopying, will demand considerable investment , but if the scheme satisfies the requirements for teaching writing, it may be worthwhile.

The scheme certainly aims at comprehensiveness, covering all kinds of writing and ICT skills, providing differentiated work, thorough planning details and notes and worked examples on how to respond to, intervene in, assess and develop children's written work. It even discusses preparation for Year 3 SATs. My only question is, is too much done for the teacher?

Nicholas Bielby

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