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Writing skills research pays off

AFTER reading about criticism by OFSTED of the teaching of children's writing, we thought you might be interested in our school's successful approach.

We spent time researching the teaching of writing skills, particularly focusing on the work of David Wray and Maureen Lewis and their work with the EXEL project (Exeter University's Extending Literacy project).

Further to this we consulted David Wray via e-mail for advice regarding the teaching of writing at Key Stage 1.

As a result we have adopted writing "frames" as a tool for enabling children to structure their writing for different purposes and audiences.

Our success can be judged from our OFSTED report, following an insection in January 2000.

Inspectors said: "By the end of KS2 pupils make good progress in writing and achieve standards that are in line with national averages."

This has been achieved in a school where 50 per cent of children have special needs and the majority of new entrants come in well below the national average.

We are pleased with our success so far, not least in sparking the children's enthusiasm for writing. But it is demoralising to read a blanket statement dismissing the efforts of our school and others.

Ms K Jinks

English co-ordinator

Mrs G Parsons

Headteacher

East Stour county primary school

Earlsworth Road

Ashford, Kent

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