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To increase teacher confidence and skills to improve the quality of writing.
The school had a number of issues it wished to address during the ESCPD project, some of which had been raised in their school Ofsted report. In the longer term, the school wanted to ensure consistent policy and practice with regard to writing across the whole school, and to incorporate the targets for writing identified by their LEA literacy consultant. Moreover, the Foundation Stage Co-ordinator felt that parents needed clearer guidance about the school's philosophy of writing in the early years. Further up the school, it was felt that although the children often produced good pieces of writing, these sometimes lacked what the Literacy Co-ordinator termed the 'WOW' factor. It was also felt that constraints imposed by SATs limited the opportunities for a more creative approach to writing in the classroom including maximising cross-curricular links. Members of staff were also keen to look at the links between reading and writing and the use of teacher 'modelling', as the school Ofsted report had identified this as an area for further development. Following the completion of the Project Planning Agreement, a number of tutor-led sessions were identified which were intended to address the leaning outcomes which were agreed with the university.
The evaluation of the project proved very positive with all the teachers expressing confidence and enjoyment in their teaching of writing. The pupils were seen to be using the writing table freely, and teachers in Years 2 and 4 were encouraging the children to write freely at the beginning of a new topic. The FS teacher was extremely positive about the progress of her children, but felt that practice needed to be embedded before being shared with parents. Members of staff were engaged in carrying out interviews with the children, and were encouraging the children to set their own targets for writing. As there had been a good degree of innovative practice during then project, the staff felt that a framework was needed in which new practices could be incorporated and this would ensure continuity and progression throughout the school. There was a general consensus that the project had had a positive impact upon teaching, and that it had linked very well to the PLP programme run by the LEA. The response of the pupils had also been positive, though there was still much work to be done regarding targets and self-assessment sheets. This evaluation of the project provided important information which will be used in the second ESCPD project on writing, and this will enable the staff to assess progress over a period of time.