4 benefits of teachers' writing groups: March 2015
from following a Primary School's NWP writing group, November 2014 - March 2015. Evidence from teaching, interviews, teachers' and pupils' writing.
1. Teachers who write together discover aspects of writing which help them improve their own teaching of writing. By writing creatively with other teachers, with no obligation to share, teachers discover emotional aspects of writing and build confidence in themselves as writers. This collective experience gives teachers the insight, confidence and motivation to improve their teaching of writing.
2. By reflecting on differences between a teachers’ writing group and their classroom contexts, teachers learn important messages about reader-writer relationships. This is particularly the case for how responses and feedback are managed in relation to writing for different purpose and in different text types.
3. Less confident pupils grow as writers when their teacher writes alongside them.
4. Pupils, particularly boys, benefit from regular opportunities to write freely (30 minutes a week). They become more confident and willing writers. They show greater independence of thought. They experiment more readily. They share their writing more openly and listen more attentively to each other. When freed from the requirement to look out for particular features and construction, pupils attend more to the emotional effects of other people’s writing and are able to give more constructive advice.
Simon Wrigley, March 2015
There is now a book of the project, published by Routledge in November 2015.