"I like the approach adopted by the NWP where pupils experiment with writing."
This is gratifying for everyone who has worked on the project over the past 4 years, on behalf of English teachers in general and for the fuller experience of writing in particular. Tricia's endorsement proves that it is possible - and good - to have the courage of your convictions, to collect evidence, to present a case, to speak truth to power - and that you can be heard.
I would, however, want to argue that, rather than advocating any one 'method', NWP is a research project led by teachers for teachers. It is first about supporting teachers by providing a network of writing groups, and learning more about what the writing process involves and what writing can do. Also, as readers of our 'digested reads' will know, 'experimentation', has some history; and is not an end in itself. NWP teachers are more effective teachers of writing because they are confident about where such 'experimentation' comes from, how to manage it, what it can do, what else is involved (95% perspiration, 5% inspiration), and what it all leads to:
- a stronger voice for the profession (becoming our own experts) as well as a greater sense of 'agency' for the individual teacher
- a more sophisticated view of how writers develop and what writing looks like in the 21st century
- a sense of self-worth - for teachers and children - permission to be different and to value diversity - more meaningful writing, driven by the writer rather than the examiner
- a more subtle, researched view of the writing journey than the smooth escalation of levels
- more democratic, collaborative classrooms with shared ownership of writing
The project continues to explore workshop approaches and collect evidence that, not only does the increased engagement of teachers and children as writers lead to higher 'standards' of writing, but also, NWP leads to more educated, happier, stronger and more independent learners and teachers.