Whilst evaluating the answer to the above question – I continually have the “Content vs Technical” debate. Do I want the piece to grip the reader’s attention, displaying the skill of a classic novelist? Or would I prefer for the piece to be presented with meticulous accuracy, resembling a complex lab report?
Surely – I want the piece to demonstrate strengths in both its content and its technical accuracy. However, does the way we currently teach writing marry these ideas together?
Schemes such as Big Writing have effectively improved the technical ability of writers, whilst developing the 4 core principles (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation). But does it teach learners how to use their ‘voice’? Six Traits + 1 has a positive impact on developing ideas (voice being one of the embedded principles). Although can learners be taught spelling, punctuation and grammar through writing in this way?
Teaching That Makes Sense have developed guidance to support practitioners in developing the curriculum in America. They suggest that good writing begins with the writer having thoughts, which they transfer into ideas using their unique writer’s voice.
Something we often hear/ observe/ comment on is the fact that pupils often have difficulty generating ideas independently. Perhaps, as opposed to recommending a ‘Writing Scheme’, the Literacy Working Group need to review what each scheme has to offer, sourcing a bank of resources which support ideas building, whilst providing guidance on learning, teaching and assessment in writing?
I recommend checking out the Teaching That Makes Sense website. A few of the documents I have found interesting can be found below:
What do YOU think makes a ‘good’ piece of writing?