Tag Archives: literacy

Comma, semi-colon or dash maybe? . . .

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The technical aspects of writing – spelling, grammar and punctuation – are sometimes the first thing we notice when reading a piece of writing.

However, if you doubt yourself as to which punctuation mark is required, whether to use practice or practise, or even need refreshed on the difference between definite and indefinite articles, here’s link to put you in the right direction.

Education Scotland have added a ‘Knowledge of Language’ section to their website which can be used as a quick-reference guide for both English and Scots. I found the English section particuarly useful today when doing a mini-lesson on punctuation during writing:

Knowledge of Language – English – CLICK HERE!

The ‘Test Yourself’ could be shared with learners as an interactive consolidation activity.

Big Writing- What is it?


‘Big Writing’ is a strategy used to teach writing; developed in England by Ros Wilson, its core principle is to improve the writing standards of our learners.

The purpose NOT to teach the features of fiction and non-fiction text, but to develop  the confidence of our learners in using ambitious vocabulary, varied connectives, powerful openers and sophisticated punctuation to produce effective pieces of writing.

Whilst using Big Writing I have found that:

  • Learners thoroughly enjoy VCOP games and activities (Vocabulary/Connectives/Openers/Punctuation)
  • The interactive software, which can be purchased through Andrell Education, supports practitioners when planning lessons
  • The ‘Scottish Criterion Scale’, used to assess pieces of writing, gives you a shared standard in which learners can work towards
  • Moderation with colleagues is KEY to ensure that we are assessing pieces accurately and with confidence, due to some subjective criteria in the scale
  • A wealth of resources are available to support Big Writing, however they are not housed in one particular place

Visit the Andrell Education website below to find out more:

Are you using Big Writing? If so, we’d love to hear your experiences of using the strategy.