You are here

Inspiring Writing in Primary Schools

Inspiring Writing in Primary Schools

First Edition

June 2016 | 160 pages | Learning Matters

Writing is not a subject; it is part of reading, of speaking, and of listening.  Being a writer means being a reader, articulating stories and characters, listening to tales and learning from other writers. Through teaching exciting and engaging lessons you can help children to discover stories, create worlds, record events, mould characters and inspire each other as writers.

Inspiring Writing in Primary Schools helps you to teach writing and to know what a good writing lesson looks and feels like.  It gives you all the background theory you need to encourage purposeful writing across the curriculum. It includes exemplar lessons and offers them alongside a detailed exploration of what makes them good, and the theory behind them.  

As a teacher or trainee teacher, you can respond more imaginatively to the way you approach and teach writing.  This text will help you to seize the opportunity of the new curriculum and inspire fabulous writing in your classroom.

"Packed with accessible advice, engaging examples of research-informed practice and new ideas for ways to involve and support young writers, it offers primary teachers a breath of fresh air. Emerging from the memorable work of BookTrust’s Everybody Writes initiative (which was co-led by Liz Chamberlain) and drawing on her own doctoral research (which involved exploring three young writers’ practices at home and at school), the resultant mix of practice and theory - theory and practice is very energising. The authors take a real world view of writing and recognise and respect each child as a writer and each teacher as a professional - a potentially creative pedagogue."Teresa Cremin 


Children and writing
Sharing definitions of writing
Writing in the national curriculum
Teachers as readers and writers
Becoming a historical enquirer
Creating a geographical soundscape
Story stones for telling stories
Using quality children’s literature
Found words
Using technology and popular culture
Writers’ workshop
Writing beyond the classroom

The book offered a well balanced combination of research and classroom practice that puts children at the heart of a teacher’s decision making. Poignant research from a variety of sources is interspersed with ‘real’ examples from ‘real’ teachers – practical ideas that can be implemented into the everyday classroom and reflection points that bring children’s writing to the forefront of your thinking. The author recognises the demands of the new curriculum, but the book’s high quality research and evidence-based practice allows teachers to explore the importance of using purpose, audience and context in writing, while acknowledging the relevance and impact that writing has on children’s lives. I know this book will be one that I frequently return to, looking for advice, reminding me of the track I want to travel on with my children and inspiring me so that I can, hopefully, inspire others.

Kate Atkin
The Chartered College of Teaching

This book is written with infectious enthusiasm and is a must-read for student-teachers and all those looking for ways of inspiring the young writers they work with. A wonderful counterpoint to skills-based frameworks for literacy, this very readable book explores what it means to be a writer, and provides vivid examples, models and activities that highlight the importance of purpose, audience and context in writing classrooms and acknowledge the relevance of writing to the lives of children. 

Cathy Burnett
Professor in Language and Literacy Education, Sheffield Hallam University

This is an empowering book, written with verve and enthusiasm.  It succeeds in reconciling the demands of the new National Curriculum with a deep understanding of the dynamics of becoming a writer and a powerful knowledge of how to draw children into the process.  The central metaphor of writing as travelling carries the excitement of discovery, which is enhanced by the author’s direct communication with readers, inviting them to reflect on their own first-hand experience and challenging them to make writing a more engaging activity in their classroom.  The text is studded with arresting examples of children’s writing – of truly “exciting writers at work”.  
I really like the suggestion that the readers invite their children to create their own lists of 10 rights of the writer, then see how some of these might be incorporated in their teaching. The motifs that thread through the book– ‘backpacks of practice’, ‘teachers’ toolkit’ and ‘take your bearings’ – provide a practical signposting and also remind the reader that every writing experience has a pre-history, comes from somewhere, and the richer the background the stronger the writing.

Henrietta Dombey
Professor of Literacy in Primary Education, University of Brighton

For me, this is the perfect combination of research and practice in one book that puts young writers' voices at the heart of the book. If you are a teacher looking for a rich stimulus for writing in the classroom then this will be the book for you too...  
I can't praise this book highly enough. I for one will be using this in my writing seminars with the PGCE students and recommending to all my teacher friends. 

Jo Bowers
English 4 -11

The overall impression the book gives is of a positive, encouraging and empowering theme which gives all teachers, new and experienced, the confidence to deliver top-quality teaching.

Sarah Brew
Parents in Touch

This is a book that skilfully blends writing theory and class-room practice, ensuring its wide appeal and making it ?zz with energy. The text itself is attractively laid-out and illustrated, with re-current motifs, such as ‘Teachers’ toolkit’ and ‘Backpacks of practice’, and the mix of research-informed advice and innovative teaching ideas make this an empowering book.

Helen Lines