What is Big Writing?
Big Writing provides a school with a definitive, comprehensive model that ensures both teachers and children know what they can and can’t do, identifying any gaps to accurately inform the next steps in teaching and learning. Ros Wilson’s Big Writing messages have become common place throughout the UK with V.C.O.P displays and punctuation pyramids forming the foundation of many classrooms.
Big Writing is an approach to teaching writing and raising writing standards that focuses on:
- The importance of TALK and oral rehearsal
- Accurate basic skills – spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting.
- Regular and meaningful assessment and target setting.
- High expectations for all pupils.
- Giving writing a purpose and making it fun!
The Big Write
The Big Write, an independent period of extended writing, is possibly one of the most well-known techniques in the UK to encourage pupils to produce a standard of writing that the teacher can accurately assess from. The length of time a class spends on their Big Write depends on their age but all follow the same routine when preparing for it:
- Talk homework – for children to discuss and prepare (mentally) what they are going to write about
- First half of their Big Write – fast, fun work on correct use of vocabulary, connective, sentence openers and punctuation (V.C.O.P.). This is also a great oppurtunity for pupils to use and apply previously taught grammar to gain increasing accuracy and understanding.
- Children write individually, in silence, with an atmosphere that supports both concentration and creativity.