About the series
This booklet is one of a series about the teaching of language, literacy and English to children and young people aged 3 to 19. The aim of the series is to inspire and inform debate about school strategy. The booklets draw on seminal studies and development work carried out over many years.
The series is a co-publication between the United Kingdom Literacy Association and Owen Education, an independent school improvement agency.
About this booklet
This booklet describes the approaches to the teaching of writing most likely to give young children, by the time they are 7, strong, confident voices as writers and a growing mastery of the English writing system.The booklet quotes the work of some major authorities on the teaching of early writing from across the world, spanning more than 80 years. It is critical of some aspects of the statutory framework for the EarlyYears Foundation Stage and of the requirements for writing at Key Stage 1 in the new National Curriculum for English. Both these documents undervalue the importance of composition and content in writing.The first is only concerned with the connection between writing and phonics; the second would impose on teachers and children an unrealistic and inappropriately abstract regime of spelling and grammatical rules.The booklet proposes an alternative curriculum for writing 3 to 7, offering a better balance between meaning and system, voice and control, and informed by a clearer understanding of how young writers actually develop.