This book explains seven critical steps to improve children's writing. Though seemingly ‘natural’, writing proves devilishly difficult for far too many school pupils and closing this gap can have a lasting impact on their academic and life success.
With the goal of giving every teacher the knowledge and skill to teach writing with confidence, it makes sense of the history and ‘science’ of writing, synthesising the debates and presenting a wealth of usable evidence about how children develop most efficiently as successful writers.
It trains teachers to be an expert in how pupils learn to write, from the big picture of planning, editing and revising your writing, to the vital importance of grammar and spelling with accuracy. Highly practical strategies and easy-to use classroom activities are included to help teachers seize opportunities across the curriculum every school day to teach the critical writing process.
Closing the Writing Gap will guide teachers at every stage of their career and when used with Alex Quigley’s much-loved books on Vocabulary and Reading gives school leaders evidence-based approaches to literacy that can be applied across a school or a group of schools.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. The history of writing Chapter 3. The not-so-simple science of writing Chapter 4. Grammar time Chapter 5. Crafting great sentences Chapter 6. Disciplinary writing Chapter 7. Practical strategies Chapter 8. Next steps Appendix Bibliography
Alex Quigley is a National Content Manager at the national educational charity, the Education Endowment Foundation, UK. Previously, he was Director of Huntington Research School and an English teacher at Huntington School, York. He is also a columnist for TES and Teach Secondary.
""Our lives can be filled and fulfilled by writing," says Alex Quigley. In this important new book: "That story begins with our birth certificate and ends with our epitaph …". I can’t think of a text which better articulates the importance of writing, and then goes on to articulate how to put ambition into practice. It is a book of wise principles and practical implementation. In it, Quigley establishes himself even further as my go-to source of insights into the all-important subject of whole-school literacy."
Geoff Barton, General Secretary, Association of School & College Leaders, and former English Teacher
"This book provides an easy-to-read and entertaining synthesis of research on writing, beginning with a compelling overview of how writing developed. It has written text at its heart and offers readers a succinct insight into textual research and its practical application to the writing classroom. The book is a rich source of directions for further reading and examples of strategies for teaching writing which will support teachers to reflect on what happens in their writing classrooms and to make enabling changes."
Professor Debra Myhill, Director of the Centre for Research in Writing, University of Exeter, UK
"Alex Quigley has written another brilliant book for classroom teachers and school leaders. This book gets right to the heart of closing the writing gap; it is thought provoking for the reflective teacher whilst also offering helpful guidance and advice for every teacher. Alex is an exceptional writer himself, communicating his expertise and experiences with clarity and precision."
Kate Jones, History teacher, education consultant, author, and blogger @KateJones_Teach
"As this important and necessary book makes clear, many teachers struggle with the teaching of writing. Teachers recognise the huge significance of writing, but they find it difficult to translate their own writing expertise for the benefit of their students. In Closing the Writing Gap Alex Quigley provides evidence-informed, highly practical strategies to bridge this pedagogical chasm. Both erudite and accessible, it covers the vital ingredients of effective writing teaching – from the building blocks of the grammar to art of rhetoric and the pragmatics of the drafting and editing process. Closing the Writing Gap is an essential addition to the bookshelves of all teachers."
Mark Roberts, English Teacher, and Author of ‘The Boy Question’
"Closing the Writing Gap is the perfect antidote to the problems surrounding writing in the classroom today. Alex Quigley’s razor-sharp focus pinpoints the clear ways teachers can address and improve writing in the classroom. The book’s real strength, for me, is its practical approach to writing, offering strategies and methods that all teachers could, and should, use in the classroom. Alex walks you through the various aspects of writing and provides a brilliant insight how practitioners can support and improve writing in their classroom today. The book to read if you want to improve disciplinary literacy in a school."
Chris Curtis, Head of English and author of ‘How to Teach English’
"Closing the Writing Gap is a clarion call to take the three Rs seriously... I hope the revolution it has started in my classroom is repeated everywhere."
Robbie Burns, Schools Week