Oxford Brookes

EWSC - Enhancing Writing Skills in Children

Home | About Us | Our Research | Events | Professional Development | Resources | Parent Info

Project Leaders

Vince Connelly Dr Vince Connelly


Professor Connelly is the lead investigator on the current Leverhulme project. He has a strong interest in the development of children’s literacy. He has published extensively on children’s writing and reading (particularly with regard to the interaction between instruction and cognition). In this current project he is interested in exploring the barriers that language learning difficulties impose on writing development. He would like to explore whether language difficulties result in a delayed or different profile of text production in comparison to other children. This could help us identify a profile of abilities that can provide the basis for educational intervention for children. He is also involved in other projects looking at the development of writing including the writing problems of children with dyslexia.

phone: 01865 484257

Julia Dockrell Prof Julie Dockrell

Julie Dockrell is Professor of Psychology and Special Needs at the Institute Of Education, London. She is co-director of the ESRC and Leverhulme projects on writing. Trained as a clinical and educational psychologist she has worked she has worked in the UK with the DfE TDA and research councils examining policy and practice around teaching and learning. She has been involved in a number of international collaborations in Europe, Egypt, North America and New Zealand. Her major research interests are in patterns of development and the ways in which developmental difficulties impact on children's learning, interaction and attainments. Her research has resulted in a wide range of publications in international research outlets. A central theme in this research has been the application of evidence based research and evaluating interventions to support children with language and communication needs in educational settings. She is currently co-director of the Better Communication Research Programme, which aims to address some of the concerns raised by the Bercow review. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the RCSLTs, is an Academician of the Social Sciences and was a member of the psychology panel for the RAE in 2001 and 2008.

phone: 020 7612 6297


Kirsty Walter Kirsty Walter

Kirsty is a Postgraduate Researcher in Psychology and has just completed her Masters of Research in Developmental Psychology. She will be going on to start her PhD in April 2012 looking at writing development in children with SLI and Dyslexia.

phone: 01865 483808

Julia Simmons Julia Simmons

Julia recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Oxford Brookes University. She is a qualified teacher, having worked with all ages in the primary years and has a background in modern languages.

phone: 01865 483926

Sarah Critten Dr Sarah Critten

Sarah joined Oxford Brookes University as a Postdoctoral Researcher in October 2009 after finishing her post as a lecturer for University of Hertfordshire. She is now a lecturer at Coventry University, but remains involved in the project.


Melissa Hollinworth Melissa Hollinworth

Melissa is currently working towards an undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Bath. She is working as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Education as part of a placement year.




ESRC Contact: Psychology, Oxford Brookes University,
Email: , Phone: 01865 483926
Oxford Brookes University | Psychology
This project is funded by the ESRC and the Leverhulme Trust