Oxford Brookes

EWSC - Enhancing Writing Skills in Children

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Child and tabletLearning to write is a complex skill. Children often struggle with learning to write and, for children with learning difficulties, writing can be particularly challenging. To develop as fluent, accurate and creative writers, children need the opportunity to practice different components of the writing process.

Our most recent work has focused on bringing together the researchers involved in investigating the development of the writing process in children; with the teachers and other education professionals who are at the ‘front line’ of the teaching and learning of children’s writing. This has been achieved firstly through a series of workshops and subsequently through three conferences, held at Oxford Brookes University.

2012/13 Conference Programme

Our most recent conference: ‘The Teaching of Handwriting and Spelling in Primary and Secondary Schools’ took place in January 2013. It was open to all with an interest in the development of children's writing and those involved in the teaching of writing to children, attracting over 90 delegates from a wide range of spheres in education, including Secondary and Primary Teachers and those involved in SEN Education. This conference followed successful conferences in June 2012 and November 2012 which had brought together teachers, researchers and education professionals from Oxfordshire and other Local Authorities.

2012 Workshops and Conference Programme

Between March and June 2012 we ran a series of workshops looking at writing development in Key Stage 2. These involved our previous project partners and other professionals within education. The workshops aimed to provide a forum for knowledge exchange through the 3 strands of 'Writing Practices', 'Assessing Writing' and 'Monitoring Change' and to investigate ways for teachers to enhance learning and attainment in children's writing.

The project culminated in a plenary conference with contributions from teachers who had been involved with the project and from researchers and which was attended by a wide range of education professionals.

The TabletOral Language and Writing

From 2009-2011 we conducted a longitudinal project that aimed to identify which aspects of the writing process are critical for which children at which developmental phases  We are particularly interested in the role that oral language places in developing writing skills. 

We are currently analysing the results from this study. These findings will feed into our workshop series. When the project is complete we should be able to develop appropriate support strategies for pupils.


If you would like more information about any of these projects then please contact us directly: EWSC@brookes.ac.uk

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