Helping students achieve in writing

Case studies in the latest report from the Education Review Office (ERO) show how six schools have successfully kept students engaged and achieving in writing.

Measures that have contributed to better outcomes include:

  • using evidence to inform professional learning about specific teaching approaches
  • greater consistency in teaching within schools
  • introducing new teaching strategies across schools
  • and strong assessment and feedback on children’s work.

Keeping Children Engaged and Achieving in Writing is one of a series of reports on teaching strategies that work. ERO has focussed on writing programmes because national data shows that while many New Zealand students make good progress during their first three or four years at primary school, the rate of progress slows during years 5-8.

The report finds that the schools with the greatest improvements in writing achievement in upper primary school had used evidence to identify and actively seek the right professional learning for their teaching staff.

The findings of this report complement those of the NZCER report Exploring Literacy: How Six Schools Lifted Achievement, released on 10 April, this year.

Both the ERO and NZCER reports agree on the importance of working collaboratively as a school community, using professional learning that targets the particular aspects each school has identified needs improving. This is successful when underpinned by a clear strategic purpose and the capability to evaluate progress.

Keeping children engaged and achieving in writing — ERO website(external link)


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