This list of suggested actions aims to help you review and refine your teaching practice to improve boys' writing. As you use it, take note of target and completion dates.
- Review and assess your knowledge of how to improve boys’ writing. Consider whether you are secure in the approaches you take, and if you know where to go for support resources.
- Find out what information about boys’ writing the department receives from primary schools. Focus on exploring whether your schemes of work build on what pupils already know and do.
- Analyse current data to identify particular areas of strength and weakness in boys’ writing, for example look at levels of attainment, technical accuracy, text type and consistency. Focus on identifying a time during the key stage when boys’ achievement in writing falls away.
- Set aside time to discuss your teaching attitudes to boys’ writing. Evaluate areas you could approach differently. Consider whether you are valuing one type of writing over another.
- Monitor your approaches to marking boys’ writing compared to girls’ and note any differences. Is the marking helpful and constructive? Do the responses to marking celebrate good work? Do pupils have targets?
- Re-evaluate plans (lessons, units, schemes of work) to see if they reflect any issues with boys’ writing by emphasising certain strategies, types of writing or resources.
- Consider whether the planned teaching strategies for boys will be equally as useful for girls’ writing. Include the evaluation of boys’ writing in other auditing or work scrutinies that the department are undertaking (for example, comparing boys’ and girls’ writing).
- Boys respond to interactive teaching that analyses texts. Either on your own, or with members of the department, you can work to develop this aspect of teaching across the key stage.
- Build in more structured opportunities for speaking and listening, drama, ICT and media texts to your schemes and plans.
- Manage roles, groupings and seating arrangements so that boys are supported as writers.
- Plan to use guided writing groups to meet the specific needs of boys as they write.
This is a suggested list, you can also include your own priorities to suit the curriculum plans for your school and department.