Issues and challenges

Once you have defined what real contexts mean to you and your department, you can focus your teaching by collaborating. You can also support planning by with a summary of factors that often affect outcomes.

What to consider

  • How do you and your department define real, purposeful and relevant contexts?
  • How well do current schemes and plans support this focus?
  • What are the challenges you’ll face in implementing real contexts?
  • What does effective teaching of writing consist of with regard to ‘real, purposeful and relevant’?
  • What next steps and action do you need to put in place?

Working together

Preparing medium-term or long-term plans for work in real contexts often involves more coordination than for other units and modules. So, you’ll probably need to focus on how you communicate and plan ahead with colleagues and departments. A focus on process as well as content is often effective; many teachers use collaborative and problem-solving approaches to help pupils apply their learning independently.

Evaluating outcomes

Evaluating the success of work in real contexts can be complicated by several common factors. So, it’s often useful to consider the following when planning.

  • A range of outcomes can form a major part of the sequence or set of activities. Some of these will not be related to English or writing.
  • As outcomes can occur outside the classroom, you will need to consider how to capture these. What attainment and assessment evidence will you use? How can day-to-day assessment help you get a sense of pupils’ writing development?
  • A personalised approach to pupils’ learning, which encourages independent choices, can lead to outcomes you had not considered or foreseen.