Support for Writing: The local authority approach in Cambridgeshire

School or setting

Authored by:
Karen Smith
Targeted primary schools in Cambridgeshire
Type of school:
Local Authority:
East of England


Year groups:
Year 2, Year 4, Year 6
Below age-related expectation
People involved:
LA adviser, Subject leader, Teacher
Number of classes:
18 schools for Y4; 12 schools for Y2

What were your reasons for doing this type of development work?

To raise awareness and usage of the National Strategies Support for Writing materials, in order to raise attainment in writing.
Local authorities were urged to focus their school improvement work in literacy on these materials in Autumn 08.

Who might find this case study useful?

  • Head of school improvement
  • National Strategies consultant

Key points

Point 1

Tightly planned but flexible, targeted support for schools provides effective CPD and improves writing

Point 2

SfW materials alongside periodic assessment using APP helps teachers to tailor teaching to improve progress in writing

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  • What

    The intention was to improve the level achievements of pupils (negotiated with each target school). Approaches included Assessment for Learning (AfL), collaboration and cluster meetings where teachers could be supported through training.

  • Impact

    It was found that the programme had a good impact on children's learning (where well-disseminated) and teaching, although it was difficult for teachers to feedback to their staff teams.

  • Summary

    Several crucial things made a difference. These were linking to APP (Assessing Pupils' Progress), offering targeted support, drip-feeding key messages and devising impact measures with schools.