What is ‘Big Write’?
Ros Wilson is the creator of the ‘Big Write’ concept. She developed a way of teaching writing to children which focuses on four main aspects of writing – Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation (VCOP). Through weekly writing sessions (known as ‘Big Write’), children develop their skills in these areas daily, as well as learning about and revising several different writing genres, therefore improving their overall writing ability.
Children use next steps in order to improve their own writing. They do this through self- assessment and by having developed a greater understanding of the writing process facilitated by their teacher.
Big Write consists of a planning session and writing session. These take place on the same day with a break in between. Classes play classical music and switch on magical fairy lights during the writing session, as it creates a sense of calm and gets the creative juices flowing!
The Four Elements of Big Writing: (V.C.O.P)
Every class has a ‘Wow Words’ board where new and impressive words that the children have used and have found in good quality texts, are shared with everyone.
The children are encouraged to use these words where appropriate in their writing.
Every class displays examples of powerful connectives (joining words). The children are encouraged to use these in their writing to join sentences and paragraphs, therefore improving the organisation of their writing.
Every class displays and discusses good sentence ‘openers’ (sentence starters) that the children can use in their writing to make their sentences and overall texts more interesting. We teach ways of improving a basic sentence by changing how it begins e.g. ‘She opened the door’ to a better sentence, ‘Cautiously, she opened the door.’
Every class has a ‘Punctuation Pyramid’ displayed, showing the levels of punctuation. Children are taught the names of the higher level punctuation from Year One onwards and learn to use them in their writing. The levels of punctuation are National Curriculum levels which children are assessed against, ranging from full stops (Level 1) to using colons and semi-colons (Level 5).