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Writing programme in a Scottish secondary school - Auchinleck writing case study

Harris, Linda (2009) Writing programme in a Scottish secondary school - Auchinleck writing case study. Educational Leadership. ISSN 0013-1784 (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This article is an attempt to showcase the good practice in the English Department, and more recently the entire school, namely Auchinleck Academy in East Ayrshire. It provides one possible way of assisting secondary school departments to adopt the philosophy of "Curriculum for Excellence". The paper delineates how teachers of various subjects can underpin their curricula with good pedagogy whilst providing interdisciplinary links and transferable learning for pupils. The school's senior management team developed school policy in order to extend the good practice in the English Department across the whole school; steps that were taken, in part, as a response to pupils' poor results in Writing in National Assessments. It was thought that a concerted approach to this area of concern was required from staff throughout the school. There was also a desire to create a more consistent experience of learning for pupils whilst extending existing sound practice. This approach involved all subject staff in taking a fundamental responsibility for pupil progress in writing. In a school population in which deprivation was substantial, it was also important to address issues of pupils' low-esteem and motivation, part of which included incorporating opportunities for more autonomous learning. This article may offer approaches and strategies worth consideration by other departments and schools aiming to improve pupils' attainment in writing, or alternatively those wishing to take their first steps towards creating cross-curricular links in the spirit of "Curriculum for Excellence".