My TaW Schools: Their Classes and Teachers

By Tricia Nash, Researcher, Open University 

I would like to describe the four schools and the five classes I am so fortunate to be regularly visiting and observing as one of the researchers for the TaW project. They include a year 3 and year 5 class in a school located near the centre of a popular Cornish coastal town famous for its sailing and oysters; another year 5 class in a junior school on the outskirts of a well-known Devon university city; a mixed year 4, 5 and 6 class in a quintessential Somerset village nestling in the stunning Blackdown Hills; and finally a year 8 class from a secondary school situated in the middle of a thriving, bustling Devon market town. So all are quite distinctive although all of them have a number of children from socially deprived circumstances and all have been so incredibly welcoming. Continue reading “My TaW Schools: Their Classes and Teachers”

Readers or writers?

By Ian Eyres, Senior Lecturer, The Open University

At the Arvon residential writing week a fortnight ago, tutor Steve Voake advised TaW teachers that ‘to write you need to read: immerse yourself in the genre as well as reading more widely’. Research has shown that while relatively few English teachers see themselves as writers, most are enthusiastic readers. Continue reading “Readers or writers?”

Living and breathing Arvon

By Anthony Wilson, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter

‘I’ve been at the field.’ This, spoken by one of the teachers on last week’s writing residential at Totleigh Barton in the depths of Devon. As a line of dialogue it does not say much. But in other ways it says everything about the ‘Arvon experience’, including how hard it is to capture it in words for those who were not there. There is the silent nodding of heads. An anorak is shaken out, a cup of tea poured. ‘How were they?’ says a colleague. ‘Coping?’ Continue reading “Living and breathing Arvon”

We are all writers

By Becky Swain, Head of Learning and Participation, Arvon

In Teresa Cremin’s first post for this blog a fortnight ago she asked, ‘Do teachers see themselves as writers?’ It is one of the many questions that we are exploring for a residential this week with sixteen primary and secondary teachers at our Totleigh Barton Arvon Centre in Devon. The group have been looking at whether by becoming better writers themselves, they might become even better teachers of writing. Continue reading “We are all writers”