Building better sentences

Rob Francksen, Headteacher, Crawford's CEVC Primary School

"The results clearly show that improvements were made in specific writing domains, both ‘Connectives’ and ‘Sentences’ were areas in which these specific students improved. Furthermore, deeper analyses show 92% of pupils made improvements in the writing domain ‘Sentences’ and 58% of pupils made improvements in the domain ‘Connectives’." Rob Francksen

This brief post highlights the fascinating findings from Rob Francksen's research project which focused on improving the quality of KS2 writing.

The fundamental purpose of this research was to undertake an exploratory investigation into whether Structural Learning could improve Upper Key Stage Two pupil’s writing and the processes of composition, based upon the REAch2 Academy Trust Assessment Without Levels Milestones criteria, and focusing on:

  • The construction of effective sentences, in particular through the use of sentence-combining skills, by employing a variety of syntactical forms;
  • The cognitive processes of writing including ‘personal meaning making,’ making better connections by prioritizing, sequencing, manipulating and building on ideas and learning patterns for what thinking and writing looks like;
  • The engagement of feedback in making the thought-processes of writing more visible.
Colourful Semantics being used to help pupils see grammatical patterns


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