St Mary's C of E Primary School
St Mary’s C of E Primary school is a multicultural inner-city school situated in the London Borough of Brent. The school is located in quite a deprived area and nearly half of the pupils who attend have English as an additional language.
Carol Johnson, Literacy Coordinator and Year Six teacher ran We Are Writers for the first time in 2009 because she wanted a writing project which would inspire and motivate children to write. Mrs Johnson said, “The school is located in quite a deprived area so I wanted a writing project which would not only improve the children’s writing but also give them something tangible to remind them of their hard work and achievements.”
The project was first introduced during the Big Writing sessions on Friday afternoons and was immediately popular with the children. Boys who were reluctant writers were especially keen to participate in the project because it gave them a sense of purpose and achievement. Children who had English as an additional language were also keen to improve their writing skills because they wanted a chapter in the book.
The teachers commented on how having a chapter published in a real book gave the children a real moral boost. One Year 6 pupil said, “You feel proud of yourself that you have written a good standard of writing which is published in a real book.” Another pupil said, “I think it is a privilege to be in the book because everyone can see the work you have done in the school and you can share it with friends and family.”
St Mary’s found the project really simple and easy to run especially the second time round as the school knew exactly what to do and expect. The project had some amazing result on raising the literacy standards in the school, Mrs Johnson said, “ We Are Writers as well as other initiatives have helped raise the percentage of children getting Level 4 and above in their Key Stage 2 SATs from 60% to 85%.”
St Mary’s C of E are certainly looking forward to doing their third We Are Writers book next year.