The following report and resources represent the work completed by teachers from Moss Vale High School, Moss Vale Public School and Robertson Public School in 2016.
MVCOS Transitions Writing Project – Evaluation Report
The English Textual Concepts were derived from a rigorous analysis of the NSW English Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum K-10 which led to considered definitions founded in literary theory.
Whilst not mandatory, the English Textual Concepts offers a unifying framework for the delivery of quality lessons from Early Stage 1 through to Stage 5 that support student development of deep and critical thinking. This is in line with the need to increase the educational content of programs for students transitioning from primary to high school.
Our project is unique in that we are a regional community of schools. Other groups, centred upon metropolitan high schools, had fewer feeder primary schools while others were part of a central school network. These groups largely focused on the development of an individual teaching program for Stage 3 to establish a common language of subject English and support student learning as they transitioned into high school.
The MVCOS project took an alternative approach by identifying different forms of writing and creating a suite of lessons that are designed to sit within existing programs. We believed this would support the focus on writing that was informed by our community NAPLAN results and proved specific strategies in support of the high school’s recent Improving Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership funding.
Despite personnel changes, this project has been completed on time and within three terms. We have extended the initial scope of the project by writing lessons for Stage 2 and Stage 5 students that represents the beginning of a much larger continuum.
We have developed eleven mini programs covering eight different English concepts: Literary Value, Narrative, Argument, Authority, Perspective, Point of View, Code and Convention, Character and Intertextuality. We created more than 25 resources including writing scaffolds, sample responses, graphic organisers and Powerpoints, as well as introducing a common editing code. The team collected a range of student writing samples that will act as a baseline for future reference. We also purchased texts to support teachers deepen their understanding of English concepts, and as shared resources within the COS.
Kerri-Jane Burke, Team Leader, May 23, 2016.