School Based Research Projects - Wenona School

Making and Shaping Meaning Through Writing

Wenona’s research focuses on (1) how to improve instructional teaching and learning routines to develop students’ academic writing and (2) how to increase opportunities for students to practice writing within regular lessons focussing on content. Literature tells us that while all students know how to write, they don’t know how to write well and that writing is complex, requiring significant instruction and practice (Australian Education Research Organisation [AERO], 2022). And yet there is no agreement among writing experts about what constitutes an exemplar writing curriculum in Australia. This is concerning, since over the last 10 years NAPLAN data has indicated no improvement in the writing abilities of students in Years 3 and 5, and a moderate decline in the writing abilities of students in Years 7 and 9 (AERO, 2022).

This project aims to assess which teaching routines enhance writing proficiency and confidence for both students and teachers across Stages 3, 4 and 5 (Years 5 to 10) in transdisciplinary (primary) and single disciplinary contexts (History, Geography, Science and Personal Health and Physical Development in secondary). A range of pedagogically effective writing strategies drawing on Australian and international best practice will be developed. This will contribute to the broader educational community’s understanding of how writing can be taught more effectively.