A Huge Attitude Change
The mission statement of Glen Eden Intermediate, a school with just over 1000 students, is ‘Empowering Learners for their Future’. And with this in mind, Deputy Principal Michelle Abbasi decided it was time to turn around writing results.
Says Michelle: "We’re very similar to national trends—in that our level of reading is significantly higher than our writing. We’ve tried multiple programmes through ministry contracts for about three years, but weren’t getting the results we were hoping for.
"We had a teacher last year who came from another Write that Essay school (St Peter’s College). She raved about the Write that Essay programme, so we went to the 2019 WTE New Zealand Writing Conference. There we saw other schools had achieved great outcomes with the programme.
"As a Deputy Principal, what stood out about WTE was the hard data. WTE was making a significant difference in schools, but was also giving teachers a formulaic structure and framework of tools for teaching writing. This then gives students a way of recognising what they can achieve and they don’t lose engagement.
"School survey feedback shows there’s a huge attitude change in both our staff and students towards writing. What I noticed in our student surveys was that they were using the different sentence types. We’re at the stage now where they’re not just learning the sentence types in isolation; they’re being applied in the different learning areas in the curriculum."
"Probably the biggest telling sign in this stage of our journey is our students are enjoying writing and our teachers are enjoying teaching."
Michelle Abbasi, Deputy Principal, Glen Eden Intermediate