Big Writing is a teaching approach to writing designed to rapidly and effectively raise the standards of writing through the ‘fast, fun and lively’ teaching of the ‘writing voice’.
“If a child can’t say it, a child can’t write it”
Teaching children to become independent and expert writers.
“Children need to use new and challenging language repeatedly in order to embed it and understand how to use it appropriately.”
Ros Wilson, Creator of BIG Writing.
Ros Wilson talks about writing voice and explains the meaning of VCOP, which is at the heart of Big Writing.
What is VCOP?
Your child may come home and tell you that they are using VCOP in their writing at school...but what is it?
Each letter of VCOP stands for an aspect of writing that will help them improve all writing in every subject.
V = Vocabulary (the words they use in their writing)
We call them WOW words! For example: instead of using the word ‘nice’ , we could other more interesting words such as ‘beautiful, stunning, fantastic’etc.
C = Connectives (we call them joining words)
These are words we use to make our sentences longer. For example: ‘and,because, but, so, when, then’ . The words come in the middle of sentences, e.g. ‘When I stared out of the window I felt angry because...’
O = Openers (we use these words to open or begin our sentences) For example: ‘I..., My..., When..., First..., Suddenly...’ There are many more openers. We encourage the children to use a different opener to start each sentence in their writing.
P = Punctuation (the marks we use to help our writing make sense!)
The children begin to use full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks and question marks.
How can I support my child with
· Whenever your child is doing a task which involves writing, encourage them to use VCOP.
· Talk about lots of different things with your child – topical issues, anything funny that’s happened today, what you’re going to be doing at the weekend etc...
· Use ‘WOW’ words with your child and explain what they mean if they do not know. You can find interesting WOW words by using a search engine.
· Give your child a ‘WOW’ word and ask them to put it into a sentence.
· Play lots of different games that involve discussion and using language.
· Encourage your child to write postcards on holiday, keep a diary, write ‘To do’ lists or the shopping list for you etc...