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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Development in Writing at the end of Key Stage 2

There is currently a good deal of interest in children's writing attainment. This aspect of literacy has been less responsive to central government reforms. Although about 80 per cent of children now reach national expectations in reading at age 11, only 60 per cent do so in writing and boys' attainment is substantially lower than that of girls. A number of studies have explored the features that contribute to progress in writing but few studies have rigorously profiled how children's writing develops in the 12 months leading up to national assessment.

The research will comprise a linguistic analysis of two data-sets of children's writing, from a repeat-design study of the writing of 120 children in Year 5 and then Year 6 by comparing their performance on standardised tasks that are similar in format to national tests. The children were in five schools with a range of catchments. The purposes of the research are 1) to profile writing development at the end of primary school; 2) to identify difficulties in writing which may contribute to under-attainment; 3) to critically examine the current criteria of National Curriculum Level 4 as a benchmark for attainment at this age.