All areas of learning at Dromana College use writing for learning and assessment to prepare students for their future. Each subject area teaches writing differently, as each subject area writes for a different purpose. For example, Scientists are taught to write practical reports, Musicians are taught to write music and Designers need to write briefs.
Each subject area teaches the writing style the students will need to be successful. As your child progresses through school, they will specialise in specific subject areas and focus on the subject specific language and writing. In this section, you will find general tips for writing engagement and extending your child’s writing ability.
As your child moves into senior school, all final exams and outcomes are handwritten. Handwriting takes time, patience, and practise. The bare minimum is for handwriting to be legible and done within a timeframe. Senior years are too late to adjust little things like pencil grip, but not too late to neaten up letters and speed. 10 minutes of practise 3 to 5 times a week can help.
To help your child be a good writer, you do not need to be great at it yourself, you just need to be patient and a good listener. If your child is writing an essay and having a trouble getting started, or is stuck, here are some tips that may assist. Remember, it is important to maintain the role of the assistant and sounding board and leave the writing to your child.
Digital writing and creating
Typing does not replace the skill of writing
We now live in a world full of digital technology. To give your child the best chance of success in literacy, it is important that your child becomes comfortable with technology and can use various technologies to share their ideas and show their creativity.
Keep in mind that typing does not replace the skill of writing. Typing is its own skill and a different thinking process. These two skills should be treated as different.
Some fun activities might include:
- Encourage your child to keep a diary where they record their feelings and experiences.
- Write a review of a book or film. Encourage your child to have an opinion about the relative good and bad points, and how the film could be improved.
- Create ‘found poetry.’ Pick 20 random lines and phrases from books or poems and arrange these lines into a new poem.
- Give your child a topic that has two clear sides, such as “All kids should have their own phone or iPad.” Ask your child to write a few paragraphs outlining their arguments for and against.
- If your child has recently finished a novel or film, ask them to write creatively in response to it. They might write an alternative ending, a short sequel, or write a series of diary entries from a character’s perspective.
- Competitive writing can encourage and reward. The Young Writer’s Award has four categories currently, under Science, Poetry, Fiction, and Inspirational writing. There are many other awards and competitions, including Farrells’ Bookshop Writing and Illustration Competition.
As some children move into adolescent years, they begin to engage more in their writing by keeping a diary, finding new writing genres such as poetry and song writing, or even engage with academic styles of writing.
Try writing for different audiences and reasons such as writing a speech for parliament.
Encourage your child to examine different styles of (and reasons for) writing by comparing the styles of different authors and writing for different purposes.
Actively extend vocabulary and general knowledge through games, reading more complex books, using new and more complex language yourself and listening to news, podcasts, and audiobooks.
Competitive writing can encourage and reward. The Young Writer’s Award has four categories currently, under Science, Poetry, Fiction, and Inspirational writing. There are many other awards and competitions, including Farrells’ Bookshop Writing and Illustration Competition.