Category Archives: Writing


Today I had the strange but lovely experience of having to read my own book. When you get to the proofs stage, you are in the last bit of the book writing process. This is the proof, if you like, … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Road School, Writing | 2 Comments

What Does Good Writing Look Like?

The question “what does good writing look like?” is a really important one, especially if you make your living as a writer, like I do. If you wanted to, you could phrase this question differently, and ask “what makes one … Continue reading

Posted in Testing, Writing | 1 Comment

Voice of a Child

“Smiling slightly, she peeked through the H2O sign; she had a faint Mona Lisa smile.” Fronted adverbial + comma + pronoun + verb + adverb + noun + semi-colon + pronoun + verb + adjective + proper noun + noun … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Writing | 2 Comments


There are 604,800 seconds in a week. During term times, children spend around 117,000 seconds a week in school. In theory homework might use up another 18,000 seconds each week. If they sleep for 8 hours a night, that uses … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Learning, Writing | 2 Comments

Bite your Tongue

As the title of my best selling book* amply demonstrates, one way to get people to notice your stuff is to say something rude. I think it’s fair to say that there is more to my book than the title, … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Writing | 5 Comments


Creativity gets a weird press. Everyone mostly likes it, but I see people get upset with the idea of ‘being creative’ (especially the way Ken Robinson presents it), and people saying that creativity must be about gluing knowledge together with sticky … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Writing | 2 Comments

Say What!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

“Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.” F. Scott Fitzgerald When I was young, I went through a phase in my writing where I used exclamation marks like they were going … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Writing | 6 Comments

Why Write?

……. to explain, to show, to tell, to persuade, to prove, to challenge, to provoke, to share, to get noticed, to explore, to examine, to reflect, to surprise, to express yourself ……. “A word after a word after a word is … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Writing | 2 Comments

Write by Numbers

“Co-ordination is used to balance noun phrases and clauses …” “Fronted subordinate clause foregrounds …” “Relative clause modifies the noun phrase …” “Modal verbs denote ability and possibility …” (From ‘Working at the Expected Standard: Leigh’ in the Teacher Assessment Exemplification … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Testing, Writing | 12 Comments

Amazingly enough

Amazingly enough, when Sophie told her teacher that she didn’t really like writing anymore, her teacher didn’t seem to mind. “I’ve got a great idea,” her teacher said, “why don’t we stop worrying so much about the sentence starters, and … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Grammar, Writing | 4 Comments