The Science Of Teaching Primary Writing

Learning to be a writer is one of the most cognitively challenging but socially rewarding things children do when they are at school.

This book looks to share a deep understanding of the research and science surrounding children’s writing development. Such an understanding is crucial if schools wish to turn the tide on children’s historical academic underachievement in writing, and their emotional indifference to being writers.

What’s discussed within these pages will be essential reading for anyone who wants to pursue the principles of world-class writing teaching.


Part I – The Social Development Of Young Writers

  1. The purpose of the writing class
  2. The physical and social environment of the writing classroom
  3. Members of the writing classroom
  4. The tools and actions of the writing classroom

Part II – The Cognitive Development Of Young Writers

  1. Children’s knowledge and beliefs about writing
  2. The cognitive resources involved in writing
    a. Oral language and listening comprehension
    b. Reading
    c. Writerly knowledge
    i. Knowledge of their writerly environment
    ii. Knowledge of their audience and their needs
    iii. Knowledge of their own affective needs
    iv. Content knowledge
    v. Genre knowledge
    vi. Grammar knowledge
    vii. Sentence knowledge
    viii. Vocabulary knowledge
    ix. Goal knowledge
    x. Process knowledge
    xi. Transcriptional knowledge
  3. Encoding
  4. Spelling
  5. Letter formation
  6. Handwriting
  7. Typing
    xii. Practical examples of teachers developing
    children’s writing knowledge

Part III – Young Writers Producing Writing

  1. Conceptualising
  2. Ideation
  3. Translation
  4. Transcription
  5. Reconceptualization

Part IV – Young Writers Controlling Their Writer’s Process

  1. Working memory
  2. Attention
  3. Executive control

Part V – The Emotional Development Of Young Writers

  1. Emotions
  2. Personality traits
  3. Physiological states

Part VI – Evidence-Based Writing Teaching

  1. Analysis of the meta-analysis
  2. The 14 principles of world-class writing teaching


  1. Computational models of the writing process
  2. The influence of content & genre knowledge on writing
  3. The simple & not so simple view of writing
  4. The direct & indirect effects model of writing
  5. From novice to expert: compositional and transcriptional fluency
  6. The shared knowledge theory: the writing-reading connection
  7. Auditing your school’s pedagogy against the science of writing

£5.95 – Individual license

£29.75 – School/Institution license

or FREE for members