Pupils prove they have the write stuff

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 16/08/2014
timaru waimataitai books jake pilgrim-doull, angus mccone kate hunter ashleigh cavangh cody pratt samuel mcallister
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ

BUDDING AUTHORS: Waimataitai Accelerated Literacy Learning class pupils, back row from left, Jake Pilgrim-Doull, Angus McCone, teacher Kate Hunter; front row, Ashleigh Cavangh, Cody Pratt and Samuel McAllister have gone from hating writing to publishing a book.

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Waimataitai Primary School pupils have gone from hating writing to publishing a book.

Eight year 5 pupils in the Accelerated Literacy Learning programme have finished the 15-week course on a "high note" with a book launch.

Teacher Kate Hunter said she wanted the children to have a purpose for their writing, so came up with the idea to publish a book of their work.

"I wanted them to be able to work towards something and a book launch was something grown-up to do."

Accelerated Literacy Learning is a Ministry of Education initiative to speed up the progress of schoolchildren working below the national standard in writing.

Hunter said the pupils started off at a year 2 level and now understood all about year 5 writing.

"It's moved their self-belief, self-confidence, I'm so proud. They've moved one to two years within 15 weeks."

Before the course the pupils were making negative comments about writing, such as "it takes too long", "writing is hard", and "I feel I am no good at it".

Now they say they enjoy writing. Cody Pratt, 9, said he was more confident with his writing ability. "I really enjoy writing and sharing my writing with others. I write on my blog page."

Each pupil received a copy of the hard-cover book, titled A Short Anthology of our Writing and there are also copies in the school's library.

The pupils said their friends thought the book was "pretty cool", with some even wanting to be in the class themselves now.

Hunter said the important thing now was to ensure the pupils kept up their writing.

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- The Timaru Herald

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