Since starting Junior school sept 2012 my ds has been doing so well. In infant school he was a nervous, shy little boy who was reluctant to attend school everyday, claiming he felt sick etc. After starting junior school within a day, his confidence soared, he was happy, and enjoyed learning. This week however he has been claiming he feels sick, since this was unusual initially i accepted this. But today he confessed he doesn't want to go because of the BIG WRITE. I have looked this up. For year 3 it seems children silently write for 30 minutes every week on a topic. So now I am concerned he was finally finding his feet. How can I support him more with this since I can't find resources on it. He had been under SEN during infant school...but when he began junior school because he was motivated it was viewed he was not incapable just didn't want to before. I dont want him to start struggling again, it shatters his self esteem, and ideas?
My dd also started Y3 this year and has some SEN around speech problems that have had an effect on her reading and writing. Our school also does big write in KS2. We don't do it every week, normal every 2-3 weeks and there is a great deal more to it then just sitting and writing for 30 minutes. In our school it goes like thas, Two days before big write day they get the topic, so far it has either been the first sentence for then to work with or a setting the scene discriptive piece (older children in KS2 could do any they pleased while younger ones had a picture and were asked to describe what it would be like there, how would they feel, was anyone else there etc.). In school they will then do a plan of what they are going to write, finding the structure for their piece and some interesting vocab they could use. They then bring this home and have two nights to talk with parents about what they may write and flesh out their plans. On big write day they will have their time to write with their plan to hand to help them out (don't know if older ones can use their plans this way) they then have time to read through their work using a special glitter gel pen to highlight any errors they see. The work is then marked by big write co-ordinator (so chance to have work marked by different person, always useful I feel) and given back with clear constructive advice and targets, the work and feedback is then photocopied and sent home for parents to see when the next big write story plans come out. I can see that if your school is presenting it a sitting and writing on a topic for a half hour with no prep or understanding of what they are doing or why this could put children under unnecessary pressure. I would speck to the teacher as it could simply be a breakdown in communication or it could be that the school are not using the big write programme to it's best, you won't know that until you speak to them. Don't blame the big write programme though, when used well it is a great way of helping children develop their creative writing skills, it is well loved in our school and Y2 children tend to be exited about getting to do it when they move up to Y3!