I ended my teaching career in March 2021 but had Robin Hardman’s Writing Game been available back then, I would have been dipping into it on a regular basis.
Robin has written a wonderful practical toolkit for teachers with activities that can be implemented in GCSE and A level lessons, with the aim of enabling students to improve their writing skills. There are over 50 evidence-informed tasks, which Robin has collated from his own teaching practice, based largely on the rarely referenced research of Steve Graham, Karen Harris and Gary Troia, alongside the more well-known work of Barak Rosenshine, Daniel Willingham and Dylan William.
The Writing Game reminded me very much of the late Paul Ginnis’s, The Teacher’s Toolkit, which was published over twenty years ago, with its own focus on practical tips and strategies to raise attainment in the classroom. Robin Hardman’s book concentrates solely on developing student writing skills, but it adopts a similar approach being jam-packed with strategies to engage the student, whilst at the same time hopefully allowing them to achieve the very highest grades in public examinations.
We often consider writing essays to be a solitary activity, but the Writing Game shows that this does not always have to be the case, with Robin pointing out that, “pupils will benefit greatly from activities that require them to write in small groups.” Check out the ‘Snakes and Ladders’ activity which will undoubtedly provide a much-needed break from practice papers and model answers.
I can thoroughly recommend Robin’s book, it is one of the best teaching and learning books that I have read in 2022- it almost made me want to go back into the classroom and start teaching History again!