[email protected]: Building confident, enthusiastic and independent writers

Provider: Every Child Counts
£990.00 (no VAT on this item) approx price for one TA and a link teacher, with resources
£570.00 (no VAT on this item) approx price for a second TA with resources
Accreditation opportunities: Schools can become accredited ECC schools

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Description This course trains teaching assistants to deliver the groundbreaking [email protected] intervention to small groups of pupils in Years 3 to 5 who have fallen behind at writing. High-quality training enables them to deliver the intervention effectively and to strengthen their support for writing across the school. Over 1,000 teaching assistants have already been trained and have supported children to make progress in all aspects of writing
Duration 3 days over 3 months

Every Child Counts's website

Categories Primary, Teaching and Learning, KS2, English / Literacy, Support Staff, Learning Support, Pupil Support, Inclusion, SEND, Out of school, In school, Feedback, Meta-cognition and Self-regulation, Small Group Tuition, Teaching Assistants, Use of Pupil Premium, Identifies activities where TAs can support learning, rather than managing tasks, Provides support and training for teachers and TAs on how to work collaboratively , Ensures that teachers do not reduce their support or input to the pupils supported by TAs , Evaluates the impact of different strategies for deploying TAs, Provides approaches to assess pupils’ needs accurately and provide work at a challenging level with effective feedback and support, Provides approaches for specific, accurate and clear feedback , Provides approaches for comparing what a learner is doing right now and wrong before , Provides approaches for a balance between support and challenge, Supports effective professional development for teachers, Provides teaching approaches which encourage learners to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning with careful implementation, Provides approaches to teach pupils explicit strategies to plan, to monitor and to evaluate their learning with and without support, Provides teaching approaches which encourage pupil engagement in planning and best approaches to tasks, Evaluation of process , Help schools find best way to spend Pupil Premium
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

1st[email protected] enables Teaching Assistants to make a real difference for pupils who have difficulties with transcription and composition

This course trains teaching assistants to deliver the [email protected] intervention

1st[email protected] is a new, highly motivating and effective intervention for pupils mainly in Years 3 to 5 who have fallen behind at writing.  A trained teaching assistant helps them to make faster progress so that they can catch up with their peers.

1st[email protected] is an Every Child Counts intervention, developed by Edge Hill University.  Expert training enables teaching assistants to deliver it effectively and to strengthen their support for writing across the school.

There are two versions:

The Pirate Writing Crew for pupils who need support to access Year 3 expectations.

Dragon Hunteres for pupils who need support to access Year 4 expectations

How does it work?

A teaching assistant delivers 48 stimulating and motivating half-hour lessons to a group of up to 4 pupils, 4 times a week, in addition to their daily class lessons.  The pupils develop key skills of spelling, handwriting, grammar, and punctuation in order to complete daily writing tasks bound up with the thematic adventure stories.  They develop their composition and editing skills through a balance of supported ‘one-liners’ and sustained, independent writing.

It all comes ‘ready-made’ with detailed plans and comprehensive resources.  The TA is supported by a senior teacher in the school who acts as a Link Teacher.

We have been crying out for something like this for so long!  It developed the key components of writing in a fun, engaging way.
Claire Daly, Deputy Headteacher, The Raglan Schools, Enfield

Evidence underpinning this approach

1st[email protected] is based on research into effective literacy intervention.

Over 3,000 pupils in Years 2 to 6 have taken part in 1st[email protected] in 750 schools.

  • 84% of pupils became more confident and motivated to write
  • 71% made more progress than their teachers had expected
  • their spelling scores improved by 74%

I was amazed at the children’s progress both academically and emotionally.  They became confident, happy learners who found writing less of a challenge and more of a joy!
Sinead O'Brien, Inclusion Leader, St Theresa’s RCPS, Barnet

In an independent survey of the Head Teachers of Every Child Counts schools:

  • 90% rated it as ‘highly valuable’
  • 74% said they were ‘extremely likely’ to recommend ECC to another school
  • 89% identified significant impact on standards across the school
How users/participants can evaluate success

The immediate impact is seen in the progress of pupils who take part in 1st[email protected]  Link Teachers are trained to work with class teachers to make simple assessments of pupils' progress in the key elements of writing and of their developing attitudes. They use an online data system to record information about pupils' participation and progress. Each school receives a termly report with detailed analyses of pupils' progress and national comparisons against which they can benchmark their school’s outcomes.

Schools can expect to see big changes in teaching assistants' subject knowledge, confidence and ability to support pupils' writing in all aspects of their work beyond the intervention.

“The professional development, ethos and values imparted by Every Child Counts have had such a big impact on the teaching assistant that we have changed the way we use support staff. Teaching assistants are now organised into subject specialist teams for mathematics and literacy… and they find it rewarding to have such a strong focus to their role.  It has also helped me to ensure that appropriate provision is targeted where it is most needed.  This supports the school in its aim of raising attainment for all our children.’’

Schools can also expect to see improvements in link teachers' management of interventions.

Follow-up activities and support

The training course consists of 3 days over about two months.  Teaching assistants begin to teach pupils immediately after the first day and every subsequent training day includes discussion of their experiences and the pupils' learning.


“Many head teachers took an interest in the training and reported that it was the best they had ever seen.”
Independent Evaluation of ECC, DfE 2011

Training is delivered by an ECC Trainer accredited by the University.  Separate courses for The Pirate Writing Crew and Dragon Hunters include:

  • 3 days of training for teaching assistants over 2-3 months:
    • how 1st[email protected] works
    • delivering it to pupils who struggle with writing
    • understanding the writing process
    • giving feedback and helping pupils to be independent writers
    • liaison with the pupils’ class teachers
  • the school’s Link Teacher attends for 2 half days
  • detailed handbook guidance and teaching resources

Schools also receive a one-year ECC support package including:

  • online guidance and downloadable resources
  • access to the ECC online data system, providing analyses of children’s progress to help schools to evaluate and demonstrate the impact of 1st[email protected]
  • telephone and e-mail support
  • an optional visit to the school by the Trainer to support the delivery, management and evaluation of 1st[email protected]
  • opportunities for Every Child Counts accreditation

Training and support for all ECC programmes are available from local ECC Providers accredited by Edge Hill University and from the University itself. 

This course does not have any pre-booked dates available. Please contact the provider directly to arrange this training.