1stClass@Writing New

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

See how Karima‘s writing has progressed as she worked through the 1stClass@Writing units – Liam and Madison have made excellent progress too!                                                                                                        

Fox Hill Primary, Sheffield 


  • provides targeted use of the Pupil Premium
  • supports the new national curriculum for English
  • makes children eager to write
  • balances the development of transcription, grammar and composition
  • strengthens teaching assistants’ subject knowledge and wider effectiveness
  • provides detailed evidence of progress and impact

Two programmes are available to schools

1stClass@Writing: The Pirate Writing Crew – for children who need support to access Year 3 national curriculum expectations

1stClass@Writing: Dragon Hunters – for children who need support to access Year 4 national curriculum expectations

How Does it Work?

1stClass@Writing comes ‘ready-made’ with detailed lesson plans and exciting resources.  A specially trained teaching assistant delivers up to 60 stimulating and motivating half-hour lessons to a group of up to 4 children, 4 times a week, in addition to their daily class lessons.

The children develop key skills of spelling, handwriting, grammar and punctuation in order to complete daily writing tasks relating to the adventure stories. They develop their composition and editing skills through a balance of supported ‘one-liners’ as well as sustained, independent writing.

The teaching assistant starts working with their group of pupils straight after the first training day. Then the training runs alongside the implementation of the teaching programme, in that way the Teaching Assistant is trained topic by topic.

The teaching assistant is supported by a Link Teacher from the school.

Impact on Achievement

300 pupils in 70 schools took part in 1stClass@Writing in 2014-15. Their teachers reported an almost immediate impact:

  • 88% of pupils became more confident and motivated to write
  • 70% made more progress than their teachers had expected
  • their spelling scores improved by 42%

See a Sample School Report here.

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

Training and Professional Development

  • Delivered locally by an accredited ECC Trainer
  • 3 days for teaching assistants- focusing on subject knowledge and pedagogy- adapting session plans to meet children’s needs- giving effective feedback
  • 2 half days for the school’s Link Teacher- supporting, managing and evaluating 1stClass@Writing
  • An optional school visit by the Trainer
  • Opportunities for further academic study

Resources and Support

  • Interactive and easily adaptable session plans
  • Extensive ready-made resources
  • Online guidance and downloadable resources
  • Access to the ECC data system, providing detailed analysis of impact and children’s progress
  • Phone and e-mail support from ECC and the Trainer

Further Information

See an example session plan from a 1stClass@Writing: The Pirate Writing Crew Topic.

See an example session plan from a 1stClass@Writing: Dragon Hunters Topic.


Each local provider determines their own charges to schools depending on local circumstances. The charge for 2016/17 for a new 1stClass@Writing teaching assistant, with their Link Teacher, will be in the region of £900.

How do I Access the Training?

Schools can access 1stClass@Writing from local ECC providers. Click here to find your nearest provider.

How can schools prepare for and manage 1stClass@Writing ? 

Download guidance on preparing for 1stClass@Writing before your staff start the training.

Download a flyer about 1stClass@Writing.