Writing, a skill which is in the national spotlight, is key for future success (UNESCO, 2019). At Aviation High School, writing is explicitly taught to all students, every day through the Writer's Toolbox program. This prepares Aviation High students for both ATAR external examinations and gives them the foundational skills required for communication, learning, and full participation in society (Wyatt-Smith & Jackson, 2020).
Since the implementation, Aviation High School students demonstrated greater gains in NAPLAN writing results than the nation. When tracking the Year 9 cohort, both their NAPLAN and end of year results grew. This cohort went from 17% A results when they were in Year 7 to 24% A results, after having just completed Year 9. Improvement in NAPLAN was also evident, where there was a mean improvement of 53.3 in students' NAPLAN scores. Teachers at Aviation High School are prioritising the teaching of writing across all year levels to prepare students for University and beyond. Students are communicating their thinking with greater clarity and purpose. Focussed and quality feedback, easily achieved through a common language, is contributing to student improvement.
How is writing explicitly taught at Aviation High School? Confidently, students are taught to master writing individually and as a class by developing a writing toolkit that can be called on when needed. They learn to cast sentences in 12 different ways and they learn 8 different paragraph types; all to support communication and higher order thinking. Taught in a language that makes sense to both students and teachers, writing is taught free from grammatical jargon, where all types of learners at Aviation High develop their writing skills. Quality writers are our priority.