For All Subject Teachers
Jade Bricknell is Teacher Development Leader at St John Fisher College in Brisbane, which is soon to celebrate its third anniversary using Writer’s Toolbox. We sat down with Jade to talk about her school’s achievements in writing to date.
Instantly, Bricknell beams, "What Writer’s Toolbox can do, which doesn't just happen organically, is build momentum around writing so that you have more confident, productive students."
Bricknell acknowledges negative student attitudes to writing are a thing of the past. “I don’t get groans from them. Writer’s Toolbox takes out the cognitive load, so students focus on their ideas rather than how to say their ideas. That's producing writers who are more productive. And our data supports that.”
Prior to using Writer’s Toolbox, St John Fisher College had fluctuating NAPLAN data and wasn’t seeing consistently high results in writing tasks. But after almost three years of school-wide Writer’s Toolbox use, the college is above the national means standard. “And that's so gratifying,” says Jade. “We're going from strength to strength in that area.”
It’s not only NAPLAN results that are improving. With written literacy being an important component across the curriculum, teachers in every subject at St John Fisher College have benefited from workshops run by Writer’s Toolbox coaches.
"Teachers are now a lot more confident in their teaching and modelling of writing,” says Bricknell. “Regardless of subject area, teachers approach me and we have collaborative conversations about how they're teaching writing, and drawing on the same language again and again."
Reflecting on the highlights of St John Fisher’s relationship with Writer’s Toolbox, Jade says, “Writer’s Toolbox gives us an online platform where we’ve got an embedded common language. You have a greater chance of success sitting within Writer’s Toolbox for an effective whole-school writing culture.”
As we bid Jade a fond farewell, she leaves us with a final observation: “Our students are productive and enthusiastic, and we’re seeing the sheer amount of improvement they’re making.”
We’re thrilled how much Jade and St John Fisher are getting out of Writer’s Toolbox.
"We started using Writer's Toolbox in 2020, and since then, we've been above the NAPLAN national means standard."