Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Write a letter... receive a letter: learning by writing letters earns a royal reply

Manyallaluk School, a remote school 100 km north-east of Katherine, is using letter writing as a strategy to engage students in literacy through creating authentic writing experiences.

Queen Elizabeth and Essendon Football Club megastars have received letters from junior and senior primary students at the school.

To the delight of students, they have received replies from Mary Robinson, Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Elizabeth and the Essendon Football Club.  

Teaching Principal Ben Kleinig said that through this activity, students have been gaining confidence in their writing skills.

"We slowly introduced letter writing last term, and then realised its potential,” he said. “The kids chose their favourite football players, and The Queen – someone who is pretty popular with our students.

“Making the writing experience authentic with an audience beyond just the teacher and reaching a global audience gets our students excited about writing. Enthusiasm and excitement about writing translates into more effort, self-belief, having-a-go and more time put into writing by the kids. Getting a 'real-world' reply is its own reward and the kids love it.

“One substantial improvement is our students gaining the confidence to move away from relying on the teacher, being brave enough to have a go at sounding-out and then being open to feedback.”

In her letter to The Queen, Year 2 student, Alice wrote: ‘Dear Queen Elizabeth. Did you have a birthday cake? Old Mary was sitting down drinking a cup of tea watching the dogs chase a buffalo. But don't worry, she can run fast. From Alice.’

Kleinig intends to continue this education strategy at the school.

“The opportunities are limitless and the results so far are very exciting,” he said.


15 Oct 2017 | Australia
CIS urges better targeting for $23.5b Gonski 2.0 money News Image

Australian schools should use the extra Gonski 2.0 funding to improve early literacy and numeracy, give teachers fewer classes and more time outside the classroom, and provide classroom management training for teachers, new research from the Centre for Independent Studies finds. Read More

15 Oct 2017 | Sydney, NSW
Automarking 'methodologically flawed and massively incomplete' News Image

The NSW Teachers Federation claims that ACARA is rushing through with plans to have robots mark next year’s NAPLAN tests despite their justifications being discredited by world-leading research. A report by Dr Les Perelman from MIT describes the plan as 'methodologically flawed and massively incomplete'. Read More

15 Oct 2017 | Melbourne, VIC
Monash Children’s Hospital School opens News Image

Sick children in Melbourne’s south-east now have access to a world class education while continuing life-saving medical treatment, with the official opening of the state-of-the-art Monash Children’s Hospital School. Read More

15 Oct 2017 | Sydney, NSW
Teachers TV software allows real-time student teacher assessment News Image

Macquarie University and the Teachers TV Foundation have announced the success of a trial of 'Teaching Teams' which turns the cameras on teacher education students to improve their teaching techniques and effectiveness. The trial incorporated the 'Teaching Teams' technology into the course assessment. Read More

15 Oct 2017 | Melbourne, VIC
Parents want more life skills to be taught in school News Image

Parents want their children to have access to a ‘holistic education’ but cultural influences, location and income all play a role in their expectations, a study from ASG and Monash University  has revealed. Read More