St Paul's PS Visits Writing Centre

18 January 2017

Two P7 classes from St Paul’s Primary School in West Belfast visited the St Mary’s Writing Centre recently to engage in peer-tutoring-based writing workshops.

“These P7 pupils were working with the same peer-tutoring model as that used by our university students,” said Senior Lecturer, Dr Matthew Martin, who organised the visit: “They launched into the work straightaway to help one another improve their report writing skills. I was impressed by their seriousness and focus as they discovered for themselves where and how their writing could be developed further.”

Dr Martin with St Paul's P7 pupils

Connie Owens, a P7 teacher from St Paul’s, asked the class their opinion of the experience afterwards and passed along some of the pupils’ comments:

"My mum doesn't believe me that we were doing the same work as university students!"

"As a class, we are proud of ourselves because we have been to university and we are only eleven!"

"We were a bit nervous as we were going to university to work with a lecturer we had never met before. I really enjoyed it."

"Dr Martin made us feel relaxed. He was friendly, gave us time to think. We all spoke out which was great. Our opinion was valued; we were able to express ourselves; he was very open-minded."

Ms Owens further commented, “I thought it was a successful venture. The pupils gained from an aspirational aspect and the session consolidated prior learning around paragraphs and structure. The session was perfectly timed, enabling the final work on the pupils’ reports to be richer and more detailed.’

Mr Sean McNamee, the Principal of St Paul’s, was an enthusiastic supporter of the exercise:

“We are looking forward to developing further links with the St Mary’s Writing Centre. The particular brand of peer-tutoring used in the Writing Centre has proved to be a positive way of giving pupils a sense of ownership over their own learning.”

The final seal of approval for the venture was given by one pupil who, at the end of the session, said, “I’m definitely going to St Mary’s!”

Peer-Tutoring at work

Pupils focused on their report writing

An enthusiastic pair of St Paul's Peer-Tutors

The fun of working in pairs

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