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VCOP is a core component of Ros Wilson’s ‘Big Writing’ method for raising standards in writing that has been implemented in thousands of primary schools throughout the United Kingdom and around the world. The method relates to the English language only. VCOP and ‘Big Writing’ itself are all based on the premise If a child can’t say it, they can’t write it!. ‘Big Writing’ and its associated strategies stress the importance of talk and that ‘boys love to talk and what is good for the boys is good for the girls!’

As opposed to discussing subordinate clauses etc with children, VCOP simplifies matters to discuss:

  • V: The range of ambitious vocabulary a pupil knows; WOW words.
  • C: The range of ways pupils have of joining ideas, phrases & sentences
  • O: The strategies pupils have for opening sentences; especially the 3 key openers: connectives, ‘ly’ words & ‘ing’ words
  • P: The range of punctuation a pupil can use & the accuracy with which they use it.

Pupils are encouraged to be ambitious, to up-level their work and pay attention to their use of V.C.O.P., which with The Punctuation Pyramid, becomes a toolkit for writing at a higher level. Stealing and borrowing are encouraged when pupils see elements of V.C.O.P. in peers’ work that they like. The concept is simple, that children do not need to understand the educationalist terminology to use the skills in their work.