Our national writing standard
is trending down

Developing effective writing skills underpins progress at school across all year levels and subject areas, and enables students to confidently explore, learn and apply knowledge.

In 2019, the National Assessment Program – Literacy & Numeracy (NAPLAN) for writing revealed that 92.8% of Year 5 students across Australia met or exceeded the national minimum standard, at Year 7 dropped to 89.4%, and in Year 9 it fell to 82.4% (ACARA).

The language gap: what our research reveals

The latest research from Oxford University Press examines 150,000 writing samples and
20 million words collected from Writing Legends, explores the teaching of writing, and offers practical advice and support to help Australian educators.

The data we analysed identified a language gap that emerges in Year 7 and significant differences between gender and writing.

Free Professional Development Workshop | Tuesday, 16 March 4:00-4:45 pm AEDT

Join Lee Walker and Shane Hill in discussion as they explore the implications of the language gap in student writing, while providing practical advice that you can apply in the classroom to help your students develop their writing skills.


Let's get students writing more

Help us to transform language skills

We want every Australian student to start secondary school with a repertoire of written language skills to support success at school, and future opportunities. Together with Writing Legends, Storyathon, Brilliant Writing Lessons and Teacher Workshop Series Oxford is lending a hand to get students writing more and help teachers transform language skills with the 10,000 word writing pledge.

Writing Legends is an online program that transforms student writing, language understanding and skills.

With fun and engaging online writing activities across a wide variety of text types, teachers have access to powerful tools to get every student in Years 3—8 writing
at a higher standard.

Video duration: 1m 27s

Join the 10,000 word writing pledge

Motivate students your students to write 10,000 words (around 250 words each school week) in 2021. With the 10,000 word writing pledge resources, budding authors can keep a writing log of their 10,000 words (both handwritten and typed), teachers have robust analytics at their fingertips to assess and track progression, and can access online tools to showcase student writing.

Joining the pledge is quick and easy. Here's what to expect:

Teachers can register in a few minutes and receive free teaching resources.

Receive access to the online student writing log and class
'Hall of Fame'.

There's additional resources available to teachers in
Years 4 and 7.

Encourage students to write and log their 10,000 word writing pieces.


Writing Legends supports a transformation in the teaching and learning of writing. The platform provides fun, online engaging writing activities, supported by a data-driven approach to help better recognise and address skills gaps in students of all abilities.

The pledge starts when schools register. Registrations open Wednesday 27 January and close 31 March, 2021. Once your school has registered students start writing and submit their pieces into the Student Log at any time until Friday 17 December 2021. Schools who register before 31 March will receive additional free teacher resources for Years 4 and 7. For more information visit writingpledge.com.

Schools that join the pledge encourage students to write 10,000 words through the 2021 school year. Teachers register online and receive access to the Student Log and class ‘Hall of Fame’. The writing pledge encourages all students to write a minimum of 10,000 words (approximately 250 words each week) in 2021. Students can write across a variety of subjects and writing types and are required to submit handwritten and typed written pieces into their Student Log to track their progress. Teachers can encourage and celebrate writing success with the class ‘Hall of Fame’.

There is no cost to schools to join the 10,000 word writing pledge. The writing pledge can be used with all existing writing programs.

Writing Legends, Storyathon, Brilliant Writing Lessons, Teacher Workshop Series and Oxford is pledging over $500 of free resources to assist schools with additional free teacher resources available for Years 4 and 7 for schools who register before 31 March, 2021. For more information visit writingpledge.com.

Yes, the free resources are limited to the first 1,000 Australian teachers of Year 4 or Year 7. To qualify teachers must currently teach at an officially recognised Australian primary or secondary school with a total enrolment greater than ten students. Registrations close on 31 March 2021, if not filled prior.

Oxford University Press will conduct a research program to evaluate impact and guide future developments. As part of this research program, participating schools will be invited to complete a short survey each term throughout 2021.

To register and join the pledge visit this page.