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High-impact writing skills, including email and report writing


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Heartlands High School invests in better writing skills for a stronger future

Staff at growing London academy Heartlands High School are more optimistic about their future after working to bolster the business-writing skills of back-office staff – and their confidence.

The challenge

With Heartlands High School on the verge of expanding into a multi-academy trust, its staff would soon face new demands – at the heart of which was the need for stronger writing skills. They would have to depend on written communication across the different locations instead of talking face to face. Email-writing emerged as a vital skill gap, as the ability to write a coherent, well-structured message would be key to efficiency and building trust with their new associates. Some staff members also faced the increasing need to craft longer documents to persuade or inform.

And when Dr Robert Barr, Director of Finance and Business Development, approached Emphasis for some much needed support, he was also keen to lift the delegates’ morale and self-worth with the training, so they could adapt to the upcoming changes with self-assurance.

The solution

Emphasis worked with Robert to design a high-impact writing course that addressed the writing process from start to finish. The content covered everything from profiling the intended reader and structuring information logically (to persuade or inform) to perfecting grammar and punctuation and checking for errors – all while keeping it fun. ‘The attendees found it very lighthearted and very informative,’ says Robert. ‘They felt that they were learning without the hard work.’

The results

Robert notes that, in a group of mixed abilities, everyone felt the benefits. And the key reason? It changed every delegate’s approach to writing. ‘Everybody came away with the knowledge that thinking about how they write informs the quality of their writing,’ Robert explains. ‘It was not so much an effective writing course as an effective thinking course – in effective communication.’

And the ultimate effect of the training experience has been that the staff now feel boosted in both skills and spirit in order to face – and embrace – the future. ‘Everybody writes a lot better. They’re a lot more confident and consistent, and more fluent in communication,’ says Robert. ‘There’s a strong sense of excitement about the future – and the changes – that there wasn’t before.’

‘Everybody writes a lot better. They’re a lot more confident and consistent, and more fluent in communication.’

Dr Robert Barr, Director of Finance and Business Development, Heartlands High School

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