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Celebrate the UK’s first National Writing Day by helping your pupils develop a love of writing

Brought to you by Jonathan Douglas

Today marks the first ever National Writing Day – a UK-wide campaign to help children discover that creative writing can be fun and can boost their attainment, confidence, aspiration and imagination!

To celebrate, the National Literacy Trust has published new research which shows that primary school children’s enjoyment of writing is at an all-time high, with 69.6% of pupils saying they enjoy writing outside school.

The research also found that writing enjoyment gives primary school children a significant academic boost, as KS2 pupils who enjoy writing are seven times more likely to write above the expected level for their age compared with children who don’t enjoy writing (23.2% vs 3.2%). However, around a third (30.3%) of primary school children could be missing out on these benefits as they still don’t enjoy writing; and, more worryingly, as pupils move on to secondary school, their levels of writing enjoyment continue to decline, with 52.6% of KS3 and 63.1% of KS4 pupils saying they don’t enjoy writing.

So how can you get your pupils excited about writing both in the classroom and beyond? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Every month, the National Literacy Trust publishes a free teaching resource based on the latest trends that might have your pupils hooked. Our Craze of the Month resources are filled with activities based on popular crazes including the Beauty and the Beast film and Pokemon Go. We have a Wimbledon Tennis special coming-up in July.
  • Explore different genres of writing that may pique your pupils’ interests. Show your class this live lesson, produced by the BBC Comedy Classroom, which explores the main skills needed to write comedy sketches, captions and stand-up comedy routines.
  • Run a writing competition in your school. We produced a free guide for schools on how to run a writing competition based on the popular Descriptosaurus The guide has warm-up activities, games and techniques to help inspire your pupils’ descriptive writing.
  • Keep an eye on the National Literacy Trust’s competition page for fun national writing competitions that your pupils can get involved in.
  • Use children’s excitement about upcoming events as inspiration for writing in the classroom. This summer, the England Women’s team will be taking part in the Women’s Euros tournament in Holland and have a great chance of winning! We’ve teamed up with The FA to create a toolkit for teachers, packed with football-themed activities for boys and girls in Years 5-8, including these fun writing activities.

National Writing Day is coordinated by First Story and is supported by 35 partners, including the National Literacy Trust. The campaign has published a range of excellent resources for schools and teachers: www.nationalwritingday.org.uk/resources.

You can also visit the National Literacy Trust website for teaching resources, activities and ideas around writing: www.literacytrust.org.uk/writing

   Jonathan is the head of the National Literacy Trust.

Follow him on Twitter here @JDLiteracyTrust.

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