Children get out and about to give writing skills a huge boost

Liam Ackerman 10 and Ashley Hempstead 10 with their Action Stations themed work on display in the school.''''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (123347-6)
Liam Ackerman 10 and Ashley Hempstead 10 with their Action Stations themed work on display in the school.''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (123347-6)
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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

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Writing is a really important skill for children to develop, from a young age.

That’s why at St John’s Primary School we like to hold the annual Everybody Writes Day. This is the fifth year that we’ve done it and it’s always popular.

The idea is that we try and get children engaged in writing and get them writing off site. They write stories, poems, reviews, letter and lots more.

It makes it much more engaging and gives it a purpose. It gives them something they have chosen to write about.

Every child from Year 1 to Year 6 takes part.

We have a variety of activities for children to choose from and then we try and get them their first choice.

This year we had a trip to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Gunwharf Quays, where they had a workshop making bread and pasta. We had a visit to St Vincent’s hairdressing school where the children had their hair done and then wrote thank you letters, writing about what happened.

There was a day out at Fort Brockhurst where the children wrote their own spooky stories. We also went to The Submarine Museum and the Explosion! museum in Gosport.

We even had a trip up to London where our children wrote a review of the West End show The Lion King.

And not only did they get to see the sights of London but the show was just magical. It was fantastic.

This allows each child to take part in a writing challenge, which is then pinned up on the boards.

The idea is that every single child in the school has got a piece of writing on display.

For the children, they look forward to Everybody Writes Day. There is a huge sense of anticipation.

It’s about finding ways to take writing beyond the classroom and it establishes real audiences for children’s writing. Children are engaged and inspired to write about what interests them.

Everybody Writes Day has been key in addressing issues with writing for boys.

The disparity between boys and girls’ progress has been an issue we have been addressing and this shows that there are differences between what boys and girls want to write about.

This has impacted on the wider English curriculum and we have become much braver in our planning.

Many lessons take place off site with dramatic hooks and real purpose and audience.

There has been some really inspirational writing. The children love it.