For the last three years, I have been taking creative and descriptive writing to the next level at Moat House Primary School in Coventry.
Moat House is a fantastic, fun and friendly inner city school in a deprived area of the city.
But that doesn’t stop its dedicated teachers working hard to boost their pupils’ literacy and numeracy levels, using a variety of strategies.
I have worked with small groups of mainly Year 5 and Year 6 students developing their writing skills.
The challenge has been to make courses fun and engaging, so we devised a series of descriptive writing challenges around the words ‘fear’, ‘horror’, ‘cliffhanger’ and ‘danger’.
My inspiration for some of the writing challenges came from my love for children’s bestselling author Enid Blyton and, more recently, Jacqueline Wilson (of ‘Cliffhanger’ fame) whose approach to writing is quirky, exciting, engaging, dramatic, captivating… the power of her imagination is amazing and exhilarating!
Working with Year 6 students who often don’t read at home has been challenging, but with perseverance and enthusiasm we have helped to turn around their interest in, and love, for writing.
Now, they have started keeping diaries and asking for reading recommendations. They are proud of their written work and ask for it to be photocopied to take home to their parents and carers.
As Principal Teacher at CreateInspireMotivate our philosophy is exactly that – to create, inspire and motivate – and that’s the way we have run our intensive ‘boosters’ at Moat, with many students moving up through the levels from 4 to 5 to 6, thanks to perseverance, engagement and enthusiasm.
The students were initially quite sceptical, but once I’d inspired them with my infectious enthusiasm there was no stopping them. My challenge was to make writing fun, and I used a host of interactive techniques to motivate the students.
Good humour, thoughtful course design and detail, dedication, patience and commitment are the hallmarks of our trade – every single student matters on every one of our courses. We will them to succeed. We want them to do well.
But, most of all, we create, we inspire and we motivate…. and we reward them when they get it right!