Promoting a love of writing in children: What We Know Works

Published on: 
Monday, 14 October 2019 - 10:22am
Jessica Arnold


Promoting a love of reading in children through quality literature can impact children's writing progress and attainment. Supporting a child to be a writer gives them a voice, a skill needed throughout their life.

Our What We Know Works guide to Writing summarises research carried out for The Reader in the Writer: a book that underpins all our work and research at CLPE. The research highlights links between reading experiences and writing progress. Through evidence gathered from course participants on our Power of Reading training and Raising Achievement in Writing courses, we have witnessed, first hand, that the key messages from The Reader in the Writer are just as important now as they were 20 years ago.

Here's a summary of what we've gathered from teachers and our reasearch, and key areas to consider when teaching writing in primary schools:


Understand the role reading plays in developing writers and the value of being immersed in quality literature:
Choosing a high quality text, which is rich in vocabulary is important for teaching children how writing works and the effect it can have on a reader. This will encourage children to write for a purpose and develop their own style.

This is a technique taught on our Power of Reading Training

Ensure children have experience of a breadth of texts including those that are visual and digital:
Broadening children’s reading beyond books is important to show children how writing is everywhere. Using poetry, spoken word, nonfiction and many other forms of writing will give children rich examples to draw from.
Use our free Poetryline website to show children examples of poems being read aloud.
Use our free Power of Pictures website to discover picturebooks to use in your classroom.

Provide a range of meaningful opportunities to write for real purposes and audiences and to respond to writing as a reader:
Allowing children to see the use of writing will help them use writing as a means of expression and communication. Give them oppurtunities to write about their own feelings, experiencesand interests.
Our Raising Achievement in Writing course looks at this in detail.

Develop an understanding of the craft of writing by engaging with professional authors and their processes:
Seeing and learning from a professional writer helps children see writing from a different perspective. Understanding the editorial process ensures both teachers and children appreciate the value of slowing writing down.
This is a key part of our Power of Reading training, where teachers are able to meet an author on Day 1 and Day 4.
Our free Poetryline and Power of Pictures websites also have videos with poets and author-illustrators discussing their practice, and tips on using poetry and picturebooks effectively.

Understand and model the processes of writing authentically:
As a teacher, it is important that you are able to model writing ‘live’, sharing the frustrations and successes involved. Having a teacher that writes can be extremely beneficial to children.
To strengthen your writing teaching join us on our four day Raising Acheivement in Writing course, or our one day Inspiring Writing courses.

Support children to identify as writers and develop their own authentic voice:
Through purposeful opportunities and reasons to write, children are able to develop authentic personal voice, style, stamina and range as a writer.
Our specialist courses help teachers encourage purposeful writing such as our Let's Write! Improving Reading and Writing Using Poetry course; Developing Historical Enquiry through Quality Texts with author Tony Bradman or our one-day training: Raising Writing Standards through Book Making - Foundation to Year 8.

Give children time and space to develop their own writing ideas:
It is just as important to allow children space and time to write freely for pleasure as well as providing structured writing opportunities.
Our Inspiring Writing one day courses cover this idea across all the primary years.

Use creative teaching approaches that build imagination and give time for oral rehearsal:
Encourage children to explore ideas prior to composition through art, drama and role-play, music and movement and small world play, providing opportunities to write independently to develop these ideas into extended pieces.
Our Planning the Curriculum Around a Quality Text courses offer a focus on this, and how to build in cross-curricular activities around children's books.

Ensure the teaching of phonics, grammar and spelling is embedded in context:
Teachers should provide rich models for talk and writing, both through texts and as language users and writers themselves.
Our Phonics course, Effective Spelling and Language and Grammar courses all offer a focus on this.

Celebrate writing through authentic publication and presentation across platforms:
Publishing their work for an audience gives children a purpose for their writing. Showcase a range of authentic types of publication in the reading environment, such as picture books, short stories, graphic novels, collections of poetry, newspapers, leaflets, notices, information booklets and instructions.

Read the full What We Know Works: Writing booklet here 

Did you know...we've produced three more FREE What We Know Works guides? Discover our top tips for Reading for Pleasure, Choosing and Using Children's Books and Poetry.