“This project has given us some real insights into the importance of pictures and drawing, the importance of working with professional author/illustrators and how this impacts on children’s writing.

This is a very different way of helping children to write creatively compared to the mechanistic and compartmentalised approaches that the current systems can encourage teachers to use. 

Of course, we are only very early in our findings at the moment and will do more in-depth research on the impact of the approaches on individuals and groups that traditionally get ‘left behind’ but we are excited that our work is showing how powerful pictures can be in supporting children and developing literacy.”

Louise Johns-Shepherd, Chief Executive, CLPE

During the three years of the Power of Pictures project, our independent evaluators have been reflecting on what can we learn about the teaching of writing and working with professionals in our schools. Their findings show:

  • Discussion before writing helps children to have something to say and the vocabulary to say it
  • Giving children the time to draw or express themselves creatively helps them to prepare for and develop writing
  • Teachers understood much more about the writing process having heard authors describe how they developed their ideas
  • Teachers found that when they understood the construction of picture books they realised how much of the story - including information about character and structure - was conveyed in the pictures
  • Picture books are far more than just for the young or less able readers

The key findings provide fascinating and impactful insights that all those working with children should read and consider. Download the documents on the left for the full report and key findings.

Use the free resources available on this site in the Books and Teaching Sequences section or click here

About the evaluators

Sue Horner and Janet White have worked alongside CLPE since the start of the project. Their diligence and experience has really helped us to shape the project to deliver the best possible outcomes for impact on children’s reading and writing. 

Dr Sue Horner
Dr Sue Horner has been involved with the teaching of language and literature for many years. She began as a teacher and then spent years working on national policy related to English, becoming Director of Curriculum at QCA.  Sue has always been interested in what should be taught and how.

Janet White
Janet White is a specialist in the teaching of literacy, literature, and language study. Whilst working for NFER, Janet evaluated several national projects, and as a member of the English team at QCA, she developed materials for teaching EAL pupils and expanding the reading repertoire in primary schools.