11 plus (11+) creative writing
Strong creative writing skills are a valuable tool for children. Developing these skills helps children articulate their feelings, improve their communication skills, boost their emotional intelligence and enhance their academic performance.
Whilst key exam boards like GL Assessment, CEM, and ISEB do not feature creative writing in their 11+ tests, some grammar and many independent schools design their own exams that incorporate elements of creative writing.
Even if your child isn’t facing an exam with a creative writing component, honing these skills offers many advantages, from improving their creativity and ability to communicate to enhancing their emotional intelligence and critical reasoning.
In the following article, we’ll explore several fun and interactive ways you can elevate your child’s creative writing abilities.
Encourage them to read more
Reading is one of the most essential building blocks for improving your child’s creative writing skills. Encouraging your child to read and introducing them to a wide range of genres can help them develop a strong vocabulary, understand different writing styles, and become familiar with various literary devices and techniques.
Supplying your child with classic and contemporary novels, poetry, plays, and non-fiction will ensure they have a wide range of resources to take inspiration from.
Engaging your child in discussions about their favourite books, characters, and plots can help them develop a deeper understanding of storytelling elements that can inspire their writing. Asking your child to explain why they have included specific themes or devices in their stories is a great way to get them thinking and feeling confident about their choices.
We have a collection of illustrated reading workbooks in our Examberry Children’s Classics collection that can help your child bolster their creative writing and comprehension skills. These books come complete with activities at the end of each chapter, including comprehension questions, open-style creative writing exercises and fun tasks.
Not only will our beautifully illustrated workbooks help your child become confident reading classic fiction, but they also provide entertaining exercises and helpful tips to challenge their creative writing skills.
Make writing a regular habit
Consistency is the key to improving any skill. Encouraging your child to write regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day or a couple of times a week, can significantly enhance their writing skills.
Establishing a consistent writing routine can help your child practice, little and often, gradually building their writing skills and confidence.
One way to ensure your child regularly practises writing is to offer them daily prompts. These could be words, phrases, or pictures to spark their creativity and inspire their writing. Consider varying your prompts to help your child practice specific techniques, themes or styles. This is a fun daily activity to share with your child and a great way to track their writing progress.
Create a comfortable writing environment
Setting up a quiet, comfortable space in your home dedicated to your child’s creativity is a great way to spark your child’s imagination and get them in the right headspace for writing.
You could fill this space with colourful stationery, some of their favourite books, fun posters and prints, or anything else that helps inspire their writing. Allowing them to help you set up this space and decorate it themselves is an excellent way for them to feel more involved and accountable for their writing development.
Setting up dedicated spaces like this also makes eliminating distractions, like gadgets or toys, easier during their writing time.
Provide them with positive, constructive feedback
Providing your child with regular constructive feedback is crucial for their writing growth. Focus on their strengths and offer suggestions on improving their work whilst praising what they have already produced.
Encouraging your child to keep checking, proofreading and editing their work is a great skill to help them across their academic writing. Suggest that they start by freely writing whatever comes to them and then ask them to rewrite their story for structure, coherence, spelling and grammar.
You could also collaborate on a few writing projects with your child. This will encourage them to share their ideas, develop their communication skills and learn how to take on feedback in group projects.
Share and celebrate their writing
Ensure you consistently recognise and celebrate your child’s writing achievements, encouraging them to persevere on their writing journey. Setting up a rewards system for writing goals, such as a sticker chart, can ensure your child consistently receives praise and encouragement. This can also help you track your child’s writing progress and make them feel more accountable for the time and effort they are putting into their writing.
Public affirmation and positive reinforcement is also an excellent motivator. Encouraging your child to share their work with friends and family or submitting it to competitions can help them feel confident with their writing.
Seek professional guidance
If your child needs extra help or you notice they have developed a deep interest and aptitude in writing, consider signing them up for a creative writing workshop or hiring a tutor.
Creative writing experts, especially those who specialise in difficult exams such as the 11+, can provide your child with targeted advice and personalised attention. They can help to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses whilst developing strategies for improvement.
If your child is preparing for an exam, like the 11+, a specialist tutor can ensure your child is comfortable with what is expected from them in the exam so they can feel confident in their abilities and remain calm under test pressure.
At Examberry, we have a great Creative Writing Course, starting October 2023, designed to help your child reach their full potential in the lead-up to the 11+.