The importance of the enjoyment of writing

Guest post from our CSR partner, the National Literacy Trust

Writing is an important skill that we use more and more in our daily lives - can you imagine struggling to send a text, search for information on the internet or write a shopping list?

It is also important in the workplace – the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) listed "construct properly spelt, grammatically correct writing that is suitable for the audience" as one of its definitions of what skills are necessary to be functionally literate.

National Literacy Trust research shows there are clear relationships between children and young people's enjoyment, attitudes and attainment when it comes to writing. Young people who enjoy writing very much are more likely to write above the level expected for their age, with nearly half of young people who enjoy writing very much writing above the expected level, over two-fifths writing at the expected level and only 7% writing below the expected level for their age.

By contrast and almost like a mirror image, of those young people who do not enjoy writing at all, over half write below the expected level and two-fifths at the expected level.

It is therefore really important that children and young people are encouraged to enjoy writing, so that they do it more often. The National Literacy Trust found that 44.1% of children and young people enjoy writing either "very much" or "quite a lot". 26.7% of children and young people write outside of class every day, with another 28.9% writing something a few times a week. However, 25.7% of children and young people say that they rarely or never write outside of class.

Dave Cousins, author of Charlie Merrick's Misfits, and other children's and young people's books, has put together some story writing tips that you can share with your child to get them started. They include how to collect ideas, how to develop your story and the process of writing it. Find out more here.

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