Head’s Blog: The Importance of Creative Writing

Elmhurst School for Boys

9th October 2020 | Headmaster's Blog

Head’s Blog: The Importance of Creative Writing

At Elmhurst, Forest School has played a hugely important role in the boys’ personal development and academic progress over the past seven years. This was recognised and commented on in the recent ISI Inspection Report which stated: ‘Pupils are excited when talking about the woodland and how it develops their confidence.’ 

I was lucky enough to go to the woods with Year 5 this week and I witnessed the boys using their Critical Thinking skills throughout their ‘free time’ in the designing, constructing and ultimately participating in a variety of activities. I spent some time watching a small group of boys playing on the rope swing, constantly talking to each other about different games to play while one of the boys would be swinging. There was so much to recognise from our vision in the way they were interacting with each other. They took turns on the swing whilst the others all pushed the boy and discussed different ways they wanted to swing. They were assessing risk and working together to make up new rules and adding further activities in, to make it more fun. I was struck by their constant laughter. I was also struck by the level of creativity. The woodland outdoor classroom was clearly stimulating their creative minds. Two other boys dug a shallow hole and covered it with small twigs and leaves to make a ‘trap’. Others were tending to the fire whilst a boy was lashing three sticks together to make a triangle. 

Boys in general, need a stimulus to write creatively and Forest School can play a part in this. Our approach as outlined in our School Development Plan, is to provide the boys with a concrete, pictorial and then an abstract experience in order to support the creative writing process. We have seen these principles work so effectively in the Inspire Maths program and when applying them to English and in particular Creative Writing, we are beginning to see the progress being borne out in our data. The thematic curriculum was also developed with a view to providing the boys with an intrinsic value to their learning where their class reading book provides the theme for all of the other subjects, linking them together and stimulating their interest in all areas of the curriculum, including creative writing.   

In summary, what I am saying is that in order to promote creative writing, boys can benefit from a concrete experience, like Forest School to spark their imagination and from reading books that hold their interest. Studies show that children who practice creative writing more often are generally better in other subjects too like maths, science, and languages. Challenging themselves to come up with creative thoughts and to problem solve, builds the confidence and discipline students need to succeed in all areas of life in the 21st century.

Writing creatively can be a wonderful experience boys can be proud of and it is so important for simply, powering the brain! 

Tony Padfield, Headteacher

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