Bestselling author-illustrator Cressida Cowell, Hachette Children’s Group and the National Literacy Trust are launching FREE WRITING FRIDAY on Friday 27 April – a brand new schools campaign designed to encourage primary school children to write for pleasure.
Their aim is to inspire children to write whatever they choose in a designated notebook. All teachers, but particularly those teaching Key Stage 2, will be encouraged to allow children to use a short period of time on Fridays to allow children to free-write in a notebook. Crucially, these books are entirely off-limits to teachers and parents, allowing children the freedom to write whatever and however they choose, without the fear of criticism.
Cressida is as passionate about encouraging children to write for pleasure as she is about reading for pleasure, which has the ability to enhance a child’s prospects. Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that writing for enjoyment boosts a child’s writing behaviour, confidence, motivation and academic attainment.
Download writing advice and tips from Cressida Cowell and the National Literacy Trust at www.freewritingfriday.com and enter a competition to win class sets of The Wizards of Once notebook.
Cressida Cowell said: ‘The idea came organically from the response I give to hundreds of teachers, parents and kids who have asked me in events what I think is the one thing they can do to encourage creative thinking. My answer always is: every child should have one notebook that no one corrects, in which the child writes and draws purely for the joy of it. Children are naturally creative and imaginative thinkers, but can get put off writing by the corrective red pen. In this one notebook, spelling, grammar and neatness should be completely irrelevant – what’s important should be the ideas, and that it’s fun. I also want to emphasise how important creativity is both to individuals’ achievement and to the UK economy – the creative industries made £92 billion for the UK in 2017. Whatever your path in life, though, creative thinking is integral to success.’
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said: ‘A love of writing can unlock children’s imaginations, aspirations and academic potential. Yet half of school children tell us they don’t enjoy writing because they struggle with spelling, punctuation, and knowing what to write.’