Everybody Writes: writing for real

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When pupils have a clear sense of a real world audience that lies beyond the classroom, their writing is focused and they approach the task with a heightened sense of purpose. That audience might consist of pupils’ own parents, those who shop in the local supermarket, visitors to the public library or perhaps visitors to the school website.

  • Producing a published anthology of children's writing is a great way to increase their pride and motivation in their work - one teacher shares her experience of self-publishing a class poetry book in this blogpost
  • Reporting the news (primary) - see examples of real news reports produced by schools taking part in NewsWise
  • Reporting the news (secondary) - a structured resource to support students in reporting real life events
  • Performing writing for a real audience such as an assembly, showcase evening for parents or at a local arts venue can be a great way to build confidence and students' ability to express themselves
  • Competitions can be a great way to introduce a real sense of purpose for writing - see our latest competition here
  • Writing expert Liz Chamberlain explains the importance of an authentic audience for writing

We will continue to update the page with real examples from schools around the UK. To share your examples of real writing, please email us.

What is Everybody Writes?

Everybody Writes is a universal approach to writing, encouraging a love of writing for all children and increasing the confidence of all teachers in devising original and creative ways to engage children in writing. However, by offering children hands-on experiences to write about and by establishing real audiences for children’s writing, the Everybody Writes approach imbues writing with a relevance and immediacy that makes this approach particularly effective in engaging the interest of reluctant writers as well as giving the most able writers the opportunity to shine.

Key principles

  • Taking writing beyond the classroom: into the playground, community and world of work
  • Giving children hands-on experiences to write about
  • Finding real audiences for children's writing
  • Exploring writing across the curriculum

You can use these principles to create an Everybody Writes project in your school. It could involve staging the discovery of dinosaur bones in the playground to trigger a whole-school newspaper writing project; running a series of after-school workshops for parents and children to write and illustrate a family history book; or setting up a lunchtime blogging club to track the progress of a favourite football team in the Premier League.

Find out more about Everybody Writes.