Writing enjoyment, behaviours and attitudes in 8 to 11-year-olds in 2017-18

Added 25 Apr 2018

In this report, we look at how many pupils aged 8 to 11 enjoy writing, how often they write in their free time and whether they face any barriers to writing. 

The report uses data from 9,170 pupils aged 8 to 11 who answered writing questions as part of our Annual Literacy Survey that we conducted between November 2017 and January 2018. 

Key findings:

  • Compared with last year, fewer children say that they enjoy writing (68.5% vs 69.6%) and that they write something outside school on a daily basis (22.1% vs 24.1%)
  • Whilst the majority of pupils believe writing is fun (65.9%) or cool (60.2%), many children face significant barriers to writing, including having trouble deciding what to write (45.5%), struggling with spelling and punctuation (34.7%) and finding writing in itself difficult (19.4%)
  • These barriers to writing are more pronounced for children who don’t enjoy writing

Our report supports the launch of Cressida Cowell’s Free Writing Friday campaign, which aims to encourage more primary school children to write for pleasure.