Creativity, Confidence and Challenge: The Write Team Research Report


‘I’ve learnt to be more confident with my ideas, because sometimes you have an idea that you just sort of hide away, because you think no one will like it, but this has taught me that even if no one likes it, you won’t know till you’ve asked.’ 

Write Team pupil


Write Team Project Manager Emma Metcalfe Writes:


The Write Team was a creative writing project designed to develop pupil confidence and engagement in their learning. The project, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation brought together an arts organisation, local authority and schools to share experience and skills, in the support of those pupils who ‘play truant in the mind’.

(Collins. J (1998) Playing Truant in the Mind: the social exclusion of quiet pupils. BERA).The project aimed to engage pupils ‘who keep a low profile; invisible pupils who are quiet and undemanding’ (‘Keeping Up’, DfES, 2007). The project provided a weekly programme of creative writing workshops led by the Project Coordinator and developed by writers to engage pupils, develop their confidence, and readiness to write. The Write Team lead teachers attended these weekly workshops, and used reflective diaries to record both their own creative writing and thoughts on writing and impact of the teaching of writing. 

Eleven schools took part, eager to use the project to address the ‘guilt that the majority of teachers have about those pupils whose name they still do not know in the fourth week of term’ (Write Team lead teacher) and five of these schools took part in the project for more than one year.  In a local authority with high achieving schools, this project focused on a key area for the Local Authority School Improvement Team, namely how to support pupils who were not achieving their potential.

The programme of weekly workshops were developed into schemes of work by professional writers: poets, novelists, sports writers and dramatists. The aim of the scheme of work was to provide creative activities for the pupils to enjoy and activities that the teachers could incorporate into their teaching practice and share with colleagues. A writer also visited each school every term to work with the Write Team pupils and lead teachers who, by the time the writers arrived, were already accustomed to creative writing.



‘I have been more confident with my work. (Now) I say my ideas even if they might not be right’.

Write Team pupil


Key Findings

  • In Year 1 – 86% of pupils made a link between a change in their perception

of themselves (e.g. ‘improving’, ‘getting better’, ‘more enjoyment’, ‘better at

learning’, using ‘before and after’ statements) and participation in Write

Team activities .

  • In Year 2 – 70% of comments made by pupils made a link between a change

in their perception of themselves (e.g. ‘improving’, ‘getting better’, ‘more

enjoyment’, ‘better at learning’, using ‘before and after’ statements) and

participation in Write Team activities.

  • In Year 2 – 87% of comments by teachers about their pupils made a

link between increase in confidence and engagement with learning to

participation in Write Team activities.


You can download the Write Team research report by visiting the Write Team website here.

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