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Why attend a workshop at Ministry of Stories?

We know that students can sometimes find writing in school difficult, but we can help.

We offer the space, support and inspiration to bring the excitement back to writing. Our workshops deliver unique, real world experience for children that translates to positive results back in the classroom.

Every year we work with:

  • 1,000+ children
  • 40 primary schools
  • 20 secondary schools

We offer workshops that:

  • Support every student, with a high adult:child ratio
  • Get them excited about writing and powerfully motivate disengaged students.
  • Provide every child with a bespoke, professional-quality publication
  • Complement teachers’ work in their delivery of the statutory requirements (English framework; May 2015)

 Mentoring

Every workshop we provide is staffed by trained writing mentors. Our volunteer mentors undergo thorough training in order to provide the best possible support and encouragement for young writers.

Each student will have the attention of a writing mentor who can help them get motivated, be a sounding board for ideas or offer some gentle encouragement. This high level of support allows each student to get the most out of our sessions.   

Motivation

We get children excited about every kind of storytelling. Children are genuinely motivated to write, thrilled by the prospect of being treated as professionals and having freedom to create and tell stories. We can work with hard-to-reach groups of students who are disengaged from writing, and get them fired up to put pen to paper.

Magic

In need of creative inspiration or new ideas to use in the classroom? Teachers leave our morning workshops as fired up as their students! We also provide CPD – which can be delivered to departments or the whole school – on using creative writing to improve confidence, motivation and literacy.

 

How our workshops support the curriculum:

We get pupils motivated to write, with a clear sense of what makes a good story and how narrative devices can be used to full effect. This supports the new English national curriculum in these key areas or writing:

Key stage 2:

Years 3 & 4

  • Draft and write, creating characters, setting and plot.
  • Evaluate and edit, assessing the effectiveness of writing.
  • Read aloud their own writing.

Years 5 & 6

  • Draft and write, describing settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating dialogue to convey character and advance the action.
  • Evaluate and edit, assessing the effectiveness of writing.

Key stage 3:

  • Write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information, through stories, scripts, poetry and other imaginative writing.
  • Plan, draft, edit and proof-read.

At the end of our workshops, each of the students leaves a published author, with a sense of pride, achievement and joy.

 

Evidence of need

According to the Literacy Trust report 2011  one in six people in the UK struggle with literacy, which means their reading and writing skills are below the level expected of an eleven year old.

An estimated 370,000 parents in London struggle with literacy, which means around 1 in 5 parents may not be able to read confidently with their children.

Find out more.

Evidence of impact

Following a three year study of our work from 2012-15, the UCL Institute of Education reports that we have a strong positive impact on creativity, motivation and communication skills in the young people we work with.

There was strong evidence from their report that our philosophies and ways of working enhanced our young writers’ ‘creativity expressed through writing’ and they found consistently high motivation as a result of our approach. There is also an indication that our work is having a positive influence on writing attainment. Download the full report here.

Further evaluation of MoS model

Our regular programme of school workshops and writing clubs was evaluated qualitatively by external consultants, and proved a success with teachers and pupils. On average, 100% of primary teachers surveyed rated the Ministry of Stories as a very successful learning environment, engaging children and producing high quality writing. 97% of pupils surveyed rated the experience positively. One teacher commented:

‘I think the session really helped those children who struggled with confidence when it came to writing. They were able to produce something really special that they were proud of and help them to realise they are all good writers.’

A sample case study of an 11 year old girl who attends the after school writing club reveals the following:

“Nia says she did not enjoy writing before MoS. At the beginning, she would try to complete tasks as quickly as possible and wouldn’t open up or allow herself to put time and personal effort in to writing something meaningful; she was keeping a distance, not confident to express ideas or try. However, this has changed. ‘Now, if I get asked to write a short story at school, guess how many paragraphs I write? TEN!’ she says with obvious pride. She is much more motivated to get involved, put time into her work and finish it.”

(Taken from ‘A Whole Mind of Writing: Evaluation Report 2010/11’ by Hannah Wilmot. Download full report here.)