Supporting reluctant writers in school

Most children by the age of eight, when they are in key stage two, are able to read confidently for their age but some children struggle with writing. There may be a number of reasons for this reluctance to write perhaps the child has problems with their fine motor skills that make it physically difficult to write resulting in aching hands and wrists or they struggle for ideas, whatever the reason it is the teacher’s job to help and support these children so that they can become confident and willing writers.

The stimulus that is provided to start off the writing is vitally important and different genre work for different children. A picture or short video is a good starting place as this gives the children who struggle for ideas a way in.

Once a suitable purpose for writing has been established many children will overcome other issues as long as they are given praise and encouragement for their efforts along the way.

Some children prefer to write non-fiction which is actually of more use in adult life. Writing a report about an activity that they have carried out in science may be a good way to encourage a reluctant writer or writing instructions for a computer game that they enjoy playing. If a child’s imagination can be sparked, writing will become enjoyable and with more practise letter formation will probably improve.