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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:04 am
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I spoke to an 11+ tutor yesterday, after finally getting a number on recommendation from a friend, and much to my dismay I was told that "creative writing can't be taught where as maths can" She went on to say that "Creative writing has to click" and until that happens there's nothing really anyone can do. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

The tutor went on to say that girls' schools particularly the indies in herts and hillingdon would rather take a girl who is fantastic in English but weaker in maths.

Feeling a bit dispirited as DD is the opposite.. strong with maths weak on creative writing,

Can I get a general feel whether this tutor is right. Or does anyone have any success stories of bright DDs who consistently did well in maths but weaker on English and still ended up getting fairly selective indies.

Any replies or PMs much appreciated, thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:51 pm 
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I don't really know the answer, but why would a school select on the basis of strength at creative writing? Not many of the girls are going to become authoresses. Also, it's hard to judge creative writing.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Creative writing can be taught to any child - it takes time to get them to write naturally but is not impossible.

Start with a simple story - plan it to get the sequence of events right and a good plot in place.

Then go back and modify it by adding adjectives, adverbs,etc.

Next step add feelings and more descriptions. Add in relevant metaphors, similes

Once she has written few, it will be easy for her to see what she needs to aim for. Practise, practise and more practise together with reading loads is the key.

Discuss what she is reading especially how the authors treat a topic and develop the plot, the language used, etc. Try to find a book with short stories so she can see how the plot is developed and executed over 2 - 3 pages rather than a book.

It's an art which can be taught but refrain from giving her pre-written sentences, etc and let her develop her own ability so she can independently tackle any topic given to her. It's a long, slow process but keep positive and give her loads of feedback without actually writing out the story for her. Let all the improvements come from her with your prompts.

Good Luck and hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:27 pm
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I DIY'd my DD and this was the hardest to try and 'teach'. But we did exactly what leanmeamum suggested in the previous post. Build up vocabulary and ideas by reading as much as possible, it really will help. Good luck! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Location: Herts
She is talking complete rubbish. I teach creative writing and I have had some students who have started very strong in Maths and weak in English. Some of those students actually found the English paper easier than the Maths paper in the September exams because they had been taught how to approach it. Of course it can be taught. Perhaps she should stick to Maths and Reasoning is she feels that way. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:02 pm 
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I agree with DAO it can be taught. Perhaps your tutor is just saying that unlike maths which is quite straight forward, it is harder to teach. My DS likes reading and is ok at English but whenever he had to write a story would just blank out. However once he learnt the techniques ie how to use connectives, adverbs and verbs it became easier and I think it did to some extent clink. He had to constantly remind himself of the things he needed to add to make the stories interesting and so the wall in front of his desk was full of words and sentences to help, but once he got it it became easier.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:06 pm 
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thank you everyone for such kind replies. I was feeling a bit :( to be honest and feeling as though I was hitting a brick wall.

I will try to implement the ideas suggested. All very thoughtful which greatly helped calm down a worried mother.

So glad I joined this forum.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:31 am
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I agree that creative writing can be taught, but it is a long process. Surely, this is what they are learning as part of literacy lessons at school.

There are techniques that they can learn to use to help themselves when writing. I had a go with my DS when he was preparing for 11+. I used a book called "The Secrets of Writing". It is a Bond book, which helps children to understand what different writing tasks they may have to do, how to improve their writing skills and boosts their grammar and punctuation knowledge. It has been a very useful book, which we still use in year 6 when DS is doing his talk homework for the next day's big write. We use it to remind him what he needs to think about for task at hand. For example, this week, he is going to write a letter. We looked at whether it is formal or informal and how we would then write it. His letter is informal, so it can be friendly, contain personal information, show his emotion as well as explain what is happening to his character.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Location: Herts
Great to hear your school does the Big Write Bromleymum. Our primary started the Big Write five years ago. I think it is a fantastic program but this is the first time I have seen it mentioned on this forum. It does not seem to have taken off the way I thought it would. DG


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:41 am 
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Reading is the key. My DD has been reading full length books since the age of four and now finds English is her strongest subject. The way I look at it, the more you write and the more you read the better you get.


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