A PROJECT designed to enable children to explore expressing themselves without pressure was successfully piloted at a school over the past month.

Children at Harwich Community Primary School took part in the project to make writing fun and inspire them to create their own stories.

As part of the scheme, which has been funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery Programme, each pupil received a copy of A Month of Writing Adventure, devised and written by Anita Belli.

The book is a cross between a creative notebook and a step-by-step guide to writing stories, while a daily video prompt uses games, questions and maps to develop the children’s curiosity and creativity.

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And at weekends, there are word-searches, crosswords and word games to stretch the pupil’s vocabulary.

However, the thing the children enjoyed most is there is no right or wrong way to do the daily tasks - and strictly no marking.

Anita said: “I wanted to give the children a space where they could express their ideas in words and pictures without the fear of 'getting it wrong,' and to transform writing from a chore to a joy.”

The pupils “reacted positively” to the programme, which promotes writing fluency and stamina through a set of creative tools which encourage a growth mindset and improve life chances for all children.

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Debbie Byles, the school’s deputy head and year six teacher, said: “The whole class engaged across all abilities. The children found the sessions fun and they loved the characters and found the illustrations particularly engaging.”

Year five teacher Ian Boulton added: “Many children have had a go when previously they would play it safe - all the children were happy to join in. They all loved the fact they had freedom and they couldn’t do anything wrong.”

The programme will be available to more schools in Tendring from September. For more information visit thestorymoles.wordpress.com or contact Anita Belli directly at bellianita2@gmail.com.