BBC 500 wordsBBC 500 Words competition is OPEN for a few more days, it closes on 10th November,  if you have not taken part yet, there is still just about time! It’s a story-writing competition for all children aged 5-11 years. “Write a story you would love to read.”

WorldBookDay, along with the BBC offers a range of resources to inspire budding young writers.

The importance of reading for pleasure cannot be overstated. Reading opens up a world of possibilities for young writers. They are inspired by the stories they read, allowing them to draw from what they like, and perhaps just as importantly, what they don’t like. This, in turn, empowers them to create stories they genuinely enjoy writing and, crucially, stories they themselves are eager to read.

Reading has a profound impact on a child’s attainment across various subjects, but its influence is most easily applied than in their writing.

The BBC 500 Words website offers inspiration for 5-7 year-olds, 7-11 year-olds, and a Virtual Staffroom sharing the judging criteria, teaching resources, and more. There is even the recording of a live lesson for the 7-11 age band where the judges share their top tips.

Cassie Chadderton, the CEO of World Book Day, emphasizes the transformative impact of reading for pleasure. “An enjoyment of reading,” she states, “helps children to overcome inequality and disadvantage, to have better mental wellbeing and be happier, and to do better at school. It will also help children develop empathy and creativity – the essential ingredients of storytelling.”

Until a child has developed a reading-for-pleasure habit, it may be slightly more difficult to write but they can think back to a book they enjoyed or by imagining a book that they believe doesn’t exist yet. Even if your class decides not to participate in the competition the resources are beneficial.