How to write beyond the classroom

Children writing in a graveyard setting

'I don't like writing about pictures but I love it here in the graveyard!'

Children respond well when they get to write in a different location than usual, whether this is:


  • A space in the school not usually used for writing or classes - eg the canteen, a large cupboard, the kitchen, the Head's office…

  • An outside space within school grounds - field, playground, special 'writing' table and chairs with fun implements available outside, tree house, writing tent, a board with magnetic letters, sandpit…

  • A community space - local library, graveyard, park, art gallery, shopping mall, forest, museum, Town Hall…

  • An unusual space, perhaps as part of a school trip - inside a fire engine, a tank, a military ship; at a bowling alley, at a market, on a ferry; or writing-specific venues such as Seven Stories Centre for Children's Books; The Pencil Museum; Discover - the Story Making Centre or Shakespeare's Globe


Wherever you go to inspire writing, make it fun.

Take some themed writing accessories if you can - clipboards, reporter's notebooks, interesting pens, coloured or illustrated paper.


Take advantage of the opportunities for children to experience environments and objects directly. Encourage children to touch items (as long as they are allowed to!) and respond to how they feel. Museums often have artefact boxes available for school visits that can be used to inspire writing. They're usually free to use and you just need to organise it with the museum in advance.


In outside environments, encourage children to engage all their senses and describe where they are and what they encounter as fully as possible.