Nearly one-third of boys never write outside of class, newly-released research has found.
The National Literacy Trust surveyed 35,000 eight to 16-year-olds to gauge their views on writing and their overall enjoyment of the practice. It found boys are more than twice as likely as girls to say they do not enjoy the pastime - 20.9 per cent versus 8.6 per cent.
On top of this, almost 20 per cent of young males said they would be embarrassed if their friends caught them writing, suggesting there is a stigma around the issue.
The findings demonstrate how important it is for people in teaching jobs to communicate with their pupils, especially boys, in order to make sure they develop a love of writing. The study also discovered a direct link between children's enjoyment of writing and their results at school.
Broadcaster and children's author Simon Mayo wants to see boys encouraged to write both at home and in school, but he thinks finding the right subject matter is essential.
"I wasn't particularly interested in writing at school, I only started to enjoy it later on. If you can grab a child's imagination ... getting them to write about a hobby or something they really enjoy doing then the whole story writing world is open to them," he added.
The report backs up Mayo's comments, as 75.7 per cent of respondents admitted they find writing more fun when they get to choose the topic.
Julie Gibbings, a senior programme manager at the National Literacy Trust, was clear about how important writing is, as she thinks it is central to developing creativity and thinking skills. This is why she is keen for more to be done around the issue of increasing boys' enjoyment of writing in order to make sure they are able to succeed in school.
Posted by Alan Douglas