Ministry of Stories boosts ‘Creativity, Motivation and Communication’ in children, says IOE report

7 January 2016

Following a three year review by the UCL Institute of Education, we’re happy to report that we officially have a positive impact on creativity, motivation, and communication amongst our young writers.

A report from the University College London’s Institute of Education demonstrates how our approach to developing children’s writing is having a positive impact on their creativity, motivation, and communication.

The research approach included a unique ‘Creativity Assessment Tool’ for scoring the fundamentals of young people’s creativity; adaptation, originality and value. Results showed an increase in the creativity of young people involved at the Ministry of Stories in general. Where children attended the Ministry consistently over the three years, the study showed a particularly strong increase in the creativity of their writing.

The results come as no surprise to those at the Ministry, whose supporters include Charlie Higson, Sophie Kinsella and David Nicholls.

“It’s been a great year for our young writers, and the research is an affirmation for those of us who believe in championing the writer in every child” says Lucy Macnab, who cofounded the charity alongside Ben Payne and award winning author and screenwriter Nick Hornby “Not only have we been able to see our methods having a positive impact on creativity and motivation, but there’s indication that our work is having a positive influence on writing attainment in education too. We’ll be hoping to expand on those results in future.”

Case Study: Nmeso, aged 10

Nmeso, aged 10, agrees with the findings. Along with growing his imagination and developing his writing, he believes he is calmer and more responsible. As a result, he has moved-up a level in school and even been made Head Boy.

“Writing club could open your ideas up” says Nmeso, “a place where anything you want to write or create you can. Writing is better than just texting…the way you write can show people how you feel.”

Bridget, Nmeso’s mother, observes how his confidence has grown and appreciates seeing the commitment the Ministry has to helping him.

“His confidence has really grown…knowing that if they put their time and energy into something that they can achieve. I’ve benefitted having my son attend the club and seeing the commitment to helping him. It’s helping him with English…he’s now moving up a grade. As a mother, I am really proud of him.

Along with other young writers at the Ministry, Nmeso has had his own story – ‘Andre has a Hard Time’ – published; a key factor in helping to keep them motivated with real goals for real audiences. It’s a technique his mother thinks is significant:

“At this age, to have a book in his name, that is a big achievement. When he gets to secondary school, he can always look back on that achievement. The foundation is laid.”

Nmeso’s success at the Ministry is particularly meaningful for him given struggles with speech at a young age.

When I was younger I couldn’t talk properly. When I was about 3 years old, I had to have my tongue cut, and that’s one of the biggest challenges of my life. Now I can speak better than how I would usually speak. Now when I talk, I don’t feel different, and my voice is the same as everyone else.


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