As an experienced primary and secondary online tutor in maths and English, with a special focus on preparing students for the 11 plus exams in Kent, Medway, Bexley, and Essex, I also prepare pupils for common entrance tests, SATs in year 6, and maths and English up to GCSE level. I have encountered a wide range of challenges and successes in helping my students reach their full potential. One particular challenge that often arises is the reluctance of students to engage with creative writing, a crucial aspect of the ‘big write’ process. 
Last year, I faced this challenge head-on with a primary student who not only disliked reading but also struggled to find joy in writing. It was clear that thorough planning and strategic methods were needed to overcome his resistance to writing. The process of preparing for the big write begins months in advance, with a focus on engaging the students' senses and incorporating various language features to enhance their storytelling. 
By using visual aids, scents, sounds, textures, and emotions, I encourage my students to bring their stories to life and spark their creativity. To build confidence, we start with short stories before progressing to longer pieces. It is essential for students to take ownership of their work, so I refrain from reading their stories aloud; instead, they read their work to me. This approach allows them to feel empowered and confident in their writing and orating abilities. Through this tailored approach, I have witnessed remarkable growth in my students' writing skills and overall confidence. By implementing strategies that cater to their individual needs and learning styles, I have been able to help even the most reluctant writers discover the joy and satisfaction that comes from creative expression. 
For some, inspiration flows effortlessly, while for others, it can feel like pulling teeth to come up with fresh ideas. This struggle is not uncommon, and it is something that many students, including my student Veer, face on a regular basis. Veer, a bright student with a knack for understanding complex topics in other subjects, found himself grappling with the challenges of creative writing. Despite his best efforts, he struggled to develop engaging plot lines and dynamic characters, making the writing process feel more like a chore than a creative outlet. 
As his tutor, I knew that I needed to find a way to help Veer tap into his creativity and unlock his potential as a writer. Through regular verbal feedback sessions with his mum, which I do with each client as part of my tuition service, as well as provide weekly lesson plans showing work covered during the session and homework set for the following week, I was able to gather insight into his struggles and develop a strategy to overcome them. 
One of the key strategies I implemented was the idea of shared reading with Veer and his mum, and watching films to spark inspiration. By introducing Veer to the classic film ‘Planet of the Apes,’ I hoped to ignite his imagination and help him see how storytelling can come to life on the screen. We then discussed the characters, plot twists, and themes, allowing Veer to see first-hand how a story can captivate the reader. 
By taking baby steps and gradually introducing new concepts and ideas, Veer began to find his footing in the world of creative writing. With each session, he grew more confident in his abilities and started to develop his own unique writing style. Through practice and perseverance, Veer was able to transform his initial struggles into triumphs, crafting a compelling story that showcased his creativity and passion for writing. 
Veer’s success in the Medway 11 plus test is a testament to the importance of team work, persistence and hard work. 
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