How to Start Preparing For the 11 Plus Creative Writing Exam

Updated:March 31, 2024
Author:Creative Hare

Hello Parents, 

Today, I want to dive into a topic that’s close to many children’s 11 Plus journey: creative writing. But wait, before you roll your eyes and think, ‘Not another academic spiel’ hear me out. We’re about to embark on a journey that revolves around igniting that spark of curiosity in our young writers –regardless of ability. A spark that can pave the way to incredible success, especially in the 11 Plus creative writing exam. 

So, let’s talk about curiosity.

It’s that insatiable hunger for knowledge, the desire to explore, to ask questions and to seek answers. 

And guess what?

It’s not just a whimsical trait or a ‘nicety’. I believe it’s a superpower, especially when it comes to creating successful writers.

Curious children are wide-eyed with wonder, exploring the world around them. They’re not just seeing; they’re observing. 

They’re not just hearing; they’re listening as they dream up their own ideas. This, my friends, is where the magic begins – curiosity.

Now, let’s talk about strategy. 

Phew! I hear you say. Something tangible and therefore understandable. 

How do we fan the flames of curiosity in our young writers, particularly in the context of preparing for the daunting 11 Plus creative writing exam? 

Fear not, for I come bearing tips, tricks and a whole lot of inspiration.


James Stephens

Books: Worlds of Infinite Knowledge

Ah, books – the timeless vessels of knowledge, imagination and inspiration. There’s a reason why they’re hailed as one of the most potent tools for nurturing curiosity. 

So, how can you use books to fuel your child’s creativity?

  • Firstly, it’s aim to introduce to your child to a wide genre of books. 


  • Introduce your child to a diverse array of genres, from fantasy and science fiction to historical fiction and mystery. Audiobooks are a fantastic way of introducing new genres to children in a low-key way, which is super important.

Encourage them to explore different authors, writing styles and perspectives.

  • They might just stumble upon their favourite book, amidst their reading journey.


  • Try to make reading an adventure. Create cosy reading nooks, embark on trips to the book shop together and let your child’s imagination run wild. Encourage them to visualise the characters, settings and plot twists, transforming words into vivid imagery. Lastly, foster discussion and critical thinking.


  • Encourage your child to ask questions, share their thoughts and analyse the deeper themes woven into the narrative. By engaging with literature on a deeper level, they’ll not only sharpen their analytical skills but also cultivate a deeper appreciation for storytelling.

  • It’s important to note that introducing a variety of fiction shouldn’t feel like a punishment. So, if you sense your child isn’t keen to widen their diet of books then go down the audiobook route. You could also introduce some shared reading to take any pressure off your child.

Image Prompts: Painting Stories with Words

Next up, we have image prompts – the perfect catalysts for sparking creativity in young writers. Whether it’s a breathtaking landscape, a quirky character or a mysterious artefact. Images are powerful and have a way of igniting the imagination like nothing else.

So, how can you harness the power of image to nurture your child’s curiosity and creative writing prowess?

  1. Start by collecting a collection of intriguing images – think animations, photographs, illustrations and even abstract art.
  2. Encourage your child to select an image that they feel drawn to the most, one that stirs their curiosity and beckons them into a world of possibilities!
  3. Once they’ve chosen their favourite, it’s time to dive into the creative process. Encourage them to observe every detail – the colours, textures and facial expressions. As well as things they imagine but can’t see within the frame. Ask your child questions to get them thinking, such as:
  • What story does the image tell? 
  • Who are the characters?
  • What adventures await them?

Encourage your child to let their imagination soar, weaving intricate tales that breathe life into the static image before them.

And don’t forget to celebrate their creativity! 

Display their stories proudly, create a gallery of their literary masterpieces and above all, shower them with praise for their imaginative efforts and storytelling prowess.


Revision Guides: Unlock the Secrets of Success

Last but not least, let’s talk about revision guides – the unsung heroes of exam preparation. While they may not exude the same allure as books or image prompts, revision guides can still play a role in equipping children with the vocabulary and skills they need to excel in their 11 Plus English endeavours.

But here’s the secret: revision guides aren’t just about rote memorisation. 

  1. When used strategically, they can become powerful tools for supporting children’s natural curiosity for learning new vocabulary.
  2. Encourage your child to approach revision with a growth mindset – to delve deeper into the topics, to ask questions and to connect the dots between seemingly different concepts. 
  3. Encourage them to seek out additional resources, from online articles and Netflix documentaries to school trip resources. 

By approaching preparation as a journey of discovery rather than a chore to be endured, your child will not only deepen their understanding of English, but also cultivate a genuine passion for learning. A passion that will serve them well, not just in their 11 Plus exams, but in life beyond the classroom! 

11 Plus Creative Writing Exam Preparation

In conclusion, igniting your child’s curiosity is the first thing to work to help unlock their full potential, especially when it comes to 11 Plus creative writing success. 

Through a blend of books, image prompts, revision guides and a big dose of good old-fashioned encouragement, let’s nurture that spark of curiosity! Your child’s curiosity holds the power to their creativity and future success. 


Have a question? I’de love to hear from you! Get in touch via the website contact page or email

All the best in igniting your child’s natural curiosity!