Your child is more likely to want to write at home if they see you writing. Try to involve them in real contexts for writing, e.g., shopping lists, thank you letters, cards, emails to family. Have writing tools and materials available for your child to use, e.g., whiteboard and pens, blackboard, paper, pens and pencils, keyboard.

The Ministry of Education’s website is an excellent resource and has lots of writing ideas suitable for each year group.


At Halswell School your child receives a systematic and comprehensive programme to develop their spelling knowledge and skills through our phonics programme in the junior school and Wordlab in the senior school, so there is no need for you to teach spelling at home. Encourage and praise their attempts to spell words even if they are not correct. “Invented spelling” is a normal and important part of learning to spell.

If you and your child are keen to do some spelling activities at home here are a few suggestions. Remember to keep it fun and enjoyable!

  • Play word games as a family, e.g. , Upwords, Scrabble, crosswords, word searches.
  • WordLab home learning ideas. Use the relevant “Our Words” list below for these activities. Please use words your child has already learned at school for these activities rather than jumping ahead.

Useful Websites and Apps for Writing

Story Starters

Scholastic Story Starters is a fun way to generate ideas for writing. Spin the wheel to find out the genre, setting, and characters for your story!


Storybird is a wonderful e-learning tool to support your child’s writing and creativity.

Book Creator

Book Creator is a very easy to use ipad and android app that lets your child create their own books.

Write About This

Write About This is another easy to use iPad App that has a New Zealand version too. Lots of great images to encourage and engage children in writing.