Parents and teachers

Story Engine is a story writing platform and mentoring service designed to support and inspire children’s creative writing, confidence and literacy.

The Story Engine project is currently testing this beta version with four schools across the UK as part of our research into how young writers can benefit from receiving remote support from trained writing mentors.

Made by the Ministry of Stories, The Workshop and the UCL Institute of Education, Story Engine has been designed with teachers and young people to help year 7s to develop their creative writing and independent learning skills.

All Ministry of Stories programmes aim to engage and support the writer inside every child; we hope this pilot research will also help us understand how digital tools might reach and inspire more young people and how they might complement school-based creative writing programmes.

Pilot research

Our pilot research programme is taking place in May and June 2015. It is a closed beta test with four year 7 English classes across the UK.

Participating students have had accounts created for them in cooperation with their teacher and school. All writing used in the research or appearing on this platform will be anonymised.

The results of the pilot will be published in August 2015.

Staying safe online

The Ministry of Stories is working with the participating schools’ teachers and safeguarding officers to protect the privacy and ensure the safety of everyone involved in this beta test.

  • All writing published on the platform is pre-moderated by dedicated staff at the Ministry of Stories.
  • All messaging between young people and story mentors is monitored and reviewed daily by staff at the Ministry of Stories.
  • Each participating school and teacher can access all student writing at any time.
  • All story mentors are DBS cleared and trained by the Ministry of Stories in MoS safeguarding policy and procedures.

Participants (or their parents) can contact the Ministry of Stories’ moderators any time with any concerns at storyengine@ministryofstories.org and our team will look into the issue.

Resources

For further information and tips on staying safe online, we recommend:

Learning aims & school curriculum

Intended learning outcomes

  • Independence / independent learning skills: Children will demonstrate greater independence as writers and develop and improve their independent learning habits and skills.
  • Reflecting on own writing: Children will learn ways of incorporating readers’ responses into their writing, and to take control of this process themselves.
  • Writing and creativity: Children will increase their motivation to write and improve their creativity in writing; Children will improve their broader expressive and communication skills.

How does it link to the National Curriculum?

Key Stage 3 – Writing

  • Writing accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information through writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences, including – stories, scripts, poetry and other imaginative writing.
  • Plan, draft, edit and proof-read through: considering how their writing reflects the audiences and purposes for which it was intended; amending the vocab, grammar and structure of their writing to improve its coherence and overall effectiveness