September 26, 2017

Pop Up’s Senior Leaders Survey (2016)


In 2016, Pop Up conducted a survey of 19 Senior Leaders from 16 different schools in 2016 in Medway, Telford, Peterborough and Wisbech. Respondents included headteachers, deputy heads, literacy leads and heads of department. We are happy to share our headline findings here:
Headline findings:


  • 58% of Senior Leaders said their school needed to focus more on writing for enjoyment.
  • The main barrier to writing creatively was thought to be the compulsory focus on test-orientated writing.
  • The main opportunities to encourage writing for enjoyment were thought to be (i) pupils’ access to more literature and reading more widely; (ii) pupils encountering more authors and collaborating creatively with them.
  • 47% said that teaching visual literacy is ‘very important’ in their school.
  • 53% thought that visual literacy is ‘very important’ in the enjoyment of creative writing.
  • Boys were seen to be the most likely to benefit from a visual literacy approach to teaching.


This shows that there is an acknowledgement among many senior leaders that creativity should play a more central role in a rich literacy curriculum. There is an understanding that access to literature and collaborations with professional creatives, such as authors, can be a positive spark for children and young people, and can lead to tangible outcomes in terms of quality of writing. There is some interest in pursuing a greater emphasis on visual literacy in schools, linking this to creative writing, with boys seen as the most likely beneficiaries of this approach.


Illustration by Riya Chowdhury, Birmingham City University, as published in Rising Stars