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Free Eleven Plus 11+ Past Papers & Creative Writing Samples
Crystal Tuition encourages you to download our FREE Eleven Plus (11+) past papers/mock exam papers/creative writing samples. In the meantime, please also see individual sample questions in our blog:
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We pride ourselves on the detailed feedback we give to pupils on their creative writing papers. At school, teachers simply do not have the time to go over a pupil's work with such attention to detail. We receive very positive comments from parents and pupils as to how helpful our creative writing paper is. Our creative writing expert is Karen Francis.
She has an English degree, has worked in a school for twelve years, assisting pupils with their writing skills and has won a prize for a short story she has written. Karen has been marking our papers for seven years. Such experience means she is able to give very sound advice as to how a pupil can improve their writing skills. We approached Karen to see if she would be willing to offer a creative writing paper monthly. We feel that many pupils would benefit from this. Karen agreed and said: "I think it would be great for pupils to be able to practise their creative writing on a regular basis and get feedback each time. This would really focus a pupil on areas that can be improved upon." Therefore, at the beginning of each month we have set a creative writing task.
The cost will be £12 per paper, payable by cheque or electronically, which we believe is excellent value for money as each paper will receive extensive feedback.
You can use this service as a one-off, or regularly as a means to further creative writing experience and skills.
You may choose a title from any month to submit, and you are also welcome to submit a creative writing piece of your own.
Download the first creative writing task Creating Writing 1 .
Download the second creative writing task Creating Writing 2 .
Download the third creative writing task Creating Writing 3 .
Download the fourth creative writing task Creating Writing 4 .
Download the fifth creative writing task Creating Writing 5 .
Download the sixth creative writing task Creating Writing 6 .
Download the seventh creative writing task Creating Writing 7 .
Download an assortment of creative writing tasks for use at any time Creative Writing Assortment .
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English Creative Writings with Detailed Answers
- Creative Writings Covering Different Styles
- Model Answers with Hint, Plan and Checklist
- Best for UK Schools Creative Writing Exams
Free English Creative Writing Papers & Answers ✍️
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Yes, as a part of the 11+ Exam, aspirants might be required to complete a creative writing exam. CSSE exam board conducts 11+ Creative writing exam. You can practice 11+ Creative Writing papers to get high marks in the creative writing exam.
You can prepare for the 11-plus Creative Writing exam using 11+ Creative Writing papers . With regular practice of these practice papers, you will have a clear idea of what is being asked for the creative writing exams. You can also improve your creative writing skills by reading books by well acclaimed authors and writing short stories or essays.
Topics included in the 11+ Creative Writing exam:·
- Descriptive creative writing - Examples: continuing a story on a given line,ending a story on a given line, diary entry, picture response, describing an object & describing a person·
- Persuasive writing – Examples : charity appeal, book review, restaurant review, letter of complaint & speech
- Narrative writing - Examples : science fiction, play script, gothic.
- Argumentative writing – Example : arguing for or against a statement·
- Expository writing – Examples : instructions, an article about your home town.
With regular practice of 11+ Creative Writing papers , you will pass the exam with a high score.
Examiners mostly look for descriptive language - similes, metaphors, adjectives, sibilance & alliteration. Being proficient in written English will help secure a good score. Students are expected to use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. You can practice 11+ Creative Writing papers to score high marks.
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11+ Creative Writing Guide with 50 Example Topics and Prompts
by Hayley | Nov 17, 2022 | Exams , Writing | 0 comments
The 11+ exam is a school entrance exam taken in the academic year that a child in the UK turns eleven.
These exams are highly competitive, with multiple students battling for each school place awarded.
The 11 plus exam isn’t ‘one thing’, it varies in its structure and composition across the country. A creative writing task is included in nearly all of the 11 plus exams, and parents are often confused about what’s being tested.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the plot of your child’s writing task is important. It is not.
The real aim of the 11+ creative writing task is to showcase your child’s writing skills and techniques.
And that’s why preparation is so important.
This guide begins by answering all the FAQs that parents have about the 11+ creative writing task.
At the end of the article I give my best tips & strategies for preparing your child for the 11+ creative writing task , along with 50 fiction and non-fiction creative writing prompts from past papers you can use to help your child prepare.
Do all 11+ exams include a writing task?
Not every 11+ exam includes a short story component, but many do. Usually 3 to 5 different prompts are given for the child to choose between and they are not always ‘creative’ (fiction) pieces. One or more non-fiction options might be given for children who prefer writing non-fiction to fiction.
Timings and marking vary from test to test. For example, the Kent 11+ Test gives students 10 minutes for planning followed by 30 minutes for writing. The Medway 11+ Test gives 60 minutes for writing with ‘space allowed’ on the answer booklet for planning.
Tasks vary too. In the Kent Test a handful of stimuli are given, whereas 11+ students in Essex are asked to produce two individually set paragraphs. The Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CCSE) includes 2 creative writing paragraphs inside a 60-minute English exam.
Throughout the UK each 11+ exam has a different set of timings and papers based around the same themes. Before launching into any exam preparation it is essential to know the content and timing of your child’s particular writing task.
However varied and different these writing tasks might seem, there is one key element that binds them.
The mark scheme.
Although we can lean on previous examples to assess how likely a short story or a non-fiction tasks will be set, it would be naïve to rely completely on the content of past papers. Contemporary 11+ exams are designed to be ‘tutor-proof’ – meaning that the exam boards like to be unpredictable.
In my online writing club for kids , we teach a different task each week (following a spiral learning structure based on 10 set tasks). One task per week is perfected as the student moves through the programme of content, and one-to-one expert feedback ensures progression. This equips our writing club members to ‘write effectively for a range of purposes’ as stated in the English schools’ teacher assessment framework.
This approach ensures that students approaching a highly competitive entrance exam will be confident of the mark scheme (and able to meet its demands) for any task set.
Will my child have a choice of prompts to write from or do they have to respond to a single prompt, without a choice?
This varies. In the Kent Test there are usually 5 options given. The purpose is to gather a writing sample from each child in case of a headteacher appeal. A range of options should allow every child to showcase what they can do.
In Essex, two prescriptive paragraphs are set as part of an hour-long English paper that includes comprehension and vocabulary work. In Essex, there is no option to choose the subject matter.
The Medway Test just offers a single prompt for a whole hour of writing. Sometimes it is a creative piece. Recently it was a marketing leaflet.
The framework for teaching writing in English schools demands that in order to ‘exceed expectations’ or better, achieve ‘greater depth’, students need to be confident writing for a multitude of different purposes.
In what circumstances is a child’s creative writing task assessed?
In Essex (east of the UK) the two prescriptive writing tasks are found inside the English exam paper. They are integral to the exam and are assessed as part of this.
In Medway (east Kent in the South East) the writing task is marked and given a raw score. This is then adjusted for age and double counted. Thus, the paper is crucial to a pass.
In the west of the county of Kent there is a different system. The Kent Test has a writing task that is only marked in appeal cases. If a child dips below the passmark their school is allowed to put together a ‘headteacher’s appeal’. At this point – before the score is communicated to the parent (and probably under cover of darkness) the writing sample is pulled out of a drawer and assessed.
I’ve been running 11+ tutor clubs for years. Usually about 1% of my students passed at headteacher’s appeal.
Since starting the writing club, however, the number of students passing at appeal has gone up considerably. In recent years it’s been more like 5% of students passing on the strength of their writing sample.
What are the examiners looking for when they’re marking a student’s creative writing?
In England, the government has set out a framework for marking creative writing. There are specific ‘pupil can’ statements to assess whether a student is ‘working towards the expected standard,’ ‘working at the expected standard’ or ‘working at greater depth’.
Members of the headteacher panel assessing the writing task are given a considerable number of samples to assess at one time. These expert teachers have a clear understanding of the framework for marking, but will not be considering or discussing every detail of the writing sample as you might expect.
Schools are provided with a report after the samples have been assessed. This is very brief indeed. Often it will simply say ‘lack of precise vocabulary’ or ‘confused paragraphing.’
So there is no mark scheme as such. They won’t be totting up your child’s score to see if they have reached a given target. They are on the panel because of their experience, and they have a short time to make an instant judgement.
Does handwriting matter?
Handwriting is assessed in primary schools. Thus it is an element of the assessment framework the panel uses as a basis for their decision.
If the exam is very soon, then don’t worry if your child is not producing immaculate, cursive handwriting. The focus should simply be on making it well-formed and legible. Every element of the assessment framework does not need to be met and legible writing will allow the panel to read the content with ease.
Improve presentation quickly by offering a smooth rollerball pen instead of a pencil. Focus on fixing individual letters and praising your child for any hint of effort. The two samples below are from the same boy a few months apart. Small changes have transformed the look and feel:
Sample 1: First piece of work when joining the writing club
Sample 2: This is the same boy’s improved presentation and content
How long should the short story be.
First, it is not a short story as such—it is a writing sample. Your child needs to showcase their skills but there are no extra marks for finishing (or marks deducted for a half-finished piece).
For a half hour task, you should prepare your child to produce up to 4 paragraphs of beautifully crafted work. Correct spelling and proper English grammar is just the beginning. Each paragraph should have a different purpose to showcase the breadth and depth of their ability. A longer – 60 minute – task might have 5 paragraphs but rushing is to be discouraged. Considered and interesting paragraphs are so valuable, a shorter piece would be scored more highly than a rushed and dull longer piece.
I speak from experience. A while ago now I was a marker for Key Stage 2 English SATs Papers (taken in Year 6 at 11 years old). Hundreds of scripts were deposited on my doorstep each morning by DHL. There was so much work for me to get through that I came to dread long, rambling creative pieces. Some children can write pages and pages of repetitive nothingness. Ever since then, I have looked for crafted quality and am wary of children judging their own success by the number of lines competed.
Take a look at the piece of writing below. It’s an excellent example of a well-crafted piece.
Each paragraph is short, but the writer is skilful.
He used rich and precisely chosen vocabulary, he’s broken the text into natural paragraphs, and in the second paragraph he is beginning to vary his sentence openings. There is a sense of control to the sentences – the sentence structure varies with shorter and longer examples to manage tension. It is exciting to read, with a clear awareness of his audience. Punctuation is accurate and appropriate.
11+ creative writing example story
How important is it to revise for a creative writing task.
It is important.
Every student should go into their 11+ writing task with a clear paragraph plan secured. As each paragraph has a separate purpose – to showcase a specific skill – the plan should reflect this. Built into the plan is a means of flexing it, to alter the order of the paragraphs if the task demands it. There’s no point having a Beginning – Middle – End approach, as there’s nothing useful there to guide the student to the mark scheme.
Beyond this, my own students have created 3 – 5 stories that fit the same tight plan. However, the setting, mood and action are all completely different. This way a bank of rich vocabulary has already been explored and a technique or two of their own that fits the piece beautifully. These can be drawn upon on the day to boost confidence and give a greater sense of depth and consideration to their timed sample.
Preparation, rather than revision in its classic form, is the best approach. Over time, even weeks or months before the exam itself, contrasting stories are written, improved upon, typed up and then tweaked further as better ideas come to mind. Each of these meets the demands of the mark scheme (paragraphing, varied sentence openings, rich vocabulary choices, considered imagery, punctuation to enhance meaning, development of mood etc).
To ensure your child can write confidently at and above the level expected of them, drop them into my weekly weekly online writing club for the 11+ age group . The club marking will transform their writing, and quickly.
What is the relationship between the English paper and the creative writing task?
Writing is usually marked separately from any comprehension or grammar exercises in your child’s particular 11+ exam. Each exam board (by area/school) adapts the arrangement to suit their needs. Some have a separate writing test, others build it in as an element of their English paper (usually alongside a comprehension, punctuation and spelling exercise).
Although there is no creative writing task in the ISEB Common Pre-test, those who are not offered an immediate place at their chosen English public school are often invited back to complete a writing task at a later date. Our ISEB Common Pre-test students join the writing club in the months before the exam, first to tidy up the detail and second to extend the content.
What if my child has a specific learning difficulty (dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, ASD)?
Most exam boards pride themselves on their inclusivity. They will expect you to have a formal report from a qualified professional at the point of registration for the test. This needs to be in place and the recommendations will be considered by a panel. If your child needs extra arrangements on the day they may be offered (it isn’t always the case). More importantly, if they drop below a pass on one or more papers you will have a strong case for appeal.
Children with a specific learning difficulty often struggle with low confidence in their work and low self-esteem. The preparations set out above, and a kids writing club membership will allow them to go into the exam feeling positive and empowered. If they don’t achieve a pass at first, the writing sample will add weight to their appeal.
Tips and strategies for writing a high-scoring creative writing paper
- Read widely for pleasure. Read aloud to your child if they are reluctant.
- Create a strong paragraph plan where each paragraph has a distinct purpose.
- Using the list of example questions below, discuss how each could be written in the form of your paragraph plan.
- Write 3-5 stories with contrasting settings and action – each one must follow your paragraph plan. Try to include examples of literary devices and figurative language (metaphor, simile) but avoid clichés.
- Tidy up your presentation. Write with a good rollerball pen on A4 lined paper with a printed margin. Cross out with a single horizontal line and banish doodling or scribbles.
- Join the writing club for a 20-minute Zoom task per week with no finishing off or homework. An expert English teacher will mark the work personally on video every Friday and your child’s writing will be quickly transformed.
11+ creative writing questions from real papers—fictional prompts
- The day the storm came
- The day the weather changed
- The snowstorm
- The rainy day
- A sunny day out
- A foggy (or misty) day
- A day trip to remember
- The first day
- The day everything changed
- The mountain
- The hillside
- The old house
- The balloon
- The old man
- The accident
- The unfamiliar sound
- A weekend away
- Moving house
- A family celebration
- An event you remember from when you were young
- An animal attack
- The school playground at night
- The lift pinged and the door opened. I could not believe what was inside…
- “Run!” he shouted as he thundered across the sand…
- It was getting late as I dug in my pocket for the key to the door. “Hurry up!” she shouted from inside.
- I know our back garden very well, but I was surprised how different it looked at midnight…
- The red button on the wall has a sign on it saying, ‘DO NOT TOUCH.’ My little sister leant forward and hit it hard with her hand. What happened next?
- Digging down into the soft earth, the spade hit something metal…
- Write a story which features the stopping of time.
- Write a story which features an unusual method of transport.
- The cry in the woods
- Write a story which features an escape
11+ creative writing questions from real papers—non-fiction prompts
- Write a thank you letter for a present you didn’t want.
- You are about to interview someone for a job. Write a list of questions you would like to ask the applicant.
- Write a letter to complain about the uniform at your school.
- Write a leaflet to advertise your home town.
- Write a thank you letter for a holiday you didn’t enjoy.
- Write a letter of complaint to the vet after an unfortunate incident in the waiting room.
- Write a set of instructions explaining how to make toast.
- Describe the room you are in.
- Describe a person who is important to you.
- Describe your pet or an animal you know well.
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- Non-verbal reasoning
- Overseas parents
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- Schools & teachers
- Verbal Reasoning
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- 11 Plus Creative Writing – Example Topics and Tasks
11 Plus Creative Writing – Example Topics and Tasks
Schools can of course ask anything so these example tasks shouldn’t be used as stock answers.
Pupils will however find that developing a full description bank of characters, emotions, action, the natural world and the built environment etc will help them to deliver effective and creative descriptions on the day.
Using those description banks within these sample stories will help them to develop their work further and enable them to embed their thoughts so they can deliver properly on the day.
Remember if you are going to tackle any of these sample writing topics and tasks you should always plan to revisit your work a few days after you have done it. As part of the process children who often re-write their work to improve it find they make better progress.
Good resources to help with creative writing are rare. If you need help then we do recommend this creative writing preparation course . Since we started recommending it we have had very good feedback from our users, whether they have used it to prepare for an 11 Plus exam or an Independent entry test.
11 Plus creative writing example topics list
The following topics and tasks have come up in either in grammar school or independent school 11 plus writing tests:
Core themes for creative writing topics and tasks:
Many stories have core themes or emotions or feelings within them. When developing your descriptions banks these are useful areas to think about:
Animals – Typically describe your pet or your favourite animal or an animal you are frightened of. Be prepared to be use literary devices like personification or exaggeration or even simple similes to bring your description to life.
Emotions and feelings – Stories often include a requirement to describe emotion like fear, or joy or what it feels like to be lost or alone. They could easily ask you to describe enjoyment through a title like My brilliant day. Sometimes the titles may overtly lead you in a very clear direction. Lost ! and Alone! Are two previous examples that have come up.
Activities you enjoy doing – This is chance to describe the activity itself ( whatever you like from mountaineering to gardening and everything in between) plus how it makes you feel. Again your development of description banks should have helped you.
The natural world – Could be hills or mountains, rivers or streams or lightning or the rain or the feeling of sunshine or how a meadow looks or a field of wheat. Children who cover the natural world in their descriptions development work always find it useful.
The built environment – Think houses or offices blocks or cottages or castles. Roads and bridges, churches and sheds. Developing some thoughts about how to describe the built environment is always useful.
Story titles can be long or short. Here are some examples of story titles which have come up in both Grammar School and Independent School tests.
- The Day Trip
- The Broken Window
- The Abandoned House
- The Voice in the Darkness
- Write a story with Alone as the title, where you suddenly realise that you are on your own. It may be a true or entirely made up, but it should include your thoughts and feelings as well as what happened.
- Write a story (true or made up) about a visit you make to some relations of your own.
- Write a letter to a cousin inviting him to stay with you. You should try and interest him in some of the varied and unusual activities he can take part in.
- Describe a situation which you have experienced which might also be called A Magical Moment, showing what your thoughts and feelings are.
- Write a clear description of an animal you know well. Make sure you describe what it does and how it behaves as well as what it looks like.
- I prefer Winter to Spring.
- The door and what was behind it.
- The Prince of Darkness is a Gentleman.
- Ash on an old man’s sleeve.
- Write a story that begins with the words – I had been waiting for such a long time for this to happen.
- Write a description of someone you admire. (You may choose someone you actually know, or someone you have never met. Describe them and explain why you admire them).
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Crystal Tuition encourages you to download our FREE Eleven Plus (11+) past papers/mock exam papers/creative writing samples. In the meantime, please also
Owl Tutors 11 + Entrance Examination. English Paper 3 B (Creative Writing). Total marks: 35 (including a mark out of ten for spelling, punctuation and.
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