Governors & 100 Word Challenge

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Are you a school governor who is expected to know about standards? Do you find it hard to get into school and have discussions with staff about the levels children are and should be achieving? Joining the 100 Word Challenge can go some way to helping.
School governors, particularly those in primary schools are more and more expected to know about standards. This is not just to understand what the headteacher tells them but to gather some understanding of their own. This can prove very restrictive given that they are volunteers, many with day time jobs that can preclude them from visiting school.
Once at school, it can be really tricky finding time to talk to teachers at length about the work the children are doing in a way that gives the governor an awareness of what is being produced. It is almost impossible to extend this to having an understanding of how the standards in the school compare to other schools which is a question Ofsted are interested in.
The 100 Word Challenge is a weekly challenge for young writers under 16. They are given a prompt of a few words or a picture and have just 100 words to produce a creative piece of writing. The emphasis is on the creative and once written, it is posted on class blogs then linked to Here a team of volunteers comment on each post.
The impact of these comments has been incredible. Children have not only improved their writing but are more engaged in learning all round. This extended audience is incredibly powerful and has really motivated the pupils. Since the beginning of September, there have been over 7500 entries from around the world.
Team 100 is made up of volunteers who enjoy reading ‘just 100 words’. They come from a variety of backgrounds with many not in education. They are given a set of guidelines to follow and 10 posts to comment on each week. As a comment is just a few words of encouragement, it takes about an hour altogether and can make a real difference to pupils progress.
For school governors, joining Team 100, helps them get more of a feel for the types of writing that children of different ages are doing. Most governors, because of the restrictions mentioned above, see little work from children, so it’s hard to feel connected. Governors who are involved with 100 Word Challenge  start to get a sense of what children can do and this gives them benchmarks to think about when they are looking at work when visiting their schools. It is governor training in the comfort of your own home! All you need is the internet!
Do visit and get in touch with it’s founder Julia Skinner
Twitter: @theheadsoffice  Email:

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