When writing a story for children that includes a school context, what kind of things should be included? Or better, what kind of things would children like to be included?
The Times Educational Supplement (TES) has published a list of the Top 100 answers given by 2,500 children to the question: what are the things you should have done at school before the age of 11? It’s a fascinating list and gives great insight into the thinking of a child about school life.
Suggestions range from pranks (spin on the teacher's chair) to poignant (learn to feel confident in front of your class), from games (play "Heads Down Thumbs Up") to gross (be sick in the classroom), from showers (run around in the rain) to sunshine (read a book on the grass on a sunny day).
Although the survey was not primarily intended for children’s authors it’s a really useful resource for writing stories for children.
Meanwhile, teachers beware. Other things include, at number 67, run round a corridor corner only to smash into a teacher and, at number 99, throw a custard pie at a teacher.