Young entrepreneur makes learning magic

Schoolboy Crawford Johnston, whose Creative Writing Magic Money Cards have celebrated their first anniversary, and have received rave reviews in The Teacher magazine
Schoolboy Crawford Johnston, whose Creative Writing Magic Money Cards have celebrated their first anniversary, and have received rave reviews in The Teacher magazine

A 14-year-old pupil at Oundle School is celebrating the first anniversary of his business and he’s got every reason to be happy.

When young entrepreneur Crawford Johnston came up with the idea of his Creative Writing Magic Money Cards he thought it would help him understand English grammar.

Now, his cards, designed to help nine to 15-year-olds improve their creative writing skills, are being used by pupils across the country and have won praise from the National Union of Teachers’ magazine The Teacher and the Times Educational Supplement.

Crawford said: “One university professor was so impressed with my cards that he has encouraged his graduate students to help on my website.

“Sales to parents are racing forward, and to schools, too. They are far ahead of where I thought they would be after one year and sales stretch across four continents. It is very exciting. Schoolkids like the cards because they help. They just get it.”

The 56-card set is designed to fit in with the National Curriculum at Key Stages 2 and 3 and allows exploration of simple concepts such as time and temperature, as well as the more advanced usage of metaphors, assonance, alliteration and onomatopoeia.

They include creative structures for different ways to start a short story.

“Money” points are allocated to each card and pupils are encouraged to use as many as possible to increase their winnings.

The cards have been used successfully in primary and secondary schools over the last two years and have achieved remarkable results.

While there are many schemes to aid reading, there are not many that are aimed at writing, and it is thought that Crawford’s idea could have a much wider application than just schools.

Reading and writing are key skills for success in life and not only could Crawford’s scheme find its way into the nation’s 30,000 schools, it could be an invaluable resource for second language speakers and those who have slipped through the educational system, such as prisoners who want another opportunity to improve their literacy skills.