Choirmaster Gareth Malone teaches in a primary school in Essex for one term. His mission is to tackle the gap between girls' and boys' literacy and his final task is to tackle the boys' number one enemy - writing. Gareth sets the boys a daunting challenge as he announces that their end-of-year school play is not to be held in the school hall but at the Harlow Playhouse, which seats 400-plus. The boys who groan at writing even a paragraph are going to write the play themselves, and over several weeks he attempts to ensure that each and every boy has written a part of the play and produced a piece of writing they can be proud of. At the same time he is heading towards a crucial test that will determine the success or failure of his time at the school and whether he has met the head teacher's target of improving the boys' reading age by six months in just eight weeks. When the results are in, they make fascinating reading.