Outbox

Storytelling to Aid Literacy

Suitable for both KS1 and KS2, this workshop utilises oral narratives to overcome common obstacles preventing children’s acquisition of key literacy skills, raising the average level and equipping your class to succeed in literacy.


Number of children: 10 – 35
Suitable for: KS1 – KS2
Time needed: Min 1 hour (can be extended for more in depth work; the more time allocated, the more benefit for the pupils)
Space needed: Classroom
Equipment needed: Whiteboards, whiteboard markers, pencils, paper

Content: Do your children have trouble producing elaborated writing? Do you want to broaden the scope of your students’ reading comfort zone without putting undue pressure on them? Do you believe pupils work better when inspired by stories and storytelling? Meeting Ofsted’s new literacy requirements is a real challenge. This workshop gives students a chance to rekindle the passions that make literacy learning fun! Once a child gets hooked on creative narrative play, speaking & listening and reading & writing skills are developed as a by-product to their games.

I work by giving students the space to tap into their own potential as story-makers and storytellers. The human capacity for narrative is hard wired, and absolutely everyone is able to be enthralled by stories and create their own. Storytelling is a foolproof way to lead even the most reluctant pupils into a more dynamic engagement with literacy, and inspire their work for a long time to come.

Benefits:

> To acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of the linguistic conventions of spoken language.
> To appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage, including the (often neglected) oral tradition of folk tales and urban legends.
> To empower pupils to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
> To help children see speaking and listening as an art.
> To appreciate different types of speech (registers) and their various uses.
> To improvise, devise and script drama for one another.
> To rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to dramatic performances.

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WWI Poetry : KS2 — KS3

KS2 – KS3 : First world war poetry workshop, including reading and discussing war poetry and the construction of an original piece by each participant.

Hurrah! You’re off to war! You’ll be a hero!

IMAG0102In the popular imagination of the early 20th century, war was considered dangerous, yes – but also a thing of excitement where young soldiers could win honour and fame. But those who witnessed the front in the first world war found only a hellish stalemate where thousands had to die to win every few feet of muddy ground. The difference between the popular perception and the grim reality was what inspired so many to write down their experiences – and the truth that came from their words was terribly evocative, vivid, and visceral.

This workshop explores poetry and other writings from the first world war. Using a technique used to develop theatre and dance, the students will construct an imaginary battlefield. They will then use words to describe the sensations and feelings they think soldiers may have experienced. In this way they will write a poem by stages, finding in the end that they have a finished piece in which they all participated.

 

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Never Never Land Adventure : KS1 — KS2

Take your whole class on an adventure to a magical island. This workshop focuses on imaginative play, world-creation, and speaking and listening skills.

Number of children: 10 – 35
Suitable for: KS1
Time needed: 30 mins — 1 hr
Space needed: Classroom
Equipment needed: Whiteboards, whiteboard markers, pencils, paper.

 

                                                                                    Content‘Second to the right,’ said Peter, ‘and then straight on till morning.’

At the centre of J. M. Barrie’s magical and beguiling Peter Pan stories is Never Never Land, where Pirates, Indians, Fairies and Crocodiles battle it out on a daily basis. In this workshop children populate, name, and inhabit their own land, starting with their secret den and adventuring outwards from there. At the end of the session the children will have had a great story told to them and also participated in extending one of the most enchanting literary worlds ever created.

‘So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!’

 

What participants learn:

  • To help acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions of spoken language.
  • To appreciate a landmark of literary heritage.
  • To empower pupils to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • To help children see speaking and listening as an art.
  • To appreciate different types of speech and their various uses.
  • To improvise, devise and script drama for one another.
  • To rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to dramatic performances.

 

 

 

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Build Your Own Society

Suitable for both KS1 and KS2, this workshop will help you fulfil your SMSC educational requirements, and provide an excellent springboard for further work and discussion.

Number of children: 20 – 200
Suitable for: KS1 – KS3
Time needed: Minimum two hours, but, for best results, a full day
Space needed: School hall or other large space
Equipment needed: An abundance of paper, felt tips and scissors

Content: Since 2014 schools have had a requirement to promote British Values. This forum-theatre style workshop is an excellent way to help you do exactly this. As well as being a great way to diversify your SMSC provision, Build Your Own Society is an incredibly powerful and memorable experience for everyone who participates. Children absolutely love it, and it has been booked for children’s parties and festivals as well as for schools.

Preeminent play theorist Bob Hughes defines ‘social play’ as ‘play during which the rules and criteria for social engagement and interaction can be revealed, explored and amended.’ Build Your Own Society is the only workshop on the market that allows children to take up the key SMSC concepts and explore them though dramatic make-believe play. We don’t just talk about ‘Values’, we enact them (or fail to enact them) and then witness the repercussions.

A child’s capacity to understand abstract concepts is typically lower than an adult’s, but as soon as the talk stops and play starts, the gap closes. Play is the only way for children to develop a critical perspective of society, criminality, morality, law, and many other important SMSC learning areas. Build Your Own Society gets children playing a free-form game that they are already familiar with (see Bob Hughes 2011 on socio-dramatic play). The facilitators role is merely to highlight learning opportunities and make space for the students to reflect on issues raised while they were having fun.

Benefits:

> Pupils will develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
> Pupils will discover that skills that they already possess can empower them to participate in democratic processes, civic life, discussions of right and wrong, and even political careers.
> Pupils become more confident and articulate when distinguishing right from wrong.
> Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour.
> Pupils learn about the function of the law, the government, and many other social institutions.
> Pupils better understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those in their communities around the school and to society more widely.
> Pupils are able to reflect on the importance of demonstrating respect for their fellow citizens.
> Pupils learn respect for democracy by actually participating in a democratic process.
> Pupils better understand the educational power of play and the difference between games and reality.

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Stories from World Religions : KS1 — KS4

Adaptable for all ages, this is a storytelling performance that can be tailored to include the religions and values that you need covered. This is a fun and engaging way for you to fulfil your SMSC educational requirements and promote the ‘British Values’ of ‘individual liberty,’ and ‘mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs’.

Number of children: Any number
Suitable for: KS1 – KS4
Time needed: 45 min — 1 hr
Space needed: Classroom or hall or theatre space
Equipment needed: 

Content: Storytellers rarely venture into the realm of religious stories, understanding that there are sensitivities involved and not wanting to tread on anyone’s toes. However, this means much remarkable content is left untouched. Delving into world religion’s rich narrative heritage, this storytelling performance weaves together tales from multiple traditions into an enchanting 45 mins that will inspire wonder in all who listen.

Available: Buddhist tales, Sufi morality stories, Stories from the Quran and Hadith, Bible stories, Jesus’ parables, Jewish folk morality tales, stories from the Jewish scriptures, tales of the Sikh gurus, Chinese wisdom stories, stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, the story of Krishna, Stories from the ancient pagan world, stories of saints and holy people, stories about holy women and female religious mystics, stories about atheist martyrs and the fight for religious freedom… and many more!

Intellectually challenging and enriching, this session provides students a chance to reflect upon a range of beliefs and values in the context of an entertaining performance. By placing various traditions and cultures side-by-side, both cultural differences and human commonalities are thrown into relief. This session promotes respect, empathy and religious freedom, values that are important in our diverse society.

A 1-hour session leaves time for carefully facilitated discussion.

What participants learn:

> To understand the place of religion and belief in our lives.
> Promotes the British Values of individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
> Pupils interest in enquiring further into religious history is stimulated.
> Engages pupils in moral questions.
> Gives pupils the opportunity to share their religious views and experiences in a safe space.
> To appreciate our rich and varied heritage of stories, beliefs, scriptures and philosophies.
> To empower pupils to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
> To help children see speaking and listening as an art.
> To appreciate different types of speech and their various uses.
> To enrich pupils understanding of religion.
> To intellectually challenge pupils with moral problems, philosophical points of view, and religious paradigms.

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