Creativity is at the core of reading and writing, at the heart of speaking and listening. So our range of Creative Literacy programmes offers pupils opportunities to explore and experiment with words in different contexts - and appreciate how effective spelling, punctuation and grammar act as the very foundations of language and communication.
Experiential, exciting and empowering, our imaginative and cross-curricular approaches harness tried and trusted approaches from the worlds of drama, visual art and creative writing and are all rooted in the Curriculum for Excellence. Approaches specifically developed to support EYFS - KS2 children in developing their reading and writing skills – and to boost motivation, build on existing knowledge and enhance progression.
The Great Grammar Adventure!
An energetic way to actively explore spelling, punctuation and grammar!
We've spent some time perfecting the recipe, experimenting with different ingredients and trying a range of ways of blending them together. So The Great Grammar Adventure gives pupils a unique environment in which to practice and explore spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Chef Grantham Grant makes the perfect Spaghetti Bolognese - but needs to brush up on SPAG skills to get it on the menu. In a series of fast-paced challenges, children will have opportunities to practice and show off their understanding of SPAG - and to help Grantham stop making such a meal of it all!
Exploring (according to age): Spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, paragraphs, nouns, pronouns, noun phrases, verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, fronted adverbials, prepositions, verb prefixes, suffixes, connectives, conjunctions, clauses, subordinate clauses, possession, tenses (including present perfect), cohesive devices.
Suitable For: KS1, KS2
Duration: 60 minutes - half a day
Those pupils who said they don’t like poetry will be writing furiously at the end of this magical workshop. Realising the power of “sound”, they’ll design and perform contrasting soundscapes on a text or theme of your choice – then be guided through a structure that will help them create poems that tell both individual and collective stories.
Longer workshops will see them gaining experience in presentation skills as we support them in exploring the most effective ways to deliver their poems vocally.
Exploring (according to age): onomatopoeia, alliteration, descriptive writing, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace.
Duration: 1½ - 2½ hours, depending on how many classes.
What would the world look like from the point of view of a Roman Legion’s eagle figurehead? How would it sound to the gravestone that William trips over at the start of “Goodnight Mr Tom”? What would be the memories of Stonehenge? And what might the clock on your classroom wall dream of as it gazes down on all the learning below? This highly imaginative and interactive workshop allows children to harvest the fruits of both their own and their classmates’ imaginations as they explore notions of empathy to construct some uniquely moving poetry. Longer workshops will see them gaining experience in presentation skills as we support them in exploring the most effective ways to deliver their poems vocally.
Exploring (according to age): empathy, personification, subtext, descriptive writing, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace.
Duration: 1 - 2 hours, depending on how many classes.
From tiny acorns … great verses grow …
Every tree starts as a seed – a seed that germinates and flourishes. And every poem starts with an idea – an idea that finds its form in words. In both cases, the journey to fruition is an organic one. And while neither topiarist nor poet can know what the final outcome will be until it’s there in all it’s glory, they both shape and prune their creations carefully.
This enchanting workshop supports children and young people in appreciating how a poem evolves from the pen of its writer – and offers them scaffolds allowing ideas and words to take root and grow. We’ll provide them with stimuli to start the process off, enable them to think structurally as they begin to piece their poems together – and emphasise the role that “choice” plays in poetry as they select the words, phrases, similes, metaphors and personifications that best suit their needs.
Suitable for: KS1 – KS3
Duration: 60minutes – half a day
Exploring (according to age): descriptive writing, connection-making, simile, metaphor, poetic structure.
Across both the centuries and the continents, poets have taken inspiration from the outdoor world. And this intriguing workshop gives your children the chance to do the same! Using your own school grounds as a resource in themselves, we'll guide pupils through a process enabling them to see ordinary things in extraordinary ways - and weave magical tapestries of words.
Poetry Assemblies for Schools
Assemblies are a great way, of course, of launching your National Poetry Day celebrations - and ours are guaranteed to create a real buzz about the wonder of words! So we're happy to lead whole-school poetry assemblies at the start of a day of any of our poetry workshops, sharing some of our favourite verses and providing opportunities for pupils to join in - and all at no extra cost!
“Thank you again for your work with Year 2 and Year 4. We’ll get loads of writing out of this - and will definitely be contacting you in the future for further work!” (Assistant Headteacher, The Beacon Primary)
“The writing tasks were challenging - but the children were enthused by the approaches used!” (Assistant Headteacher, Holy Family Primary)
Spotlight on Shakespeare
With William Shakespeare firmly back on the curriculum, our highly active and experiential drama workshops are all delivered by professional theatre practitioners. From workshops designed to introduce a group to a particular play for the first time to those developed to build on prior knowledge and understanding, our programmes all give pupils a uniquely “actor’s eye view” of the text – and we certainly don’t shy away from the verse!
Choose from …
Speeded-Up Shakespeare: exploring the narrative of a whole play – in as little as an hour!
Shaking Up Shakespeare: wielding the power of metaphor by relocating Shakespeare’s narratives to well known 21st century television shows!
Seven Ages of Shakespeare: creating and voicing puppets to develop unique performances of Jacques’ famous “All the world’s a stage!” speech.
Exploring (depending on age, focus and time): backstories, narrative structure, characterisation, cause and effect, simple stagecraft, the roles of verse and prose, iambic pentameter, the power of metaphor, theatre history, “hidden stage directions”, Shakespearean conventions.
Duration: 1 hour – 1 day, depending on focus and number of classes.
Top Tips for Shakespeare: Our hugely successful Shakespeare CPD events for teachers take active approaches to exploring ways of working with the Bard with children of all ages. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more – or to book an event at your own school.
“The children got some really great ideas to help them scaffold their own poetry – I loved the use of the senses and soundscapes to help them discover their ideas!” (Class Teacher, Crumpsall Lane Primary)
“Really child-friendly ways of drawing children into text – really fun! I can relate these ideas across both English and the whole curriculum.” (Assistant Headteacher, Knowsley)
Purposeful Writing – With Pirates! - Character Visit
It’s widely recognised that people write best from experience – and this applies just as much to children as to adults, of course. So this colourful programme places pupils at the heart of a fictional world when they receive a surprise visit from our friendly pirate, Captain Morgan – who needs their help in recruiting new crew members for his ship. After meeting everyone at an assembly, the Captain will work with each year group at a time – in workshops that prepare for pupils for writing to entertain, writing to inform, writing to persuade or writing to discuss (the choice is yours). And as they return to class, he’ll throw down a Writing Challenge to help him overcome his problems.
Suitable for: EYFS - Year 6. Up to 60 children at a time
Exploring (according to age): speaking and listening; writing to entertain (poetry, short stories, play scripts), writing to inform (recipes, job descriptions, risk assessments), writing to persuade (speeches, advertising campaigns) or writing to discuss (reports for The Pirate Panel).
World Book Day 2019 - The Extraordinary World of Books
World Book Day celebrates the joy and value of books and reading – and we’ve put together an exciting portfolio of programmes that does just that! No-one is ever too young, too old or too cool to enjoy a journey with books and stories, so our drama and visual arts workshops have been carefully developed to promote a lifelong love of reading. And, whether you’re looking for a character visit, an opportunity to learn more about well-loved characters through drawing and illustration or some magical ways of inspiring pupils to tell their own tales, you’ll find something to suit you here! click here to view the full list of World Book Day workshops.
Outdoor Literacy - CSI: Bookmark
We've got a problem - someone has jumbled up all the entries to a competition for book lovers, and we can't work out who the winner is! Revelling in the fresh air, and recalling a host of stories and books set wholly or partly outdoors, your pupils will link objects they find to fictional characters and, in a frenzy of connection making, save the day!
And Don’t Forget … we’re also experienced in designing and delivering Outdoor Learning programmes for teachers, including twilights, half days and full days!
CSI: Reading Skills
Pupils who tell us they don’t like “reading” are always amazed when they realise quite how much skilful reading they’ve accomplished by the end of this fun and busy workshop. From inference and deduction to skimming and scanning, from previewing to predicting and from context to content, CSI: Reading Skills makes no bones in drawing connections between the everyday skills required to interpret infographics and play computer games and those required to delve into more formal texts.
Specifically designed to support pupils in making those connections between different ways of “reading”, CSI: Reading Skills sees them working in small teams to help out in a time of national emergency – because a briefcase containing some Top Secret plans was discovered on the 8.42 to Little Padworth, destined for an Enemy Power. The only clues to the identity of the traitor are to be found in a pile of old train tickets, recipe, book reviews and faded photographs. If “read” correctly, however, they’ll allow the pupils to discover who took the plans and why. KS1 pupils will travel to Storyland and use their reading skills to work out who it is that's been sending secret messages to the Big Bad Wolf!
Suitable for: Years 1 - 6 (up to 30 students at a time)
Exploring: generic and transferable “reading” skills; the roles of speculation, inference and deduction in reading.
Duration: 1½ hours – half a day.
How does a cover make you want to open the book? Through exploring this questions, children will create their own unique bookplates – each one representing a hybrid of two of their favourite works!
Suitable for: Years 1 - 6
Exploring: Characterisation, prior knowledge, creative thinking and fine motor skills.
“Open-ended ideas that we hadn’t thought of before – what a fantastic resource!” (Teacher, Primary Education Centre, Liverpool)
“The activities were differentiated to accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities – and were all hugely engaging!” (Pastoral Leader, Parklands High School)