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Language for life at Mead Infant School

Three reception classes from Mead Infant school developed creative techniques to explore storytelling and develop literacy through personal experiences and imaginative journeys.  The creation of the ‘Colour Action Story Sequence’ model gave the children and their families a framework to encourage continuity at home

Who was involved

  • Three reception classes from Mead Infant school, Surrey, (including a number of children with hearing impairment), with their teachers, Kristy Chalker (lead reception teacher) and Tracy Creasey (deputy head teacher)
  • Creative practitioner: Becci Kenning (Visual artist)

Enquiry

How will children’s oral language develop through utilising creative media to represent their own experiences?

Objectives

  • To develop creative methods for children’s self-expression and encourage their ability to talk about their own experiences
  • To provide opportunities for children to develop creative skills
  • To develop a model of practice that would have a long term impact on literacy skills in particular writing
  • To extend the school’s relationship with the wider community, and in particular with children from different cultural backgrounds
  • To develop children’s self-confidence, their speaking and listening skills and empathy with each other
  • To develop teacher’s skills in using a variety of creative media to develop children’s language

Impact

Children developed their confidence in writing, story structure and vocabulary through creative models of expression.  They learnt to organise their ideas, listen in class, take turns and analyse.  This has had an impact on Early Years Foundation Stage achievement.  The introduction and use of ‘Explorer’ books and the ‘Colour Action Story Sequence’ model has provided the school with valuable resources that teachers feel confident to roll out throughout the school.  The school has evidence for their moderation on Communication, Language & Literacy, and Creative Development.

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We can use them (Explorer books) whenever we want to and wherever we want to.

Pupil

The children’s emotional development has seen the greatest improvement through the children’s greater understanding of the elements of stories and sequencing.

Lead teacher

We made a feeling wall; we stuck our faces on the colour board. They looked different. The faces showed different feelings on different colours – black when I was feeling angry and yellow when I was happy.

Pupil

Red makes me ha ha ha.

Deaf pupil

The visuals have given the children more confidence to speak – visual and aural are intrinsically linked.

Practitioner