A child's reading skills are important to their success in school and work. However, reading and writing is so much more than that. They are a fun and imaginative activity for children, opening doors to all kinds of new worlds for them. To accompany these skills, children need to learn to be effective and confident speakers and listeners. It underpins learning: "Talk helps children get hold of an idea and understand it. Without that opportunity the information goes straight in one ear and out the other," says literacy author Pie Corbett. Pie Corbett created ‘Talk for Writing,’ a method we use within our day to day teaching, and this has been our main focus during Book Week 2015. Through a variety of creative activities, children have been encouraged and scaffolded in order for them to use verbal language confidently and to really delve into a world of make believe. They have ‘become’ the story, taking on character roles, using actions to tell the story and creating settings in which to perform. We developed this to create wonderful movies so that all of the children could share their stories with each other in the special Book Week assembly.
Being able to express yourself is a skill and gift. By cultivating this capability in children, we, both teachers and parents alike, are giving them priceless power to share thoughts and ideas with the world in a meaningful way, because the joy of reading and the love of writing are a magical medium accessible through having the confidence to talk freely.
This year’s Book Week has been able to encapsulate this creativity and inspiration as we have been visited by two very successful children’s authors from England, The Two Steves. They have written lots of stories for children of all ages. Their books are exciting, action packed, inspiring and sometimes a little scary! The children took part in workshops over the two days they were here at BIS. I observed a variety of age groups within these workshops and they were all absorbed in the animated way The Two Steves told stories using actions, role play and different accents and voices. The children are so excited to read, write and perform stories and it has been wonderful listening to their conversations about how much they enjoyed the sessions and how interesting the books were. To be able to capture children’s attention and inspire them creatively is a gift.
Additionally, this week we also worked alongside Secondary and were privileged to have students from Years 7,8 and 9 visit Primary year groups to tell stories, create role play sessions and offer exciting activities.
Throughout the week, each year groups has taken part in class activities and workshops which were celebrated in the grand finale, our wonderful Book Week assembly. The children sang a fun song beautifully and both the children and teachers alike went to great effort to dress up in elaborate costumes. It was all great fun and a truly inspiring week.
Ms. Kaye Meakin, Literacy Leader