Lainesmead is a storytelling school and this provides children with the opportunity to hear a wide range of stories and non-fiction genres. Storytelling allows children to build a rich storytelling vocabulary and a foundation on which to write their own stories and texts. The stories we choose closely match our topics and helps to create a cross curricular approach to learning.
Each new unit starts with the children listening as the teacher tells the story/non-fiction text. This could be told using actions, sounds and objects to make the story come alive. Children then become very familiar with the story through drawing a picture map, stepping the story and then speaking the story for themselves. They deepen their understanding of the story using a range of approaches – through drama, song, poetry and art etc. Within these lessons, grammar is explicitly taught and children are given the opportunity to apply these skills to their own writing.
Children will then re-tell the story through writing or will innovate a story, making changes to characters, places and events. They will also have the opportunity to invent their own stories. Teachers give children time to review and self-evaluate their writing. Editing and publishing our writing is also an important skill the children learn to do. Teachers and children set individual writing targets together so that all children are clear about how their writing can be improved.
In the Early Years, play is very important for allowing children to explore and develop their writing. We encourage children to mark-make in a range of contexts and activities. Through role play, children are given clear purposes for writing and are provided with many opportunities to experiment with writing themselves, both indoors and outdoors.
At Lainesmead, children are taught to use cursive handwriting and this is practised daily. Children develop their phonic knowledge and spelling strategies through daily lessons and activities and apply this in their writing.
If you’d like to know more about Storytelling Schools, then click here to visit their website.