A story of success
As part of the Lead Creative Schools Scheme, Michael Harvey, a professional storyteller, has been working with Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch in Cardiff to improve literacy levels.
As part of the school development plan, twenty children from Year 3 were chosen to participate in the project which has been devised in order to raise standards of literacy.
The project is based on previous projects and academic research that has examined and implemented creative approaches in order to stimulate and focus groups that so that they can feel confident in the basic educational skills of literacy that will allow them to access the curriculum in the future.
During the 10 week project, Mr Harvey worked with the group twice a week, listening to stories, creating stories and characters, performing their work and then writing their own stories, with emphasis on vocabulary skills.
Michael said "I have really enjoyed working with the students at Pwll Coch. The skills and attitudes they have developed serve them to become intrinsically motivated, creatively confident human beings brimming with curiosity, playfulness and authenticity. It has been very heartening to get unprompted positive feedback from members of staff, who said that the children's written work has taken a leap forward, and I have also heard that the project has leaked from the school into the kids' home lives which is a rare thing."
'We have seen a huge improvement'
Mrs Pearce from Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch said "We wouldn’t have been able to work with a storyteller and develop this creative teaching method without the funding received through the Lead Creative Schools Scheme. Mr Harvey has been able to build a good rapport with the children and their enthusiasm has grown from session to session. We have seen a huge improvement in the pupils' confidence, and a definite improvement in their writing, oral and listening skills.
"They are becoming more independent and are better prepared and equipped to work collaboratively with one another.
"When Michael works with the children, year three staff take turns to accompany him, therefore giving each of us an opportunity to develop our own skills. We talk to other members of staff during meetings and share good practice. Therefore the ideas will continue on in our weekly lesson planning after Michael has finished with us."