As part of the Lead Creative Schools scheme, animation company Turnip Starfish have been working with Twyn Primary School in Caerphilly to improve literacy levels.
Linked closely with the school’s development plan and its priority to raise boys’ attainment in literacy, 18 upper key stage 2 boys (9-11 years old) were chosen to take part.
‘Standing Tall’ in the classroom
Chosen because they were either lacking confidence in the classroom or creative habits, the project, called ‘Standing Tall’, aimed to engage boys in literacy work by using a creative approach that is ‘outside of the box’ and very different from everyday lessons in the classroom.
Turnip Starfish worked with the students to initially assess the pupil’s confidence and creative habits, before moving on to develop their drawing skills. Addressing the literacy aims of the project and working collaboratively with teachers, sessions were planned to involve oral and writing tasks, including using mime and emojis.
Pupils are now using what they have learnt to design, develop and produce a graphic novel, which will be showcased at a celebratory event at the end of the project.
'The project has already made a huge difference'
Liz Latham, Lead Creative Schools Co-ordinator at Twyn Primary School said "We have already seen a marked improvement in the pupils as a result of taking part in this project. They have had a massive confidence boost, and their writing skills have taken leaps and bounds forward as a result of the success of their story writing. Their vocabulary choices are improving and becoming more sophisticated. The sessions included giving and receiving feedback, and they are now participating in this aspect with a lot of confidence, something they used to shy away from in class.
"When the project is complete we will reassess the pupils’ literacy skills, engagement levels, confidence and creative skills, but it is clear that the project has already made a huge difference and been fantastic for these boys.
"The teachers involved have recently attended a networking meeting to learn about other projects and share our own experience, so that we can continue to use these creative learning techniques in our lesson planning.
"It has been great to ‘let go’ a little and let the creative process evolve."