Creativity is at the core of reading and writing, at the heart of speaking and listening. So our range of Creative Literacy programmes offers pupils opportunities to explore and experiment with words in different contexts - and appreciate how effective spelling, punctuation and grammar act as the very foundations of language and communication.
Experiential, exciting and empowering, our imaginative and cross-curricular approaches harness tried and trusted approaches from the worlds of drama, visual art and creative writing and are all rooted in the Northern Ireland Curriculum and the Curriculum for Ireland. Approaches specifically developed to support P1 - P7 / Senior Infants - 6th Class children in developing their reading and writing skills – and to boost motivation, build on existing knowledge and enhance progression.
Book Day Assemblies
Assemblies are a great way, of course, of launching your Book Week celebrations - and ours are guaranteed to create a buzz about reading! So while both Bookman and Paige Turner comes complete with their own assembly, we're happy to lead whole-school assemblies at the start of a day of any of the programmes listed below - and all at no extra cost!
A Visit from Bookman - Character Visit (P1 - P7 / Senior Infants - 6th Class)
The world’s newest superhero, Bookman has the extraordinary power of bringing stories to life – and he'll fly into your school all set to help your pupils in doing the same. Armed just with his trusty Book Bag, he'll make an unexpected appearance at an assembly before leading classes through a series of exciting, engaging and enticing drama-based workshops (all differentiated for age). And the outcomes? Connection-making, Freeze-Frames and Talking Tableaux, illustrating key narrative moments from a host of well-loved stories!
"The visit was amazing, Jay (Bookman!) was a fabulous start to the day with his assembly, which really caught the kids' imagination. I had staff coming to tell me they were shocked when he burst forth from the cupboard and surprised the hall. He was brilliant - and I'm especially impressed that he managed to work with children ranging from reception to Year 6s and entertained them all. It's created a great buzz around the school about reading which is brilliant in the week of world book day." (Jeavons Wood Primary)
Paige Turner's Fiction Mission - Character Workshop (P1 - P7 / Senior Infants - 6th Class)
If the characters in our favourite stories only come to life when their tales are read, what would become of them if Mr Noah Magination got his way and had all books banned? Paige Turner is on a mission to save the fictional worlds that these characters live in and she’s going to need your pupils’ help. After introducing herself at a whole-school assembly, she’ll work with a number of classes, using age-differentiated drama approaches to bring some of their favourite characters to life, exploring what it is that makes them so wonderful and what we would stand to lose if we never had the chance to meet them in the first place. This is her only hope winning over Mr Magination and guaranteeing the survival of books and stories for future generations - and that hope lies in you!
Soundscape Poetry (P1 - P7 / Senior Infants - 6th Class)
Those pupils who claim they don’t like poetry will be writing furiously at the end of this magical poetry workshop. Realising the power of “sound”, they’ll design and perform two contrasting soundscapes, working to topics/themes of your choice. We’ll then guide them through a structure supporting them in crafting richly descriptive poems that tell both individual and collective stories in which the "truth" can change with time or place.
“The poems look amazing and I am really excited to send these home with the children who took part in the workshop. The day was a huge success and all of the pupils have commented how fantastic it was. Similarly, the teachers really enjoyed the CPD. Thank you again for such a wonderful experience.” Mapledene School
Scrambled Stories: The Return of Bookman/Paige Turner (P1 - P7 / Senior Infants - 6th Class)
Already enjoyed A Visit from Bookman or Paige Turner? Well, now you can now invite them back with Scrambled Stories! … Your favourite book lover has a new problem this year – because their archenemy has managed to wreck some of the world’s best loved stories by changing tiny details. Imagine how dull the tale of Red Riding Hood would be if the Wolf had turned vegetarian - or how boring Jack and the Beanstalk would become if Jack didn’t get his hands on the magic beans! It’s up to your pupils to save the day, by inserting themselves into the stories and putting them back on track!
The Book Review Competition at Little Podmore Library received record entries this year – but someone snuck in before judging was complete, and jumbled up all the entries! In a series of age-differentiated workshops, we’ll be asking your children to indulge in a frenzy of connection-making, using their knowledge of a range of well-loved tales to make sense of it all!
CSI: Reading Skills
Pupils who tell us they don’t like “reading” are always amazed when they realise quite how much skilful reading they’ve accomplished by the end of this fun and busy workshop. From inference and deduction to skimming and scanning, from previewing to predicting and from context to content, CSI: Reading Skills makes no bones in drawing connections between the everyday skills required to interpret infographics and play computer games and those required to delve into more formal texts.
Specifically designed to support pupils in making those connections between different ways of “reading”, CSI: Reading Skills sees them working in small teams to help out in a time of national emergency – because a briefcase containing some Top Secret plans was discovered on the 8.42 to Little Padworth, destined for an Enemy Power. The only clues to the identity of the traitor are to be found in a pile of old train tickets, recipe, book reviews and faded photographs. If “read” correctly, however, they’ll allow the pupils to discover who took the plans and why. P1 - P3 pupils will travel to Storyland and use their reading skills to work out who it is that's been sending secret messages to the Big Bad Wolf!
"The students, particularly those who don't normally enjoy reading, found a new way to look at stories. They also loved the active trail which was part of the families session." St Peter's Catholic Primary School
Scenes from Shakespeare (P1 - P7 / Senior Infants - 6th Class)
Shakespeare was a superb storyteller - and his stories still survive unscathed today! These exciting workshops, though, take him back to his roots - by taking a dramatic approach to his work. Working with one of our professional drama specialists, pupils will get an actor’s-eye-view of one of his plays - and have a chance to taste the text too!
All of the workshops can be differentiated for age and require a minimum of 60 minutes (although we prefer longer) - preferably in a large space. You can choose from Macbeth, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream - and we’ll leave you with a whole host of suggestions for follow-up writing activities!
How well do pupils know well-loved tales? Having pieced together the key moments of given story in the correct order, small groups then dramatise scenes, culminating in a whole-class retelling of the tale.
Family Literacy (add-on session at the end of the day)
We all know how much family support benefits children's learning. So, our Family Literacy workshops have been specifically developed to gain and cement that support by offering a fun and friendly environment in which parents/carers work alongside their children on activities designed to highlight the joys to be found in books and stories! And, by tackling our Best Books Trail, they'll discover just how much they actually know about the wonderful characters that only exist in their pages! Carefully structured drama activities will support participants to further explore some of these and choral speaking reminds all involved of the playful pleasure in the spoken word.
Family Literacy workshops are available in a range of formats - but if you book one at the end of a day of workshops with pupils, we'll be happy to offer you a healthy discount!
"The families loved the after-school workshop (Literacy Trail), enjoying time with their children." St Peter's Catholic Primary School
Find out more
View our full range of World Book Day workshops here
View our full range of Poetry workshops here