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 Curriculum. Approaches specifically developed to support EYFS - KS2 / P1 - P7 children in developing their reading and writing skills – and to boost motivation, build on existing knowledge and enhance progression.
School Workshops during 2023
These workshops can last between 30 and 90-minutes, depending on the number of classes you would like to take part – and, as they can lead to poems on any subject of your choice, they provide a fantastic way of linking poetry to other areas of the curriculum! After exploring what makes a poem a poem, and the subject of theirs, pupils will be guided through an activity designed to support them in developing their ideas. Experimenting with rhyme and rhythm, they’ll then get the opportunity to write their own poems. Younger children will contribute to some collaborative poetry – with older pupils composing their own verses! And, for extra flexibility, workshops can be streamed into classrooms and/or pupils’ homes.
Spotlight on Shakespeare
Our passion for Shakespeare shines through in our exciting and highly participatory workshops - suitable even for very young children. And, lending pupils our “actor’s eye view” of the plays, our workshops see them up on their feet, telling the story of your chosen play themselves, through a series of carefully structured drama activities. Never afraid to dive into the original text, we explore the backstories of Shakespeare’s characters, how those characters drive his plots - and how all the different elements join together.
Our Shakespeare programmes will this year also be available as live, streamed workshops, making sure that pupils can still learn about and enjoy Shakespeare’s plays – even in this “winter of discontent”. Offering a uniquely “actor’s eye view”, the approaches adopted in Streaming Shakespeare work with any of the texts, exploring a play’s backstory, key themes and principal players. These workshops can last between 30 and 90-minutes, depending on the number of classes you would like to take part - and, in longer sessions, pupils can be introduced to a framework and technique for writing poems about their favourite characters!
Choose from …
Introducing Shakespeare: The ideal way for your students to begin to get to know both the man and his works, Introducing Shakespeare gives an actor's perspective on the writer and the writing
Spotlight on Shakespeare: This experiential and highly active workshop sees pupils being introduced to a number of drama activities and approaches as we take them right through the play, exploring the backstory, meeting the main characters and bringing key moments to life.
Teacher CPD - Top Tips for Shakespeare: Our hugely successful Shakespeare CPD events for teachers take active approaches to exploring ways of working with the Bard with children of all ages. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more – or to book an event at your own school.
Exploring (depending on age, focus and time): backstories, narrative structure, characterisation, cause and effect, simple stagecraft, the roles of verse and prose, iambic pentameter, the power of metaphor, theatre history, “hidden stage directions”, Shakespearean conventions.
Duration: 1 hour – 1 day, depending on focus and number of classes.
"Every year, Jackson baffles me with his energy and passion. His in-depth knowledge of the play, his enthusiasm and professionalism is outstanding. As he talks about himself too, and all the actors he’s worked with and all the plays he’s done, the children are in awe of him. The children in our year love it every year and we will be booking for next year very soon." Hasland Junior School
"Huge thanks to Jo and all the team at As Creatives - the schools in our Manchester Hub have been delighted with the workshops. You have delivered some amazing sessions (as always!). Thank you so much for all your hard work - we really do love working with As Creatives!" Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
A Visit from Bookman
Bryan Bukman is a contented librarian who, with the help of his friend Betty, can transform himself into homemade superhero Bookman – with the power to bring stories to life! Unfortunately, though, there’s just one blot on the landscape … The village grump, hates anything that sparks people’s imaginations – and that includes books! He’s managed to wipe Bookman’s memory clean of all the stories he knew and loved – which is causing no end of trouble. Bookman needs the children to help him begin rebuilding his memory … and regain his superpower! We can plan a timetable that allows up to 7 classes to take part in just one day!
The Extraordinary Adventures of Fillolog! (also available as teaching resource pack from (www.ascreativesconnect.com)
Whatever book our friend Vistie was reading as a little girl (and she read a lot of them!), it always featured Fillolog, an extraordinary creature with an extraordinary appetite for stories. They were there in the forest, as she read of wolves, owls and eagles. They were there in the sea as she devoured tales of pirates, shipwrecks and treasure islands. And they were there in the distance as she read of adventure, action and mystery. Fillolog also had their own story to tell - but now that Vistie has got older, it’s faded to the back of her memory. And that’s where you come in! Because you and your pupils have the chance to help her by writing a unique and extraordinary whole-school story - with Fillolog at its heart!
The Extraordinary Adventures of Fillolog can accommodate the whole of up to a two-form entry in a single day*, comprising an interactive assembly, workshops (one per year group) and follow-up literacy activities designed to put flesh on the bones of the story.
The workshops see children participating in related and age-appropriate drama-based activities before working together to solve literary clues revealing key aspects of Fillolog’s story.
- Nursery children (where appropriate) will be the Locksmiths - literally looking for the key to the story …
- Reception classes/P1, the Story Openers - discovering where the adventure starts …
- Year 1 pupils/P2 – the Explorers - will want to know where the Secret Doorway leads …
- Year 2/P3, the Friend Makers will provide a companion for Fillolog …
- Year 3/P4 classes will be the Questors, searching for an object vital to the success of the story …
- Year 4/P5 pupils, the Intrepids, will need to unravel the threads to discover the problem that Fillolog and their friend will face …
- Year 5/P6 children – the Problem Solvers – will be helping Fillolog overcome the challenge they’re faced with …
- Year 6/P7 classes, the Bridgers, will provide a bridge to the next part of the story by finding a cliffhanger ending to the tale so far!
Poetry Assemblies for Schools
Assemblies are a great way, of course, of launching your National Poetry Day celebrations - and ours are guaranteed to create a real buzz about the wonder of words! So we're happy to lead whole-school poetry assemblies at the start of a day of any of our poetry workshops, sharing some of our favourite verses and providing opportunities for pupils to join in - and all at no extra cost!
A Celebration in Rhyme
Working with up to 420 children to create and perform a School Poem in just one day!
A celebration in Rhyme has been developed to help celebrate the stories your pupils love in verse - by writing and performing a collaborative School Poem in just a single day! After a quick assembly sharing our love of poetry and issuing the overall challenge, children will participate in collaborative writing workshops, usually for a year group at a time. Using our unique “RunAround” methodology, KS2 classes will choose the themes and content, creating the lines as they go - with EYFS and KS1 providing the chorus. And the outcome? A beautifully crafted poem extolling the wonder of stories that’s unique to your school - and that will get its very first performance at a second, celebratory assembly at the end of the day!
Those pupils who said they don’t like poetry will be writing furiously at the end of this magical workshop. Realising the power of “sound”, they’ll design and perform contrasting soundscapes on a text or theme of your choice – then be guided through a structure that will help them create poems that tell both individual and collective stories.
Longer workshops will see them gaining experience in presentation skills as we support them in exploring the most effective ways to deliver their poems vocally.
Exploring (according to age): onomatopoeia, alliteration, descriptive writing, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace.
Duration: 1½ - 2½ hours, depending on how many classes.
“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
What would the world look like from the point of view of a Roman Legion’s eagle figurehead? How would it sound to the gravestone that William trips over at the start of “Goodnight Mr Tom”? What would be the memories of Stonehenge? And what might the clock on your classroom wall dream of as it gazes down on all the learning below? This highly imaginative and interactive workshop allows children to harvest the fruits of both their own and their classmates’ imaginations as they explore notions of empathy to construct some uniquely moving poetry. Longer workshops will see them gaining experience in presentation skills as we support them in exploring the most effective ways to deliver their poems vocally.
Exploring (according to age): empathy, personification, subtext, descriptive writing, contrasts, rhythm, tone, pace.
Duration: 1 - 2 hours, depending on how many classes.
"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
From tiny acorns … great verses grow …
Every tree starts as a seed – a seed that germinates and flourishes. And every poem starts with an idea – an idea that finds its form in words. In both cases, the journey to fruition is an organic one. And while neither topiarist nor poet can know what the final outcome will be until it’s there in all it’s glory, they both shape and prune their creations carefully.
This enchanting workshop supports children and young people in appreciating how a poem evolves from the pen of its writer – and offers them scaffolds allowing ideas and words to take root and grow. We’ll provide them with stimuli to start the process off, enable them to think structurally as they begin to piece their poems together – and emphasise the role that “choice” plays in poetry as they select the words, phrases, similes, metaphors and personifications that best suit their needs.
Suitable for: KS1 – KS3
Duration: 60minutes – half a day
Exploring (according to age): descriptive writing, connection-making, simile, metaphor, poetic structure.
Across both the centuries and the continents, poets have taken inspiration from the outdoor world. And this intriguing workshop gives your children the chance to do the same! Using your own school grounds as a resource in themselves, we'll guide pupils through a process enabling them to see ordinary things in extraordinary ways - and weave magical tapestries of words.
“Thank you again for your work with Year 2 and Year 4. We’ll get loads of writing out of this - and will definitely be contacting you in the future for further work!” The Beacon Primary
“The children loved the workshops. There was a fantastic buzz around the school and as children left their session they said how much fun the session was. Ady was so enthusiastic, passionate and positive - it was infectious!" Bookman workshops at The Willows School
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
Purposeful Writing – With Pirates! - Character Visit
It’s widely recognised that people write best from experience – and this applies just as much to children as to adults, of course. So this colourful programme places pupils at the heart of a fictional world when they receive a surprise visit from our friendly pirate, Captain Morgan – who needs their help in recruiting new crew members for his ship. After meeting everyone at an assembly, the Captain will work with each year group at a time – in workshops that prepare for pupils for writing to entertain, writing to inform, writing to persuade or writing to discuss (the choice is yours). And as they return to class, he’ll throw down a Writing Challenge to help him overcome his problems.
Suitable for: EYFS - Year 6. Up to 60 children at a time
Exploring: speaking and listening; writing to entertain (poetry, short stories, play scripts), writing to inform (recipes, job descriptions, risk assessments), writing to persuade (speeches, advertising campaigns) or writing to discuss (reports for The Pirate Panel).
"The writing tasks were challenging - but the children were enthused by the approaches used!” Holy Family Primary
World Book Day
World Book Day celebrates the joy and value of books and reading – and we’ve put together an exciting portfolio of programmes that does just that! No-one is ever too young, too old or too cool to enjoy a journey with books and stories, so our drama and visual arts workshops have been carefully developed to promote a lifelong love of reading. And, whether you’re looking for a character visit, an opportunity to learn more about well-loved characters through drawing and illustration or some magical ways of inspiring pupils to tell their own tales, you’ll find something to suit you here!
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 skillful 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. KS1 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!
Suitable for: Years 1 - 6 (up to 30 students at a time)
Exploring: generic and transferable “reading” skills; the roles of speculation, inference and deduction in reading.
Duration: 1½ hours – half a day.
CSI: Reading Skills - The Sequel!
Developed by popular demand for schools who have already enjoyed and benefitted from CSI: Reading Skills, this engaging workshop sees students reacquainting themselves with the secret agents they've already investigated. This time, though, there's a plum job going - but only one of them can get it! Confronted with some of the candidates' work, students will need to recall their knowledge of famous books and authors, analyse spelling, read for context and use their powers of inference and deduction to decide which of them should be rewarded.
The Great Grammar Adventure!
An energetic way to actively explore spelling, punctuation and grammar!
We've spent some time perfecting the recipe, experimenting with different ingredients and trying a range of ways of blending them together. So The Great Grammar Adventure gives pupils a unique environment in which to practice and explore spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Chef Grantham Grant makes the perfect Spaghetti Bolognese - but needs to brush up on SPAG skills to get it on the menu. In a series of fast-paced challenges, children will have opportunities to practice and show off their understanding of SPAG - and to help Grantham stop making such a meal of it all!
Exploring (according to age): Spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, paragraphs, nouns, pronouns, noun phrases, verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, fronted adverbials, prepositions, verb prefixes, suffixes, connectives, conjunctions, clauses, subordinate clauses, possession, tenses (including present perfect), cohesive devices.
Suitable For: KS1, KS2
Duration: 60 minutes - half a day
How does a cover make you want to open the book? Through exploring this question, children will create their own unique bookplates – each one representing a hybrid of two of their favourite works!
Suitable for: Years 1 - 6
Exploring: Characterisation, prior knowledge, creative thinking and fine motor skills.