Share A Story
This project is aimed at the children who attend the two Nursery classes at Picknalls First School and their parents.
There are two main ideas behind this project:-
Firstly that by fostering a love of sharing and reading stories and books with these pre-reading youngsters we will create competent, confident readers in the future.
Secondly a desire to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of parents as partners in their childs education by getting them involved and getting them into the classroom.
What's it all about?
Each week the last half an hour of a morning and afternoon session is set aside as a 'Share a Story Session'. Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Childminders join their child and spend time selecting and sharing a story together. There is a wide variety of stories available and each week the 'Focus Table' has a different theme. So far we have had Big Books, pop up books, non-fiction, magazines and rhyming books. The non-fiction books proved to be a real hit. The class computers are set to show read along books and the children take great delight in being quicker than the adults in working the technology. During the session children select a book to 'borrow' for the week along with a Nursery Rhyme activity pack.
The last ten minutes of the session are spent as a whole group singing songs, saying Nursery Rhymes or acting out stories. This is where the parents get involved and they are now starting to organise and deliver this part of the session. We have shared an Australian story sent by grandparents when they heard about the session, acted out five little ducks and made musical instruments.
Most recently we had an extended session and used a small woodland area next to the classrooms to recreate 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' including thick oozy mud, a river and snow!(a bubble blower). Children and adults put on wellies and recited the story as they encountered the various props. It was a tremendous success and has had a very positive impact.
Who runs the project?
Whilst initially the staff at the setting created, started and planned each week as confidence grows parents are coming forward with ideas and suggestions and even leading parts of the session. The children are also getting involved and making their mark on the session.
We had hoped to achieve an inital take up of 30% of parents attending aiming for 50% by the end of the first term. From day one we have achieved far in excess of this and 62% is our minimum attendance with 100% achieved on several occassions.
A very positive impact can be seen in the children as well. They are constantly handling books using the pictures and their knowledge to tell stories. Even when covered in paint it is not uncommon now for a child to appear clutching a book and asking to have a story read to them! Their knowledge of songs and rhymes is thriving.
It is clearly having an impact at home as well as children talk constantly about stories they had at bedtime and bring in favourites to share with their friends.
Hopefully these children will become confident and competent readers as they enter their Reception year fully supported by both home and school. We aim to continue to develop story time and our next project is to look at getting parents involved in designing and making story sacks for the school.