Llanrhidian Primary School is situated on the North of the Gower in a rural setting with 127 attending the school. Sixteen percent of the children in the school are on the special educational needs register for a range of speech and language difficulties. The school wanted to use any new strategies it could in any appropriate way that to support these needs in the life of the school.
Mrs. Joseph as class teacher of a mixed year 4 and 5 class wanted to improve the children’s ability to write creatively using a story telling approach pioneered by Pie Corbett. Mrs. Joseph wanted the children to be supported not just by the actions and text when re-telling the story orally but wanted to use ICT to support the children when they were re-writing it too. Mrs. Joseph hoped that by combining the story telling approach with the motivational and supportive use of ICT, the standards of writing within the class would improve.
Firstly the children went through the ‘getting to know the story’ phase from using actions set in the approach to re-enact the story that the teacher had chosen and had collaboratively drawn out the story map so that the children were then ready to ‘innovate’ using the story pattern so that they could adapt the story to their own uses.
The 2Simple software package called 2Create a Story was used then to support the children in rewriting their ‘innovated’ story. The children worked independently at the computers to type original text straight into the package using just their story board to help them. This process took a while to complete but meant that that children had to further develop and reinforce their ICT skills of opening, editing and saving documents correctly.
When the children had completed their writing they then set about using their creative skills to draw out illustrations into the 2Create a Story package which some children chose to animate and add sounds to enhance the story for the audience.
The completed stories were then saved and displayed to the class using a multimedia projector and smart board to control the page movements with the support of the class teacher.
The story telling approach has benefited the children’s writing considerably as they don’t have to worry about ‘making up’ a story as they base their new ‘innovated’ story on one that they have become familiar with through a range of strategies in class. The use of ICT has supported the children in their writing up and expressing of their new ‘innovated’ strategy by taking pressure off the presentation aspect and giving support with spelling difficulties.
The use of 2Create a Story which gives the ability for the children to illustrate the text on the page by using an illustration of their own creating added to the support the child received when they were reading their new story to the class as there were visual cues that the child had made to help them when they were reading the text that they had created.
The children were very motivated when using ICT and found that it helped them with their presentation which made it easier for others to understand what they had written when the time came to share their work.