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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Jelley

Very Cleever Kids

Recently I was invited to Storywalk with Old Cleeve school in Somerset which was really rewarding. The school is part of the first school system so children move on after yr 4, and for me it made sense to work from the eldest first.

So on day one yr 4 and I enjoyed a Storywalk called 'The Forest Tree King' which is a great little tale with repeating internal form. When back in the class, the pupils rewrote the story elements, after a creative literacy workshop, and then typed them into the Storywalk Engine. Once this was complete, we went to reveal the words in the field once again and the pupils could see their words pop up on the iPads across the field.

The following day was with yr 3, and their story was much simpler and called 'One Fine Egg.' After the trail the pupils pulled this into its neat parts, reconstructed it in their own words and then deployed it again out on the field by typing into the Storywalk Engine web page.

A further day was with yr 2 and this time we read a story called 'The Stealing of the Dray' but then created our own trail under the working title of 'then a crack opened up in the ground'. Of course each pupil had their own location along the trail so when patched back together we had a story about falling through portals. It was open, free and very creative, just what these pupils needed. For me this was great, as the looser story structure, provided space for the pupils creativity to shine.

Day four started a morning's Storywalking with yr R and yr 1, with an afternoon of parents and carers (see top image) invited to the grounds to read their children's creations, and every pupil out on the recreation ground. It's great that all the Storywalks are on common ground rather than a school field as it means they can be accessed after hours or over the weekend by the family and friends. Over the four days we created 18 Storywalks in all, so you could do a huge amount without reading the same tale twice!

Here is the important link to all the pupils' great work.

Visit it with your smart phone at Washford Recreation ground near Old Cleeve School and signposted as The Mineral Line. There is really good 4G coverage, just don't forget to jump into your privacy settings > location services > then set to 'on' > safari > and set to 'whilst using.' Following these simple instructions enabled all the parents to do the walks with their children.

Brilliant days, made so by some great pupils, teachers and an enviable working environment, fabulous.

Get in touch about Storywalks visiting your school here. or via the contact page.

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