The Using Cultural Organisations to Raise Levels of Attainment (UCORLA) project based on the theme of “The Three Little Pigs” aimed to provide nursery children with access to both cultural and creative opportunities, with the support of a range of cultural partners, that linked to their topic work. As part of the project, the Schools’ Library Service lent the school fiction and non-fiction texts based on the theme of “The Three Little Pigs”. The Schools’ Library Service also delivered a series of storytelling sessions based on the story. In addition, Artists in Schools delivered a number of den making workshops and The Phoenix delivered a series of dance workshops based on the story.
The Phoenix also delivered a number of drama workshops at Smithills Hall. Furthermore the children visited High Street Library for a series of storytelling sessions based on the theme of traditional tales and they visited Bolton Museum for a workshop which provided them with the opportunity to explore artefacts in the six world bays (South America, North America, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Europe), look at artefacts made from grass, wood and stone and the view the skulls of a wolf and a pig. Finally, Artists in Schools delivered a number of poetry workshops in order to support the children in creating their own narrative poem based on the theme of “The Three Little Pigs.
The teacher stated that the project gave the children exposure to activities that they had never experienced before such as the dance workshop, den making, the poetry workshop, the drama activity at Smithills Hall and the visits to both the Museum and the Library.
She also expressed that the children have loved getting to know a traditional tale and they have a better understanding of how a story is structured adding that all the children benefitted from the retelling of the traditional tale in so many ways as repetition is a key learning experience for young children, particularly EAL and SEN children. All of the children have been so immersed in the story that even the least linguistically able children have been able to repeat refrains from the story, retell the story and act it out.
The Deputy Head Teacher conveyed that all elements of the project helped to reinforce and maximise the learning opportunities. The children talked about the activities themselves and even children with little English were able to act on the story because it was so familiar to them and it was made both exciting and fun by the cultural and creative organisations. Thus, the staff were able to complete and highlight many of the stages of development outlined in the early years Foundation stage as a result of the children taking part in the activities put together by the project:.