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Traditional Tales and Fairy Tales

Embedding Culture and Creativity in the Curriculum

4th January 2010 - 12th March 2010

The Using Cultural Organisations to Raise Levels of Attainment (UCORLA) project based on the theme of Traditional Tales and Fairy Tales aimed to provide reception children with access to both cultural and creative opportunities, with the support of a range of cultural partners, that linked to their curriculum work. As part of the project, Bolton Library lent the school fiction and non-fiction texts based on the theme of “Traditional Tales and Fairy Tales” and The Phoenix lent the school a video camera in order to document the project. The footage was edited by The Phoenix and a DVD of the project was created. In addition, Bolton Hindu Forum and Bolton Council of Mosques visited the school to deliver a storytelling workshop based on stories from Hinduism and Islam. Furthermore, Artists in Schools delivered dance and drama workshops at the school and Activ8 delivered an additional drama workshop. Moreover, Bolton Library delivered a story telling session and Bolton Museum delivered a Seaside workshop. Finally, Artists in Schools delivered a mark making on clay workshop.

The teachers expressed that the project enabled them to deliver a more creative curriculum, which the children responded well to. In addition, the teachers conveyed that the work carried out with the cultural and creative organisations was built on in subsequent lessons. The children had more opportunities to take part in speaking and listening activities, such as role play and the use of the puppet theatre to retell stories. The teachers perceived that the boys particularly were using the role play area more. The teachers added that the increase in speaking and listening activities led to an improvement in the children’s writing, particularly with regard to the addition of more detail. Moreover, the teachers stated that the children generally were more willing to try new experiences as a result of the project.

The project has had a positive impact on the teacher’s understanding and knowledge of the cultural and creative opportunities provided by the cultural partners.  The teachers expressed that the project has developed their confidence in using speaking and listening activities with the children and adapting their planning to cater for the children’s learning needs. Furthermore, they have started to incorporate more cross-curricular links and opportunities for independent learning in their delivery of the EYFS. The teachers also conveyed that the project provided them with new ideas for both dance and drama sessions and ensured that they had higher expectations of what the children could achieve. It has also strengthened community links due to the fact that the whole school and the wider community, including families of the children, were invited to view the children’s work.