Creative Curriculum

We are delighted that writer Mike Akers remains on our governing body and continues to inspire us creatively. At the moment, he is  working with Fatoum Houssein on story making . Past collaborations with partner artists including Mike and  Sandra Barefoot led to a wider understanding of music, culture  and multi-media responses and to what has now become a key plank of our local curriculum - Non-verbal Storytelling.

Parents and children experience non-verbal stories every time we have a celebration, so about six times per year. We find it is a great way to support children's listening and attention skills, imagination and - strangely enough- their language development. We encourage the children to offer  a commentary  where the 'actors' provide none. Staff members use everyday nursery materials- cardboard tubes, fabric, string, paint - to act out  a home-made story without words. Usually, these stories illustrate important customs in the festival that we are celebrating. 

 

Non-Verbal Storytelling
In 2007-8, Mike and Sandra developed Non-Verbal Storytelling with us. In this technique, we present stories without using spoken words. Instead, we use actions, sounds and props made in front of the children from simple materials such as cardboard, tape and string. Stories are developed in response to children’s interests- for example, the story in the video on Super Heroes- or can be used as a stimulus to introduce a new idea or concept such as fireworks or present giving  in preparation for Eid or Christmas.

We have found that, when the adults stop speaking, the children often start;they narrate the stories to each other. Non-Verbal Storytelling creates a truly ‘level  playing field’ in which all interpretations and languages are equally valued.  The experience is very different from presenting traditional stories to children because, in those stories, there is always someone who knows what happens next! 

Through this approach, children develop  skills of attention and listening, they extend their vocabularies,  build self-esteem (especially when they see their own interests acted out), develop a sense of belonging and extend their creative and imaginative range of responses to everyday experiences. They also develop technical skills with media and materials, including mark-making.  

Parents are often amazed by their children’s ability to sit quietly and listen and watch attentively. We think this happens naturally because the children are interested; attention is not demanded of them.

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Creative Provocations Leaflet - please click below