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Head’s blog

Express yourself!

I have been struck by the opportunities around the school for self-expression in creative and performing arts over the course of this week.

The nursery children have begun a story scribing strand within their learning. It works like this; following a stimulus they create and tell their own story, which the teacher writes down verbatim – with the child – encouraging them to write some letters or words themselves as appropriate.  After the story has been written the child author will then choose some children to act out the story and direct it themselves, bringing the stories to life. The outcomes are incredible – showing that the vocabulary, sentence structure and ideas coming from our 3 and 4 year olds are really very sophisticated. Getting children to talk about, listen to, re-tell and create their own stories and plays is the key to developing articulate young writers. I hope you enjoy the two examples chosen at random.

Year One children performed a dramatization of the story of ‘Lost and Found’ by Oliver Jeffers, having studied this text closely within the theme of ‘Ice Worlds’. The children’s expressive narrative and physical acting skills were confident and heartfelt and the final hug between the penguin and the boy was so real and spontaneous the whole audience applauded. See for yourself in the picture!

Children in Year 2 had a musical journey of self-expression as they spent the whole day composing music and lyrics for an Ice World theme. They collaborated with professional musicians and each other to create some fantastic songs which will be played back to them in an assembly. Self-expression combined with a genuine creative process, culminating in a performance.

Too often as adults we inhibit children’s own self-expression by over leading or projecting our own vision on to an activity. It is great to see children being given the space and time to share their own take on the world and their experiences. Being creative is good for the brain, good for the soul – and great fun!