Wow, what a week! We absolutely love National Story Telling week, not only does it provide us with that wonderful warm feeling of nostalgia, we also adored seeing the fantastic effort that our hard working learners dedicated to bringing a host of childhood classics both old and new to life!
Reading is so very important, with lots of studies supporting that exposure to storybooks from a young age will help to develop both oral and literacy skills. Learning to read within the Early Years setting provides the opportunity to broaden a child’s general knowledge, as well as improving their vocabulary and reading skills for later life.
As such, we set our learners the very important and fun task of engaging the children they work with in a storybook of their choice. Without further ado, we want to share with you our top entries from the competition.
We love pretty ladybirds and we love this story even more!
Taylor Pyne from Newcastle chose the tale What the Ladybird Said to show that even the quietest person has a voice and that sometimes listening is more important than talking.
There were lots of great ideas to help the children be as independent and imaginative as possible. Taylor said:
“This is one of our children’s favourite stories and they always shout out the words as we read along. The children in our preschool room were given the chance to act out the story, I painted their faces and they dressed up in some of our role play costumes to help me bring the story to life.
After acting out the story all of the children were eager to read the book themselves, some of them taking on the role of me and their friends acting out the story.”
Our lovely learner Courteney from Peterborough Busy Bees. She said:
“I chose Three Little Pigs as a puppet show because there were plenty of opportunities for the children to participate. The children helped to paint the spoons to create props and we all went for a walk to collect the sticks to build the house. We had lots of laughs along the way and the children loved HUFFING AND PUFFING”.
Courteney proceeded to ask the children lots of questions during the puppet show, encouraging the children to actively join in by knocking on the floor symbolising knocking at the little pig’s houses. The children enjoyed Courtney’s approach to the timeless tale.
From where we were sat, we have to agree that this Storytime looked like lots of fun!
Abigail from Hertford Hartham Park Nursery chose an absolute classic with ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ and has a deep love of the story from telling it to her nephew. For Abigail’s interactive entry:
The children agreed with her choice and even wanted to do it all again! It is great that Abigail got the children involved in nature and created a nice artistic dimension to using the leaves.
Another fantastic entry came from our learner Carlota Maria Pacheco Ferreira from Busy Bees Daybrook Nursery, with Tyrannosaurus Reg and the Big Scary Dinosaur. She stated that:
“I really enjoy reading this story to the children. It has been their favourite for sometime.
I think that it is a lovely story about the process of growing up, with the main character commenting on his own fears and worries with him finding confidence to face his fears.
I altered my voice going really low and then imitating the dinosaur which took the children by excited surprise. They also had to point and find Reg on the page”.
We really loved this entry because it got the children to empathise with Reg and invited them get excited about their future and contemplate the process of growing up. We also hail Carlota for exploring the idea of empathy.
Once upon a time in a Busy Bees Nursery there was a lovely learner called Abigail Scott who told the tale of Squash the Spider. Here’s how she did it:
“I used a Spider puppet to act out the story; this helped to keep the children’s attention. The children took turns at sharing the puppet. Being able to accept the needs of others and take turns and share resources is important. I then asked the children where spiders come from, what they eat and how they make webs. We went onto do spider activities and complete a bug scavenger hunt!”
We really appreciated that Abigail continued to explore the story even after she finished reading it. Storytime is a great way to get children’s attention and to help them learn in a fun and interactive way and Abigail did exactly this.
‘Uh-uh! Mud! Thick oozy mud. We can't go over it, We can't go under it. Oh no! We've got to go through it! Squelch squerch! Squelch squerch!’
We promise it is nothing to do with our love of this book that it has appeared twice in our top entries…
Being a chart topping childhood classic we couldn’t help but feature it twice especially when both learners did such a fabulous job of bringing such joy to this book!
Beth Woods, our wonderful learner from Headlingly Nursery took the tale outside! With the topic of exploring the outdoors even when it is cold hitting news headlines last month, we were especially impressed with Beth’s bravery and encouragement of getting the children appropriately dressed for the cooler weather and exploring the great outdoors.
Once in their outdoor classroom, the children explored different weathers, textures and sounds. Beth was observed on:
We were particularly impressed with the bear cave that the children worked together to create and would like them to come and make us one!
We were excited to receive our invite to the 'Nervus-Wreck' disco at the bottom of the sea!
Another one of our brilliant learners Charlie Weldon at St Matthews Busy Bees Nursery chose to read the well-loved tale of Shaun The Shy Shark, teaching children the important message of individuality. She was quoted saying that:
“I chose to read this book because it teaches children that it is 'okay' to be different and that you don't have to be the same as others. He meets other shy sea folk and makes friends with them and they become a popular group when they open up the 'Nurvus Wreck'”
This book helps children to see how others feelings are impacted and it also helps them to realise that they should be confident no matter who they are, they shouldn't feel embarrassed or shy. Shaun was not pressured to act scary like the other sharks and is true to himself”.
We were very impressed with Charlie’s ability to approach this topic with the children and we can safely safe that Shaun and his sea life friends know how to throw a good party!
There’s no such thing as a Gruffalo?... or is there?
We had a real treat with our fantastic learner David Sinclair from Southport Nursery when he chose to read both the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s child!
David chose to retell this tale because:
We really liked that David explored all 5 senses with the children and we request that we are invited next time for roasted fox sandwiches, scrambled snakes, Gruffalo crumble and Owl ice-cream! Watch out Jamie Oliver you have a new generation of chefs on the way!
As you can see, all of our learners went above and beyond to bring National Story Telling week to life.
We enjoyed every single entry and want to take the time to thank all of our learners for partaking in our competition and to commend their efforts. Of course, not everyone can be a winner, but we do have to reiterate how difficult it was to chose; however we crowned David Sinclair with his host of mini catering apprentices as our winner of this year’s competition.
David went the extra mile by reading two books and helped the children to explore all 5 of their senses, as well as promoting the ever important message of making healthy eating fun.
Well done David and thank you to all that were involved in making this past week an enjoyable success. We are counting down the days until next year already!
Inspired by the learners why not check out our qualifications and you could be walking away with next year’s prize?