Posts from the ‘Education’ category

comicbook coverHot off the press is this colourful and creative look at the language of comicbook culture that I produced with Key Stage 1 children at Hollinsclough Cof E (VA) Primary School in the Peak District.

I really enjoyed working in a lovely rural setting with a small class that included children from Reception through to Year 2. They were already in the middle of a topic about superheroes. We had great fun running around in capes and masks as we came up with lots of alliteration, onomatopoeia, and exclamatory punctuation!!!

The children created challenges to overcome including a crazy lego robot, a prehistoric plasticine monster and a massive meteor headed straight for earth. They used the ComicLife app for iPad to make their own strip designs and starred in action trailer we made using iMovie. Then their hand-drawn callouts and captions were combined with photographs of their roleplay to make the finished book.

If you would like a Storybook Creation Project for your school read more  . . .

World Book Day has turned into World Book Week!!!

I’d like to thank all the lovely children and teachers I’ve worked with over the past few days at:

Deepdale Infant School, Preston

St Mark’s C of E (A) Primary School, Stoke-on-Trent

Hollinsclough C of E (VA) Primary School, Staffordshire

You don’t have to wait until World Book Day 2015 – why not contact me now to book an Author Day?

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I’ve just unwrapped the fabulous-looking proof copy of Exciting Writing: Approaches to Mark-Making!

exciting writing coverThis book documents a project in which I was invited to Whitegate Centre to help children grow in confidence and ability as emergent writers. It is packed with lovely images from the project and quotations from the children who joined in the sessions. It considers approaches to early writing by examining the underlying thought processes and the physical skills required. It also explores how to embed learning about writing within the context of imaginative play and storytelling, presenting several case studies of successful guided activities. The chapters feature tried & tested tips for improved learning outcomes across all seven areas of the revised EYFS, along with examples of how well-planned continuous provision of resources for mark-making supports children’s development.

Read more about the project and book here...

Thank you to everyone who attended my workshops at the 2013 Liverpool Early Years Conference last week – and left me such glowing feedback!

Excellent session – very inspiring, lots of ideas to take back to class. Thank you!”

Fantastic ideas with great examples I will definitely use!”

Lovely visuals – some wonderful ideas!”

Really, really, really creative – a breath of fresh air!”

Great ideas for imaginative writing – loved it!”

Really useful, can’t wait to get boys mark-making!”

Fantastic ideas I will definitely use – like the fact doesn’t involve expensive resources too!”

What great ideas – with few resources – but creative/imaginative ones – very organised and great ICT, thanks!”

What an inspiration! Lots of ideas to take back to the setting. Thank you Pippa!”

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Thanks to The Lancashire Evening Telegraph for the photo above of the Reception & Year 1 children of Padiham Primary School receiving  copies of The Travel Writers. I worked with them over the winter on a project aimed at advancing early writing skills, and together we made an original storybook about the power of the written word to transport the reader to different places. All the children featured in the illustrations which were created by montaging photographs of them engaged in role-play with fantastic backgrounds and real writing. Learn more about my storybook projects for schools here…

superwriters book image The Padiham Green Primary School writing project has culminated in this gorgeous comic style storybook. The children had a great time bringing their tale to life through roleplay as they restored all the signs and labels erased by their arch enemy, The Evil Eraser!!! It was wonderful to see so many parents attend the celebration assembly and book launch today, and I was so glad that every child involved was able to take home a copy of their own book! Parent comments included:

Very inventive and a brilliant experience for all the children. I love all the concepts and the writing is perfect for the age group. Very well done!”  

The children have really enjoyed it. Thomas always came home to tell me how much he enjoyed spending time and doing the book. Thank you!”

The children have had a brilliant time doing this and the books are fantastic! The children have been very excited and haven’t stopped talking about what a great experience they have had. Thank you!”

See more about my Storybook Projects for schools here…

beads image I’ve been a enjoying a fantastic opportunity to test out some of my newest storybook concepts by sharing them with a group of 3 to 4 year olds at the Whitegate Centre in Padiham. This project is one that I’m really passionate about!

I introduced a simple story to the group on the first day, along with some associated mnemonic aids, and revisited it a couple of times throughout the project. I was impressed that several weeks later all the children could retell the narrative with the right characters and events, and in the right sequence.

beads image

Read more about my Early Years Projects here…

image children writing on tins

I’m really enjoying this project at a primary school in Padiham, Lancashire. The aim is to help a group of children from Reception and Year 1 to engage more fully with writing by using creative approaches – just my kind of thing!

I start each session by introducing a story narrative to provide a sense of purpose for the writing, stimulating the children’s compositional skills. Then varied choice of tools and media help sustain interest in developing the mechanical or secretarial aspects of the writing process. The results have been outstanding!

This project will culminate in an original storybook produced in collaboration with the children. Fabulously, there is sufficient budget to send a book home with every child…

My current obsession is turning farmyard animals into loveable storybook characters for a children’s storybook series I’m working on. It’s totally top secret still, but I can reveal that the stories each use language and scenarios suitable for introducing maths concepts to children in the Early Years age group.
pippa and cow image

This beautiful creature is part of a small herd I can see from my studio window – I couldn’t resist the chance to make some quick sketches and get some reference photos. I’ll reveal more about this project when I’ve got a publication date…

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I’ve been invited to act as Creative Consultant for a year long project researching the best practice for, and impacts of, introducing Apple mobile devices into six Early Years settings across Merseyside. I’m really keen to be involved with this Digital Journeys project because it promises to answer some real questions about the effectiveness of using ICT with such young learners, whether as continuous provision or in practitioner guided sessions. I am aware that many are sceptical about this…

Too much engagement with this quick-fix technology is making it more difficult for some children to learn to read and write.

Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood

The project is lead by Ann Langston of Early Years Matters who was involved in writing the current Early Years Framework so I look forward to gaining the insights that her experience will bring to our planning, cluster meetings and evaluations. My role will be to provide training to the lead teachers from each participating school to smooth the way as they get to grips with the iPads and iPod Touches that the local education authority is supplying. Aside from “IT support” I’ll be sharing creative ideas about how to integrate features and apps with fun and hands-on activities that will help the children to engage with learning and develop core skills. The best part is that there is sufficient funding for me to visit each setting to provide additional support and see some of my suggestions put into practice…

“If Early Years continues to focus exclusively on traditional forms of literacy, then it will be failing to provide all children with the skills they will need at school and in their future lives.”

Dr Rosie Flewitt, Multimodal Literacies in the Early Years, ESRC 2011

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I had to stand as still as a statue for this light sculpture artwork created by fellow photographer Tristan Brady-Jacobs at yesterday’s celebration event for Curious Minds. I think even he was impressed at the striking results of this image captured on campus at Lancaster University! Thanks to everyone involved…