Narrative is a primary act of mind transferred from art to life. It pervades human experience in our dreams, daydreams, anecdotes, jokes and arguments.
Story and meaning making permeate the curriculum at Southfield Primary School; bi-weekly extended writing sessions take place where children in Year 1 to 6 have the opportunity to explore and develop their narrative voice through engagement with high quality multi-layered picture books.
Picture books are used as a stimulus whereby children explore themes, character feelings and the rhythmic pattern of language and vocabulary acquisition. Through the use of skilful teaching and the oscillation of pictures and language, children write an extended narrative replete with imagination and feeling. Teachers combine the exploration of themes with PSHE and citizenship aims allowing pupils to vicariously enter the lives of fictional characters safely and to enter worlds that otherwise might be closed to them. Children as readers share the personal relationships, fears, hopes, failures and triumphs of the characters in the book. Fostering the gift of self-expression is a fundamental aim of this unique type of literacy learning at Southfield.
Teachers’ marking is dedicated completely to meaning and engagement, valuing children’s ideas and inner narrative voice. Overwhelmingly, children gain confidence in writing at length and exploring their ideas and making sense of the world around them and their place in it.