One of the main aims for the project was for all staff to work on an area within maths and literacy, that they felt inspired by, confident and enjoyed the most, with the hope this would build their confidence in their abilities to teach maths and literacy. Each staff member would choose a book and plan activities for their key children to participate in and the book would be changed every 2 weeks. One of the books that were chosen by a staff member was ‘Oh no George’ and we extended the opportunity by taking a small group of children to the theatre to see the live show. We selected the children who we felt this would most benefit and where this opportunity would support their literacy and maths skills, as well as build their confidence and resilience. Each staff member also highlighted which area’s within maths and literacy they feel they need support with.
Literacy was the most common area staff felt they need support in, so we booked some literacy training (Story telling) and staff have been using different techniques and activity ideas from the training, within their practice. One of the main things staff have changed since this training is reducing the number of books within the room at any one time. We have seen this repetition of a smaller number of books has impacted the children hugely. The children have been more engaged with books the more they have been read, some children have been showing increased confidence by asking questions and telling us what they notice, and we believe this is from the amount of exposure the children have had to the same books has enabled them to become familiar. The literacy training has also supported staff with mathematics because part of the storytelling session spoke about the use of mathematical language and exposing children to new language, for example instead of saying big or large, using words like enormous and gigantic, which I have observed staff using more and more.
As part of the project the Opportunity Area has delivered frequent training for those participating in the project. Some of the training that Laura found beneficial she put into a presentation and delivered training to the entire team. Peer observations are completed monthly amongst staff, this ensures that each member of the team is working at an outstanding standard and supports them with their confidence and areas to improve on, ensuring better outcomes for the children. We created Maths and literacy home learning bags which the families have just started taking home. There is a list of activities they can use to support them with their home learning or they can use them how they feel would be most beneficial