Tag: nursery

Falkirk Storylines Shared at International Conference

WP_20150329_002Teachers and senior managers from Kinnaird and Moray Primary Schools shared their use of the storyline approach at the 6th International Storyline Conference on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March 2015. Gemma Douglas and Brenda Bennie presented their global storyline practice with teachers from Glasgow schools and the West of Scotland Development Education Centre (WOSDEC). Ashley Thomson, teacher at Limerigg PS prepared the Falkirk contribution with Gemma, but was unable to attend due to illness and Brenda thankfully stepped in. Everyone involved shared the powerful impact of the Global Storyline training on the 14 teachers involved and their pupils. Feedback from the workshop delivered on Saturday was very positive, and the delegates attending engaged fully with the practical elements built in to help them understand how powerful this interdisciplinary learning is. Click here and here to read previous blog posts with more information about these storylines.


Lynda MacDonald, DHT, Gillian Brodie, PT, and class teachers Alison Feasby and Simran Multani also shared their development of storyline within Moray PS. In their  session entitled “One School Telling Many Stories”, this team described the storyline journey taken by their whole school community over the last 2 sessions. During this time a small group of teachers have worked with and championed the storyline approach. Session 2013-14 saw every class embarking on a Storyline at the same time; their classrooms and playrooms were filled with vivid representations of characters, settings, plots and an abundance of new learning. In April 2014, all stages from nursery to Primary 7 celebrated and shared “Telling Many Stories” with parents, grandparents and other special guests. The school journey continues this session 2014-15 with an aim to improve practice and achieve greater consistency across the whole school and a drive to build in progression of skills across learning. The pictures above and below come from the nursery storyline floorbook.  WP_20150328_004

At the conference, Lynda and colleagues made connections with 2 schools in the USA whom they plan to share practice with next year – there will be opportunities to link classes and storylines across the Atlantic which is very exciting for everyone involved.

Falkirk teachers are recognised for their use of the storyline approach to deliver powerful and engaging interdisciplinary learning. It was wonderful to see this practice being shared with an international audience – maybe we will have even more to share at the next International Storyline Conference in Istanbul in 2018!


Kinneil Nursery Class Try Storyline

Clare Doherty and the nursery team at Kinneil Primary used the storyline approach during January 2014 to explore aspects of Health and Well-Being, Literacy and Technology. This project began in response to some reading about dinosaurs and their eggs. The children were obviously interested in creatures which came from eggs and the team explored how their storyline might work. Yvonne McBlain provided some advice and a storyline plan based around a dragon’s egg, which Clare and the team adapted for their purposes. The children “discovered” a large egg in the nursery one day – click here to see some of the “egg” research they then did. They couldn’t decide whether their egg needed to be kept warm or cold, so built one nest indoors, and another outdoors just in case. The staff used a series of letters from the “mother” of the egg, to direct the children towards their research and HWB skill and knowledge development. Activities around the nursery were linked to the context throughout and enabled the children to develop small motor skills using a range of materials. When the egg finally hatched, and the children were able to see the creature, they decided he looked like the character from the book they were reading during their Scottish studies. He therefore became Hamish McHaggis and staff were then able to link him effectively to Burns teaching and learning. Clare felt that one of the benefits of the storyline was to make these Hamish books more accessible to the children.

In order to bring the storyline to a satisfactory conclusion for the children, staff delivered a letter from Hamish’s mum explaining that just after Chinese New Year, Hamish had to join her in Hong Kong. Click here to take a look at the children’s mind map of what he would need to pack for the journey. On 31st January, the storyline finished with a celebration where the children waved goodbye to Hamish.  

This storyline engaged most pupils by choice and linked very well into literacy week. Click here and here to see writing by some of the afternoon children who were keen to complete their booklets so Hamish could take them with him on his journey. The storyline provided an interdisciplinary learning context which proved to be very responsive to the children’s interests and to the seasonal learning often delivered at this time of year. It also motivated and engaged the children’s interest really well. Click here to see the storyline plan used by the team.