"I've learnt from this programme that in order to learn we need to play."
Last month, our first Boys Literacy Project culminated in a sharing at MakeBelieve Arts with boys from Grinling Gibbons, St Josephs, their teachers and teaching assistants.
For the boys, their literacy group had become a fixture to brighten up every Thursday morning since October 2010. It was fitting that on this particular Thursday morning, the boys from both schools came together to celebrate their achievement.
"It's been great in terms of getting the boys interested and excited by literacy...and also getting them to work collaboratively, which has always been a bit of a challenge for some of the boys."
After warm-up games and a check-in, the boys were able to reflect on what they'd learnt in the literacy group, how they felt about learning, and how they felt about themselves and their peers. After a short break (with many biscuits!), the boys came together to share the stories they'd worked on over many weeks with MakeBelieve Arts, acting them out for one another and acknowledging how far they'd come.
"Boys before were very reluctant writers, but this programme has really helped the boys develop their motivation, and it's excited them...they want to write down their ideas, they want to tell their stories, with little or no encouragement needed form me."
This project has held particular resonance with the MakeBelieve Arts team, particularly our workshop leaders Stas' and Ross. The boys have not only increased their confidence and belief in the power of their own imaginations; they've also noticeably improved their literacy skills and levels of attainment.
"It's provided me with a lot of ideas which I have used with my class during literacy...they've never been so eager to learn."
Stas', Ross and the entire MakeBelieve Arts team would like to say a warm thank you to all the teachers and teaching assistants at Grinling Gibbons and St Joseph's Primary School for providing invaluable support and enthusiasm throughout the project.
Most of all, we'd like to thank all the boys involved - for their insights, humour and wonderful imaginations.