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 Bonnie Mendoza

Bonnie is Head of Early Years and a teacher of Reception and Nursery children. She has been teaching for 19 years in a range of inner-city London schools. She has experience working with all ages and abilities from Nursery up to Year 6, before realising that Early Years is where her heart lies.

Bonnie began her adventure with MakeBelieveArts seven years ago when her school became a Centre of Excellence. The school underwent extensive training in order to reach the high standards required to achieve their license to train. Bonnie became a Helicopter Stories Champion which meant she was qualified to run full day INSETs or coffee mornings. She has trained practitioners from all over the UK, ranging from those working in schools, nurseries, special needs settings and theatre groups.

Bonnie now works in a school where many children come from disadvantaged backgrounds or have little or no English. She has trained all of her EYFS staff to lead Helicopter Story sessions with their classes and there are now 150 children proudly telling their stories and excitedly experiencing them being acted out on stage! The school are planning to continue this into Year 1 and watch how the storytelling develops as the children’s confidence, skills and language continue to grow.

Bonnie believes in a child-centred approach to learning and creating an environment where all of the children’s voices can be expressed, listened to and valued. She has found that Helicopter Stories is the perfect way to embody that in her setting.

She now visits other settings and trains practitioners.  In 2019 Bonnie gave a joint keynote with Education Director Isla Hill at the Early Education conference. She has also written a guest blog for MakeBelieve Arts blog site and can always be found spreading the word about Helicopter Stories wherever she goes. She has given presentations to Early Years leads in various boroughs across London, inspiring others to include this wonderful storytelling approach in their settings.