Being Creative in Primary English
Publication Year: 2016
Why should we foster creativity in primary English? A practical and accessible text that demonstrates how creative thinking and learning can support primary English teaching. With chapters mapped to the Teachers’ Standards and links to the new National Curriculum, each chapter provides a case study exploring high-quality primary English practice including planning, rationale and ideas for the classroom. These are fully grounded in a wide range of theoretical frameworks, viewpoints and values. Reflective activities in each chapter offering practical exercises and additional reading suggestions, encourage trainee teachers to further their understanding of how theory translates to classroom practice. This inspiring book helps support learning, teaching and assessment without losing innovation, excitement and motivation for both teachers and children.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Cracking the concept: Creative thinking, creative teaching, creative integration
- Chapter 2: Creative approaches to teaching reading and enjoying text
- Chapter 3: Creative approaches to teaching writing
- Chapter 4: Speaking and listening scaffolds reading and writing
- Chapter 5: Creative English: Early Years into Key Stage 1
- Chapter 6: Reading into writing: Key Stage 1 Fiction
- Chapter 7: Reading into writing: Key Stage 2 Fiction
- Chapter 8: Reading into writing: Key Stage 1 Non-fiction
- Chapter 9: Reading into writing: Key Stage 2 Non-fiction
- Chapter 10: Reading into writing: Key Stage 1 Poetry
- Chapter 11: Reading into writing: Key Stage 2 Poetry
- Chapter 12: Creative approaches: Transition Key Stage 2–3
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Adrian Copping © 2016
First published 2016
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means, only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2016932128
British Library Cataloguing in Publication data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 978-1-47391-566-4 (pbk)
Editor: James Clark
Editorial assistant: Robert Patterson
Production editor: Nicola Marshall
Proofreader: Kate Campbell
Indexer: Silvia Benvenuto
Marketing manager: Dilhara Attygalle
Cover design: Naomi Robinson
Typeset by: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd, Chennai, India
Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY
About the Author
I would like to acknowledge, with immense gratitude, the many teachers, student teachers and children who have wittingly and unwittingly contributed to this book. Particularly, I would like to thank Kate Skellern from Stramongate Primary School, Kendal, Cumbria, for her support with Chapter 5 on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
I would also like to thank my wife, Ceridwen, for her proof-reading and attention to detail, and also to thank our children, Kezziah, Arron and Tirzah, for allowing me to sit in my study during holiday time and write this book. I appreciate your patience and your insights into learning, teaching and school.[Page x]
Concluding remarks[Page 221]
One of the main threads running through all the chapters in this book is the classroom environment. Creating an effective environment is vital for the facilitation of creative learning and teaching. There are typically three facets to any classroom environment: the physical environment, the social environment and the cognitive environment. Much of what has been discussed throughout this book relates to the cognitive and social environment, and I want to conclude by pulling together some of the key messages that I have already shared.
In terms of the social environment, there needs to be an ethos of trust and respect and this must be designed by the teacher for creative learning and teaching to occur. Both the teacher and the children must trust each other; and the children must trust each other in order to work together, take risks with learning and explore concepts together. Talk for learning is another key aspect of the social environment, too. Children must be comfortable talking with everyone in their class, learning together and building on each other’s ideas in a wide variety of contexts. This will always be challenging because social relationships are one of the hardest aspects of school to have success in. They require significant interpersonal and intrapersonal skills as well as negotiation, emotional intelligence and empathy. But, as a teacher, it is worth working hard to facilitate this as much as possible because relationships are at the heart of effective teaching. When these two elements of trust and working together are in place, they can [Page 222]create a platform for working in-role, which can motivate, engage and enthuse children in learning and can be used as a tool for developing skills, knowledge and understanding.
This leads me nicely onto the cognitive classroom environment. The cognitive environment that we as teachers create arises out of what we believe about learning and teaching and how children learn. If I believe that children learn by constructing knowledge through dialogue, then the activities I facilitate will be characterised by that belief. I may not do so much upfront teaching, but I might do more facilitation of learning. I may more likely guide rather than dictate. Children will play an active part in their learning. If I believe that children learn best through play and discovery, you could expect children in my class to be exploring, thinking, playing, arriving at their own solutions and learning a diverse range of things, beyond my learning intentions for the session. Children learn through the process of learning, rather than by producing a product as proof of learning. Here is where creativity lies and this is what characterises creative learning and, in the context of this book, creative learning in primary English.
As you read this book, you will see lots of connections between English and history. I make no apologies for that as there are so many links that can be made between these two subjects. Skills, knowledge, concepts and understanding in both subject disciplines lend themselves beautifully to using one as a context for the other. However, there will be just as many for other curriculum subjects and I would urge you, as you again read some of the case studies and examples, to use them as a basis for letting your own creative connections develop. One thing is clear, for English to be taught creatively and effectively in primary schools, there needs to be relevance and purpose which a wider topic can provide, but also an appreciation of an audience. Who will your children write for?