Telling a story to inspire children

Poet and comedian Stan Skinny
Poet and comedian Stan Skinny

Civica Education has been the platinum sponsor for Sheffield’s literary festival, Off the Shelf, for four years.

We are a national company and enjoy being affiliated with a high profile festival that celebrates and encourages the written and spoken word using both traditional and new formats. Our company works with schools, teachers and pupils using ICT as another learning tool to support raising basic skills such as literacy.

Technology and literacy needn’t be mutually exclusive. Appropriate use of ICT can engage children whose attention is difficult to grab. Games can inspire new ideas for storytelling.

Blogging can provide an engaging way to practise writing. Our younger generation embrace new technology and we see the benefits in harnessing this.

We produce digi-packs that form part of our e-learning packages.

Our recent Blogging and Digital Storytelling digi-packs are proving very popular. 97% of children play video games, at the heart of which is a strong story and they will return to the game again and again, even if it becomes more difficult.

Storytelling has long been recognised as a powerful learning tool and Digital storytelling adds another dimension, for example, telling the story of the nitrogen cycle or creating a comic strip in Spanish.

Last year we ran a very successful schools competition with Off the Shelf on the theme of Dr Who where pupils were asked to complete an episode of Dr Who and were given a range of ways to do this – through the written word or video.

The entries were a joy to behold, showing some great imagination and written skills.

This year our competition is themed on World War One – a story, diary entry, newspaper article in 500 words or a two-minute podcast or video in the voice of a character living through the war.

We work with 27 schools in Sheffield and have a team of E-Learning Consultants who work to integrate ICT into the curriculum.

They are all trained teachers who have extensive experience and a passion for technology. We can see the benefits of combining experienced teaching with the infinite library afforded through technology.

Children have so many more platforms to practise and develop their communication skills that we look forward to finding even more explorative ways to keep pace, and to ensure the skill of writing continues to be one of the corner stones of education.