Take a look at the impact our sessions have!
Ann’s research into children’s literature has changed how we select books and discuss them with the children at our school. In turn we have seen in the children a more active, questioning and positive relationship with books. We consulted Ann on spending a book budget of £15,000 to ensure we chose books that would make a difference to learners’ understanding of the wider world. We have noticed a tangible difference in how children respond – we now see children with books under their arms, happy to discuss books, and asking their parents to buy books.
Mount Stuart Primary School, Cardiff
Ann has had a tremendous impact on how staff plan story books into all aspects of the curriculum. Her sessions with staff have engaged and inspired them to explore further how different genres can be used within topics and day-to-day teaching. Ann’s sessions with the pupils have further ignited their passion for literature and inspired them to read more widely.
Marlborough Rd Primary School, Cardiff.
Some observations for teachers after CPD sessions.
*I really enjoyed exploring the different interpretations of illustrations as it can be very easy to overlook this. I now know what to look for in terms of ‘hidden messages’ and stereotypes and I look forward to changing the way we talk about books and pictures in class.
*It has really informed my planning for the classroom especially with how text and pictures relate to each other.
Feedback on Social Media
Scroll down to take a look at some posts and images of the different sessions we have delivered over the last few years.
These Year 6 children produced their own fabulous picture books. Here’s the recipe:
1: Show Year 6 that picture books are STILL for them and that we will all look at them together as ‘adults’.
2:Look together at how they work focusing on the relationships between word and image.
3: Linger over a brilliant range of diverse picture books that cover all kind of subjects.
Leave in the hands of a very capable teaching team, give plenty time, encouragement… after a few weeks, at best, we have our next generation of children’s authors, at worst, readers who are now critically aware of how image and text work together.
A new year group ready to read newspapers, Twitter, Facebook, Magazines and everything else critically #highschoolready!
So many thoughtful responses this am. What topics will you write about? How do children's bks deal with difficult themes like war and death? How do they improve our empathy? So excited to see your creations @uweEnglish @Education_UWE @UWE_Research @MirandaMcK @nicolakidsbooks https://t.co/8IS0sw7cpv
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) April 29, 2019
I can't wait to come back and see the picture books you make. How will you organise the page? Will you have an 'adult' side and 'child' side? Will you jumble them up? How will you use colour? @uweEnglish @UWE_Research @Education_UWE https://t.co/a8ErMqC83T
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) April 29, 2019
Wonderful to see how a session on how picture books work, ideology and empathy in children's literature taken from my academic research goes directly to where it matters most -Yr 6 pupils who are critically literate and creative. Well done @miss_najjar @UWE_Research @uweEnglish https://t.co/4u5cTUelyl
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) May 9, 2019
A change is as good as a rest as they say, and once a year, when Year 4 in Marlborough Rd Primary study Egyptians for their topic, I love to go in and show them how Romantic poetry can be for ANYONE!
We look at Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’ and we go from being a ‘bit scared’ on a first read, because we’re not sure what’s going on, to piecing it together as a team – it’s magical to teach.
For more on this take a look in my ‘resources’ tab. I’ve done this lesson with year 4, Year 6, Year 8 and Years 12 and 13. It’s worked every time so far.
We are so honoured to have the very talented Dr Alston in our class this morning, teaching us to read a poem. 😊 pic.twitter.com/iTz4rvbBiK
— MPS_Year 5 (@MPS_2020) July 4, 2019
Never too young to start thinking about Romantic poetry! Ozymandias, history, language and power. Who tells your story?!@uweEnglish @UWEBristol @Education_UWE @EmpathyLabUK @CumberlandLodge @Willows_English https://t.co/al2sB61mF7
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) July 12, 2018
Cogan Primary in Penarth are already doing wonderful things with books. This session was about teaching upper KS2 about how picture books actually work. Asking questions about how and why a picture book might be set on in a particular way and what the children think this might say about the power relationships in the books. For more information see Resources ‘How Picture books Work’.
We've made wonderful links with inspiring professionals who work with #ChildrensBooks through our #CoganDiversityPictureBookAward @AnnAlston17 @LitWales @CoganPrimary @InclusiveMinds 📚📚📚📚📚 https://t.co/thTV2Ri63B
— Cogan Biodiversity Picture Book Award 2020 (@DiversityCogan) July 1, 2019
Love the breakdown of power here… one to make all parents wobble as Daisy doesn't eat her peas… but mum and Daisy conclude happily with a heightened understanding and pudding! @UWE_Research @uweEnglish https://t.co/4FDA02dqNY
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) July 1, 2019
One of our parent sessions. We spent two weeks in and out of Stoke Bishop Primary, Bristol, talking image and critical literacy with the children and teachers. Then we asked the parents in for a session on reading critically, reading aloud and enjoying books with their children.
Thank you, it was an excellent session
— Claire Callaghan (@PhysioClaireCal) June 20, 2019
For Welsh Week I took my Roald Dahl University Research to all classes: Reception to Year 6! What fun we had!
I had so much fun with the little ones today. Everyone loves a good story! https://t.co/3ziTC6GXWr
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) February 21, 2019
Roald Dahl Assemblies
A pleasure @marlboroughpri R. Dahl week… what a range! Ideology, identity and Dahl yr 6, the construction of women yr 5, 'revolting' with fairytales yr 4. Matilda with srb. Looking forward to more on weds! Fab questions, sparky pupils! @UWEBristol @uweEnglish @Education_UWE https://t.co/xGbgrazZAM
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) February 18, 2019
It was a complete pleasure @mpsps
When can I come back? Such fabulous sparkly children. I reckon Dahl's books would have been very different if he'd been to your school! #takingacademicresearchtowhereitmatters @UWEBristol @Education_UWE @uweEnglish @UWE_Research https://t.co/dhRKpEjbSX
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) December 6, 2018
Had a fabulous time with sparky engaged children! Can't wait to see you in all those Dahl costumes next week. @uweEnglish https://t.co/W0MXKuwkkV
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) February 2, 2018
Brilliant experience for my talented undergraduates. I impart my research on Dahl to them, they design and deliver assemblies. Happy me, happy students, happy and better informed pupils! I love it when a plan comes together.
📚 | Our English Literature students have designed and delivered assemblies at several primary schools across Bristol, to inspire children to read, tell and love stories. #NationalStorytellingWeek@AnnAlston17 | @UWEenglish pic.twitter.com/fEEsRYNb7A
— UWE Bristol (@UWEBristol) January 30, 2019
Dahl assembly at St Mary's primary Thornbury…. pic.twitter.com/kmY0AnXbLQ
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) February 9, 2018
We went further afield to show the Educational team at Cumberland Lodge, (the house next door to the Queen that is given to the BFG!) Windsor, how to use resources created for them on Roald Dahl.
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) January 17, 2019
Sharing stories, inspiring the next generation of critical thinkers! Thanks to the fabulous Uwe English students @ri_meredith @GraceTreweek and to all at @CumberlandLodge We had a wonderful time with brilliant authors @shoorayner @balirai and @EmpathyLabUK @uweEnglish pic.twitter.com/Wwn0ihUHgi
— Dr Ann Alston (@AnnAlston17) August 8, 2018
We love to deliver CPD for teachers/ student teachers and anyone else too!
Many thanks for a very stimulating staff meeting. Fabulous picture books to enhance our teaching and learning experiences. @marlboroughpri
— MPS_Year 4 (@MPS2021) January 25, 2018