World Book Day Competition

Winner, Joanna Mbwana with Head of Subject Lesley Faulconbridge, and Early Years Teacher Programme Leader Debrah Turner.

On 7 March we announced the lucky winner of our World Book Day competition, Joanna Mbwana from St Lawrence Pre-School! Debrah Turner, Programme Leader for Early Years Teacher Programme, comments that ‘Joanna has demonstrated a creative and innovative way to use the vouchers to support not only children but also their families through a range of transitions.’ 

Below you will find Joanna's proposal:

St Lawrence Pre-School is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. We provide care and education to children aged 2.4 to 5 years, through providing sessional and full day care to children and families in North Wingfield and surrounding area. Due to us being in an economically deprived area our hourly fees are minimal, which greatly affects our opportunities to purchase new resources. If I was successful in winning the competition I would like to create and purchase some storysacks to loan to families to use at home.

During the previous school intake, in practice I have created and implemented transition bags to support children through the transition of leaving the setting and starting school. Feedback following the use of the bags was very positive from parents, staff and the children who were very confident and excited about starting school. To further enhance the support we offer in relation to transition, I'd like to create some story sacks that support children through different kinds of transition as O'Connor (2013) suggests periods of transition can be detrimental to a child's well-being and development.

The money would be used to purchase stories and resources such as small world scenes that will provide children with the opportunity to role play real life experiences and help them to deal with their emotions. This will enable the children to overcome anxieties and build resilience, enabling them to deal more confidently with change (Fabien 2002). The storysacks created would by used to support transitions including new siblings, parents separation, new family member such as stepdad or stepmum, death of a family member, moving house and going to the hospital. The children would be able to loan the bags during different transitions to use at home with family members. The bags would also support parents by including leaflets that give advice and also information about different agencies who offer support during each type of transition.

To offer the same opportunities to all the children who attend I would also purchase some story sacks about stories they enjoy for them to take home and share with parents. My current research project is exploring the opportunities children have to share books with parents/carers at home and looking at ways of promoting shared book reading within the home. My workplace is in an area which is known to have high numbers of children with speech and language dificulties and this is reflected in the ten children who attend the setting that are currently receiving speech and langauge support.

Having a library of storysacks is a strategy suggested by Senechal and LeFevre (2002) to promote shared book reading and would provide parent/carers with a new opportunity to share books with their children. Providing more opportunites for parents to share books with their children could increase the frequency of shared book reading at home and therefore will support children's language and literacy development, which Moore and Wade (1998) believe will increase the progress children make at school.