School – Sidmouth Primary School
Brief – Using film making, storytelling and puppet making improve literacy at keystage 1


Jon Robson from undertook a speaking and listening project at Sidmouth Primary School – Hull.

The project entitled ‘Fantasy Worlds’ was funded by Creative Partnerships – Hull and tried to answer the enquiry question – “Can new technology be used to improve speaking & listening skills in a year 1 class where over 50% of the pupils have English as a second language ?”

We decided to use digital story telling and film making as a vehicle to improve speaking, listening and written work. We themed the project around 4 areas. – Under the Sea, Castles, Space & Pirates.

The pupils developed their stories orally and created story boards to visualise the scenes, after the stories had been craeted, time was spent developing the characters before designing puppets and background scenery for filming.

Here are the finished films :-

Feedback and evaluations



  • “They showed persistence and engagement with the making of the puppets and scenes”
  • “The children very much enjoyed the artwork process… Getting messy and covered in paint is a real thrill..”
  • “They also showed imagination when creating their stories and designing their puppets”
  • “The children gained experience in working in teams.”
  • “They had to plan and discuss their ideas for their own particular themed story”
  • “Pupils had to work together and be able to listen to each others ideas”



Pirate Day ::

We all planned to take over the school and hunt for the treasure. Luckily for us 3 ks4 pupils from endeavour were on work experience at the school and proved themselves invaluable.

The children came prepared with home made costumes to act out their story and take control of the school

We planned our attack and filmed it as it unfolded.

Some teachers looked on with true fear!

Improvisation was a key element in our unfolding story. We were unsure how the head teacher would react to her school been taken over…. Luckily she obliged and the school became ours !

Because the project encouraged speaking and listening,
The EAL children benefited from this in that they were motivated to communicate their thoughts and ideas.

Fact :: Kids love technology !
being trusted to use high tech equipment was a confidence boost for the year 1s

They engaged in the whole process of filmmaking from start to finish. It was clear that they had felt that the films were theirs and they were proud of them.

The children were enthralled by the whole experience.

They are still talking about their films even now. The project has made a lasting, positive impression upon them.

This project was funded by Creative Partnerships – Hull