YR- Squirrel Class
2022 - 2023
Miss Samson, Mrs Ilett and Mrs Martin.
“‘Pretend’ often confuses the adult, but it is the child's real and serious world, the stage upon which any identity is possible and secret thoughts can be safely revealed.” Vivian Gussin-Paley, The Boy Who Would Be A Helicopter (1991)
Why Helicopter Stories?
Research has consistently shown that story-telling is a powerful tool for learning. As well as developing communication and language skills, stories further our personal, social and emotional development by helping us to make sense of the world and to make links between ourselves and others. Before becoming readers and writers, telling stories helps us to learn about language patterns, narrative structures and rich vocabulary, and most importantly, sparks and nurtures our imagination so that when we are able to write, we can express the unique stories and ideas we have swirling around in our heads!
Helicopter Stories are used in our Early Years setting at Canon Barnett to facilitate and encourage all these marvellous skills. This approach turns children into storytellers and actors, as they re-enact their own unique stories in whole group sessions. This document gives an overview of how our Helicopter Story sessions work, and includes a small selection of stories which aim to show the impact Helicopter Stories have made in our Nursery and Reception classes.
How do Helicopter Stories work?
During the course of the day, children can choose to tell an adult their story. The adult scribes the story word for word and reads it back to the child. The day continues as normal, and stories are re-enacted later that day in a Helicopter Stories session.
In a dedicated Helicopter Stories session, act out the stories children have contributed throughout the day.
The impact of Helicopter Stories in our Early Years
Anecdotal evidence shared between Early Years staff has shown a highly positive impact on children since we introduced Helicopter Stories. Here are some examples of the positive impact helicopter stories have within the early years curriculum.
Communication and Language
Listening to children telling us their stories allows us a deeper insight into children’s knowledge about language and their understanding of story structures.
Literacy - Reading
There are very often ‘stories within stories’ when children share their ideas with us. Inspiration frequently comes from traditional tales, books we have read in class and stories children may have heard outside of school, in a way that might not be evident in everyday talk.
Literacy – Writing
We know how important it is in the Early Years for children to see adults writing, however in this digital age the opportunities for purposeful writing as an adult seem few and far between. The beauty of Helicopter Stories is that children are constantly exposed to seeing adults writing in a truly meaningful way – what could be more purposeful than writing down the very words that children are saying so that their ideas can be realised on the Helicopter stage? One of the great surprises about introducing Helicopter Stories was just how keen children are to write down their stories. If they do not want to wait for an adult, they just get on with the job themselves!
Personal, social and emotional development.
Taking turns, sharing ideas, developing confidence in group and whole class situations, taking risks and many more aspects of the Early Years curriculum are covered in one simple and very enjoyable activity.
Why not ask your child to create a helicopter story at home with you, write it down word for word - don't worry about incorrect grammar or sentence structure, this will develop over time, let them bring it in and we can then act it out together during our helicopter story sessions.
An overview of our learning:
To see the weekly planning for
Sound System time
Poem, songs and Makaton
Please see Tapestry.