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Corporate partners directly raise literacy levels and aspirations for children

31 Jul 2017

Springboard offers each of our corporate partners the opportunity for staff to directly impact children's literacy learning in schools while also raising children's aspirations.

Paul, Michael and Ewan from our corporate partners Informa came to visit our Springboard centre in St James's School, Southwark on 29th June and to host a day where they worked with Springboard tutors to deliver three bespoke literacy learning activities for children in the school.

Here's what Paul, Michael and Ewan proposed for the day: 

1) The first of three activities we plan to run (not necessarily in this order) is “Obb and Bob”

  • There are two aliens Obb and Bob ( we will use cardboard cut-outs)
  • The children are to feed Obb with nonsense words and Bob with real words
  • The words can either be handed out or hidden around the classroom/hall or outside area – we would favour hiding the words depending on time constraints
  • The children are required to sound out and fully read the word, decide whether it is real or fake and then feed it to the appropriate alien
  • We will use a list of words found for keystage 2 children to use as the real words in the game. I’m happy to hear feedback on the appropriateness of these words and/or any suggestions on where to find more appropriate ones

 2) The second activity we plan to run is Bingo

  • Hand out laminated boards with graphemes written on them, e.g. ‘Ay’/’Ow’/’Ee’.  The number of spaces in the board depends on desired difficulty, e.g. a square of 3x3, or 4x4, or 5x5 squares.
  • We read out a word, the children then decide whether or not the word contains one of their graphemes, and crosses the grapheme off their board if so, e.g. if the word is ‘net’, and a child has the grapheme ‘n’, ‘e’, or ‘t’, then the child would cross that sound off.
  • The child shouts ‘BINGO’ when they can form a row sideways, vertically, or diagonally across the board.
  • Check that the child has crossed off the graphemes correctly and review errors in understanding. 

 3) Finally, we plan to play pass the parcel

  • We will prepare a parcel with a digraph or trigraph word card placed in between each layer of wrapping paper
  • Music will be played (we have portable speakers to bring unless there are some at the school), and once the music stops, the child it lands on unwraps a layer
  • The child then has to think of a word that includes the digraph or trigraph outlined on the word card – we will choose a mixture of difficulties, and the children can “phone a friend” if they need help
  • Each layer of wrapping may also include a toy/gift for the children – suggestions on small age appropriate gifts would also be useful – as well as a slightly larger gift as the final prize

Children told us they really enjoyed having a special learning session from our corporate partners!

Here's what Paul, Michael and Ewan had to say about their day at the school:

Paul Grayston, Consultant - ebenchmarkers/Informa

“I had a brilliant experience coordinating and participating in the ‘Host a Day Out’ activity at the Springboard centre in St James’ school.

For me, the highlight of the day was the first activity where the children prepared questions for myself and my colleagues based on our education, job and childhood. The children asked some interesting and thoughtful questions that provided me with a fresh viewpoint on some of my previous endeavours, and hopefully provided the Springboard children with a little inspiration for their future.

My work with Springboard has been varied and exciting, particularly when we get the opportunity to meet the teachers and pupils of Springboard. Having the opportunity to step out of the office and engage with other members of my organisation and the Springboard community often pushes me a little outside my comfort zone, for example when stood in front of a classroom full of eight year olds! I have no doubt that my work with Springboard positively feeds into my day-to-day job and I hope to be a part of the partnership between Informa and Springboard for as long as possible”.

Michael Adams, Consultant - ebenchmarkers/Informa

“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to deal with a classroom of kids, but they were all wonderfully behaved and we all had some fantastic help from the Springboard staff. They seemed to really enjoy the activities we prepared for them and it was a pleasure to help out Springboard for the morning, I would happily do it again!”

Ewan Lusty, Consultant - ebenchmarkers/Informa

“The children were extremely enthusiastic about the games we prepared for them, and it was very rewarding to see them having fun while learning and developing their understanding.  From my point of view, working with children was a completely different type of challenge from presenting to corporate clients; it certainly sharpened my ability to improvise and to communicate clearly and accessibly.  It was also a pleasure meeting Springboard staff and learning about the valuable work they do”.

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