Absolutely! Many Heads and teachers are concerned about the growing number of children starting school with significantly less language than they need, for a variety of socio-economic reasons. The net result is that poor early language skills often lead to persistent difficulty with literacy.
So how can stories help?
By engaging children with language at a level well above what they can read themselves, they start to tune in to the rhythm, cadences and vocabulary of oral language. Stories told by expert storytellers fill children with the critically important ‘input’ of ideas, themes and words that go on to inspire their speaking and writing. They also provide an excellent and meaningful context for the technical aspects of literacy like spelling, grammar and interestingly, punctuation.
Comprehension (in reading and listening) and Composition (in speaking and writing) are strongly emphasised in the new Program of Study and are greatly improved by the use of high quality texts. By removing the ‘text barrier’ (i.e. what a child can read themselves) oral stories open up a world of inspiration, imagination and engagement for early readers or children struggling to read.
The new Attainment Targets will only be assessed at the end of each key stage, so there is a great deal of flexibility in designing your curriculum and choosing the resources to use. And remember, our resources fit perfectly with the priorities of the Pupil Premium budget.
So rest assured our stories are still a vital resource in your classroom and proven to raise standards in all aspects of literacy.