The ERASMUS+ Weaving Webs of Stories project aims to: Improve literacy competencies and, at the same time; Enable participants to become advocates of inclusion and equality It therefore focuses not just on literacy but on reading books and stories which challenge stereotypes and on developing creative writing skills promoting inclusion and equality.
THE TRAINING PROGRAMME CAN BE USED:
As a guide for teachers and tutors - to help develop and run high-quality literacy and inclusion programmes, adhering to the tried and tested principles and methods of non-formal learning To help schools, NGOs and tutors develop a strategic approach so that this type of intervention is integrated into the school policies and practices, effective and quality assured. As a reference for those who have already gone through the training or are familiar with inclusion and equality promotion techniques, to refresh their knowledge and understanding as required
BEFORE WE BEGIN
Before you commence with shaping your weekly session plan, we advise you to read the handout, General Tips for Teachers and Facilitators, about reading and story-weaving workshop activities for children. The tips listed in the handout do not refer to reading or creating stories, which are discussed in details below.
- DOES NOT EXIST -
“… non formal learning is learning activity outside normal lessons which young people take part in voluntarily. It is, accordingly, an inclusive term, embracing many activities with many names and guises. Its purpose is to improve young people’s motivation, selfesteem and help them to become more effective learners. Above all it aims to raise achievement.” Prof John McBeath
NON FORMAL LEARNING
Non formal learning, also known as Out of School Hours Learning (OSHL) in the UK, is a strategic intervention and therefore adheres to a set of good practice measures to ensure the success of the programme. This section and the supporting handouts are drawn from the COMENIUS No Child Left Behind project Training Kit created by the UK and Romanian partners in 2009.
NON FORMAL LEARNING: PRINCIPLES, METHODOLOGY AND TECHNIQUES
Non formal learning is activities outside normal lessons, in which young people voluntarily take part. The aim is to directly or indirectly raise achievement. These activities can occur before the school day, during breaks and lunchtimes, after school, evenings, at weekends and during school holidays, or in options / activities sessions during a rearranged school day. Activities may happen on the school site, or elsewhere such as sports venues, public libraries, museums or residential centres.
PURPOSES OF NON FORMAL LEARNING
To make this provision as effective and sustainable as possible, it is designed as a set of three overlapping core purposes, with raising young peoples’ achievement at its heart: Removing barriers to learning and helping young people become enthusiastic learners Increasing competence at learning Widening opportunities and deepening success in learning And importantly, fun and enjoyment are key characteristics of effective non formal learning activities.
Non formal learning, carefully planned and structured, has proven to be effective in: engaging hard to reach children, including those with lower performance and at risk of early school leaving At the same time, it has shown to be successful in engaging parents, including those from minority communities, and getting the wider community involved in supporting their young people’s learning
A REMINDER: EQUITY OR EQUALITY?
If equality means treating everyone the same, equity means making sure that every child has the opportunities and resources to learn and thrive, appreciating that every child is different Key points:
Get to know every child and their different needs individually
Acknowledge there is not an “even playing field” for many (and particularly the students our programme is targeting) Remember that one-size lessons do not fit all
View the children’s individual identities and cultures as a resource - Create “safe spaces” where the children’s different cultures and experiences can be shared as part of learning for all participants.
Remember, children’s safety and well being is paramount. So it is essential to comply with all national and regional safeguarding policies. These may require documentation from you, so check in advance with the school during your first meeting with the school what is needed
SKILLS THE TRAINING PROGRAMME DEVELOPS
The training programme seeks to develop a range of important skills:
Reading skills – to awaken and develop participants’ curiosity and appetite for reading, with appropriate texts which will delight and challenge them
Writing/creative skills – in an environment where everyone’s ideas are valued and all contributions supported
Analytical and critical thinking – helping participants progressively develop their ability to understand negative stereotypes – and the harmful impact they can have on individuals and groups – and challenge them, in positive and calm ways, as they develop empathy and positive attitudes towards difference
DESIGN OF THE PROGRAMME
As well as improved literacy competencies, a motivation and appetite for reading for pleasure on a regular basis and creative skills, the programme seeks to develop wider skills:
Collaboration, communication and teamwork – through working together in the programme
Empathy and self-regulation – the ability to regulate and control how to react to your own emotions as well as getting to understand others’ feelings
Social skills – powerful skills which should be encouraged to develop through the programme, as the group comes together in an atmosphere of acceptance and tolerance allowing even the most sensitive and personal issues to be addressed
Aspiration and self-confidence – to learn, to challenge and to achieve.