The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has been awarded funding from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) as part of the Learning about Culture programme to test the impact of the Power of Pictures on primary pupils’ achievement and other key skills. This funding will enable CLPE to build on the success of an earlier and smaller trial of the Power of Pictures, bringing the project to a further 1,800 nine and ten year olds.
Teachers and their pupils will work with author-illustrators to learn how to use picturebooks to boost reading and writing skills. Over three days of training, they will develop specific techniques to use illustration to support children’s reading comprehension and creative writing.
The key findings from a previous Power of Pictures project evaluated by Dr Sue Horner and Janet White showed promise in the following areas:
· Drawing in preparation for or during creative writing leads to improvement in writing, particularly for EAL children and for boys who are reluctant writers
· Picturebooks shouldn’t be limited to the early years of schooling but have the potential to improve literacy throughout the primary school
· Working alongside authors and illustrators helps teachers to understand the writing process and improves the teaching of writing
The original project research summary and evaluation report can be viewed here.
The Power of Pictures project was originally devised by CLPE in partnership with author/illustrator Ed Vere who said: “This groundbreaking project has immense potential to highlight the powerful creative link between drawing and writing, supporting teachers to understand the craft of picturebook creation as well as showing how visual literacy can harness the imagination and inspire the creative writing process.”
Former Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell is a firm supporter of the Power of Pictures: “The Power of Pictures has shown how important drawing is for creating a story and how drawing can particularly benefit those children who struggle to find their voice. I am thrilled that thousands of children will now have the chance to explore the links between drawing and writing.”
CLPE Chief Executive, Louise Johns-Shepherd said: “We are delighted that CLPE has been selected to be part of this trial and that we will be able to bring the innovative and creative Power of Pictures work to more children in more schools. We know how important it is to help children develop an understanding of the craft of writing and this project will enable us to support teachers to engage meaningfully with professional authors and their processes. ”