Celebrate Poetry Countywide

To support Communication and Language in North Somerset, Early Years Advisor Gail Alder implemented The Poetry Basket as a county-wide initiative; anyone working with children aged 0-5 was invited to learn and recite the poems with the children in their care.

“This project has shone as a beacon of hope for everyone connected with young children and captured the imagination of so many because it’s simple, yet effective.”

Gail Alder, Early Years Advisor, North Somerset

The Need:

Many children in North Somerset arrive at preschool with lower than expected communication and language skills. This has been exasperated by the pandemic. Early Years Advisor Gail Alder was keen to bridge the gap for these children. She had always been an advocate of sharing poetry and rhymes with young children, and was looking for something she could roll out across the whole county.

What They Did:

When Gail heard about The Poetry Basket, she realised that it had the potential to grab the attention of her local authority. Reviving the mantra that it takes a village to raise a child, Gail decided to introduce The Poetry Basket to the whole county. Anyone who worked with children aged 0-5 was encouraged to get involved, from Preschools, Reception and Year 1, to childminders and volunteers working with vulnerable families. Everyone was included.

The Results:

The Poetry Basket has had a direct impact on children’s language development. The county-wide roll out means poetry is celebrated within the early years. Sharing poetry can be difficult for some practitioners, but The Poetry Basket has offered a way in for everyone. With daily repetition, children are able to recite whole poems and ask for specific poems by name. The children’s interest in particular poems often encouraged fascinations and interests in related subjects, which settings were then able to explore further. The local authority has received positive feedback, with both childminders and schools praised for their use of poetry within recent Ofsted reports.

The Poetry Basket

The Poetry Basket includes 36 lesser-known children’s rhymes from anonymous authors and follows the seasons of the year.
Suitable for Teachers, Early Years Practitioners, Parents and Carers of children aged 2 to 7.

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More To Explore

Develop Independence & Language Skills

Nursery Practitioner from Lakehouse and Stationhouse Nurseries in Portishead wanted a resource to support children’s Communication and Language difficulties and emotional development after the pandemic. The Poetry Basket has provided a crucial framework.

Create a Vocabulary-Rich Environment

With the number of children regularly hearing a bedtime story decreasing across the country, Puffins of Exeter Nurseries were keen to expose their children to stories on a consistent basis. The Story Basket is also used to support children’s language development.

Unlock Parental Engagement

Reception Teacher at St Paul’s Primary in Chippenham wanted to engage parents in Helicopter Stories so that they could share in their children’s learning in a fun and enjoyable way, creating a stronger connection between home and school.

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