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How we work

How we work
The key words are Workshop and Toolboxes. Workshops take centre stage when we work with children and really get down to basics. After six years giving workshops in many different veues, we have honed our methods to make an infinitely adapable approach to making reading fun.

We then included the ideas developed in the workshops to make reading kits that can be used by teacher-librarians and others - to reach more children.


A typical workshop would start with a bang - possibly the bang of a drum. We begin with a celebration of story and books that leaves the children wide-eyed and ready for more. Typically this might be on a Friday afternoon when school is finished for the week, or on a Saturday morning. This book party includes food and something hot to drink. We aways make sure that participants are well fed before and during our workshops and that they are warm enough and safe while they are with us.

Ideally a workshop extends over a further two days, either consecutively in school holidays or over Saturdays during term time. Our most successful workshop was spread over four days in the long winter holidays - it gave the children a chance to really get some reading and listening done, and to interact with the themes.

During the working days, we divide the children into groups and rotate them between various activities. In between they always come back together for stories and books  that we hope will inspire their own writing and illustrating. Activities last around twenty minutes, with longer periods for excursions for map work or photographic essays. 

For more detailed reports on workshops, please go to:

Activities could include:

•    Listening to beautiful language
•    Writing in all media - conventional and on iPads
•    Individual journals and stories
•    Making books on tablets
•    Photo-journalism
•    Children’s own illustrations, photographs and words.
•    Mapping in words and illustration - creating home and landscape on paper
•    Communicating: Comparing and sharing landscapes with children in other environments
•    Shadow puppets
•    Song-writing: Songs to build a nation! – Children’s anthems
•    Singing
•    Drummingand playing on rock gongs
•    Landscape in Art

All of these are open to input from the children themselves, as well as facilitators and interested others, to new ideas, to innovation before, during and after workshops.


There are 50 books in a themed toolbox. More importantly, there is a very detailed handbook on how to make best use of the books and ideas for activities that will complement the theme.There is also a supplementary bag of materials including a box with art materials and the CBN Reading Game. 

For more information, please go to:

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