Dahlightful Literacy Learning
An amazing magical journey exploring The Wonderful World of Roald Dahl is underway at Newington Community Primary School in Ramsgate.
The much-loved author and his fabulous creations are the focus for a term of in-depth literacy learning by children of all ages.
To begin their exploration into the fantastic imagination of the master storyteller, pupils travelled to London’s West End where they were spellbound by the magical musical production of Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre.
Children are studying a Roald Dahl text for English which forms the basis for their year group topics. Nursery and Reception will explore a selection of Roald Dahl texts; Year 1 will read The Enormous Crocodile, Year 2 will visit The Twits, Year 3 will get a taste of George’s Marvellous Medicine, Year 4 will find out about The BFG, Year 5 will study the story of Boy; and Year 6 will follow Matilda’s determined love of reading and learning in the face of her indifferent ignorant family and the treacherous headmistress Trunchbull.
Deputy Head Teacher Becky Andrews explained: “Themes from the musical will be linked to the study of the core texts in order to bring everything together through a range of cross-curricular activities.
“For example, in Year 4, children are studying George’s Marvellous Medicine. As part of this, in Science they will be investigating materials around the home and concocting their own potions. In Year 2, children will be learning about hygiene from their readings around The Twits.
“All year groups are working on Art and Technology projects linked to their core texts too – for instance, Year 3 children will be learning about textiles and print as they make a range of products including bags, pencil cases and cushions.”
Head girl Sophia from Year 6 said: “I like Roald Dahl’s books a lot and it is interesting to see how the adult characters are overtaken by the children in many stories. My favourite book is Fantastic Mr Fox though.”
Tegan from Year 5 added: “I read lots and lots of Roald Dahl books all the time because his stories are so interesting. He is my favourite writer and I love the pictures as well.”
The grand finale of the term’s exploration will result in a Dahlightful show, where pupils from Nursery to Year 6 come together to perform a show inspired by Matilda the musical.
Mrs Andrews added: “The production is our tribute to the magnificent works of Roald Dahl and the magic he brings to children’s literature.”
Performances will be in the main school theatre on Thursday, May 23, at 9.30am and Friday, May 24, at 9.30am and 1.30pm.
Head Teacher Cliff Stokes said: “Roald Dahl is a hugely innovative and inspirational writer whose stories strike a magical note with children and adults.
“Literacy is one of the cornerstones of learning at Newington and we have devoted a whole term using these exceptional works to further develop our collective love of reading as well as exploring other topics with his stories as a theme.
“It is a fabulously effective way of focussing learning as well as allowing our pupils the creativity, fun and freedom of exploring some true children’s classics.”
*Last year Newington held a Wonka Wonderland in the main hall with pupils and staff dressed in costumes to celebrate Dahl with a series of fun educational activities that pupils described as “scrumdiddlyumptious.”
**For more information, contact Head Teacher Cliff Stokes on (01843) 593412.