The below will give you some insight into the core of the work undertaken in 2022 plus an array of guests introduced and to also show how much goes on behind the scenes to ensure partner schools get the best. January 2023 marks our 13th anniversary and my 15th year of working in the environment of primary education.
World of Words (WOW)
(World of Words fundraiser, tutor and administrator)
WOW is pleased to play a role in this caring and sharing attitude and application. The school has a genuine stake in our participation and this is so pleasing to have points of contact to both communicate and exchange details.
WOW i.e. www.worldofwords.educationhas spread its wings offering their bespoke services mainly to the upper tier of children in years 5 and 6 plus reluctant readers and children requiring one to one intervention. There have been learning and nurturing opportunities via daytime classes while a range of personalities introduced by WOW have interacted with students from across the school.
WOW has created an ever evolving crop of diverse tools to stimulate the daily demands of development. Our programme has led to advantages in terms of education, enjoyment and entertainment students across the board chosen by the schools as well as many other juveniles who have participated via our online and in person productions.
Some of the areas covered are summarised below:
WOW assisted the school with an extensive report to help with the NACE accreditation and it was good to clarify our aims, aspirations and achievements. NACE approved the work of WOW,
WOW worked with year 5 and 6 children in lieu of the Bookslam Competition across extra sessions. There was a lot of work from myself off site preparing a range of insights into a vast and varied text that took a group of 9 and 10 year olds back over 112 years to explore their heritage. Our final group of four from the younger age band excelled with a sterling performance in front of a judge which then led to an impressive third place finish in RCT. The stated official said that the detailed and dramatic 232 pages of our studied story ‘ The black Pit of Tonypandy’ was the most challenging book among the novels on offer to schools in this prestigious event. Extra school visits and a great deal of home research and reports from WOW supplemented the quest to get the best outcome.
WOW also had the author Myrddin Ap Dafydd to chat with the school about his novel – ‘The Black Pit Of Tonypandy’ – which was our Bookslam focus. We discovered elements about the significant past of the region in which the children reside and brought that into the here and now. The response from our WOW groups and in particular the chosen quartet was miraculous and their endeavour deserved the recognition they rightfully received, Well done all!
WOW has also come in for extra voluntary sessions when guest speakers are available on other days outside of classes.
WOW has collated its own book full of reasons as to why we need to read and this is something that we can focus upon – literacy is for life and literacy enhances life. No matter what we do – reading can help us get a better understanding and prepare us for adult life. The youngsters get the feel of the importance of reading and the relevance of this significant skill hits home.
WOW penned poems with a strong local and national theme have been popular. The outcome of these exercises has created a wider and more astute knowledge of landmarks, customs, geography, history and the people of both the locality and nation. There are clues in the content but then the children have to guess as to whom or what the rhymes are indicating. That has created a spirited response and sparked pride in things that are Rhondda and Wales.
WOW also did exercises where the students had to discover the translated names of local settlements and again this enhanced regional know how.
WOW has also written stories with moral and ethical content that has the children thinking about a wider context with a number of these tales calling for the pupils to create their own conclusions and recommendations. This probing also contemplates any positive and negative behaviours on their reading journeys. There is also an insight into the text and different thought processes lead to lively debate. These passages have been very popular and led to a lot of discussion and a great deal of praise to WOW from our young audience. There has been a call for more such enterprises and we have responded accordingly.
There has been discussion and handouts on so many pertinent paths and also a look into character, plot, theme and setting developments within a tale.
WOW has also constructed verbal word games that call for on the spot dexterity and the recipients have been completely engaged.
WOW also has created a range of other fun rhythmic passages which call for the reader to assess the language and identify the theme of the piece.
WOW has also made a push to further enhance the skill of inference and promote a deeper insight into the written word and its many twists and turns. From either picture or word clues the throng have delved into the propositions and given a more advanced response to their analytical insights.
WOW has introduced sheets full of basic words with more flowery and descriptive alternatives offered and the feedback from the classroom is that these tools are being used outside of the weekly WOW gatherings. The quest to further vocabulary has been a success with our crowd eager to share their new findings.
WOW has also focussed on the art of writing a book review and from that stance there has been a notable change in the style and substance of the productions afforded by our youthful members.
WOW has also worked with the children in the building of sentence structures and having a start-middle-end without overloading too much data. These exercises proved to be a great challenge for the pupils but their reactions were phenomenal and we made great headway.
WOW has also looked at other necessities in order to support and supplement fluency within the world of writing. A slant on capital letters was productive with the children taking on an extended glossary of uses for this essential entity.
WOW has occasionally given their crew a list of about a dozen random words and asked each individual to write a story using the language provided. This has been another activity that has led to a great deal of expression from the comical to the gothic.
WOW has encouraged singular or paired learning and also the fact that smaller groups of upwards of eight per class allow for more time for each component to speak and share their views and ideas.
WOW has also encouraged library membership. WOW has introduced juveniles as to the location of this wonderful premises in Tonypandy, the terms and conditions of joining and ultimately free access to books. Ultimately, a new flock of readers, the school and the library benefit.
WOW also has its own sizable stock of literature which has been used and thereby many authors and their works have been identified. The school has had a chance to share in this collection.
WOW has given a platform for classes to think about precious green matters and spaces and absorb the beauty around us. The emphasis may be on growing fruit and vegetables via our esteemed guest Terry Walton; environmental issues and many a chat about litter maintenance; looking after wildlife and our communities while displaying pictures from the locality; preserving our natural surroundings or protecting and promoting important projects such as: The Cwmclydach Countryside Park, The Rhondda Tunnel Society and The Mid Rhondda Ground, Tonypandy. These outlets are close at hand and significant for public use – past, present and future. These concerns dovetail with the schools ecological outlook and the call to extend the learning parameters.
There has been a chance to dip into a rich heritage of cultural, historical, social and sporting interest while looking ahead.
WOW partners who have addressed the school have also set examples of how to succeed against the odds. These ‘I can’ and ‘I will’ mentalities have impressed the children and given them impetus to move forward with a fresh vigour.
A local artist/sculptor has helped spruce up a school’s grounds. This is a prime example of the advantageous knock on effects of our WOW arranged presentations.
WOW chums have also given direction as regards societal rules and regulations plus fire safety and self preservation to dovetail with school goals.
Several children have voluntarily written stories at home on the back of WOW input and then brought these tales in for our assessment. It has been uplifting to witness the youngsters finding enjoyment through the use of a pen and paper plus a lot of imagination and industry.
All of the stated innovative intervention has led to increased awareness in a variety of different topics plus a heightened involvement in literature. The day to day classroom activities have been supplemented by additional WOW procedures. There has been a lot of enjoyment within the discipline of literacy and learning via the WOW approach. There has also been a vast array of enthusiasm, enterprise and energy from the participants.
At the close of each WOW session wordsearches have also been handed out in order to maintain the momentum. The groups have been given worksheets for them to follow so they can write an article about a book they have at home. The reactions have been uplifting with pointers being offered to progress this ability and this guidance has been absorbed.
The positive bonds made with staff have also been crucial and there has been productive feedback from the weekly meets and the staff has been extremely complimentary. It is evident that the children look forward to WOW and I have been told by the year 6 gathering that they enjoy WOW and would love for us to follow them on to the next stage of their education.
There have been many WOW instigated visitors who have spoken to countless youngsters from across the school spectrum – and, not just WOW members. Therefore, children in Key Stage 1 have sampled this intervention as well as regular recipients from years 3, 4, 5 and 6. We have ensured that many youngsters have witnessed presentations from a range of role models. So we may do sessions for smaller groups but when a guest comes in the whole of Key Stage 2 can benefit.
In these traumatic times where personal visits have been more difficult WOW has also arranged online Q & A classes, discussions and information displays from a wide array of positive influencers. In among that illustrious list several appearances are attributed to acclaimed Welsh author Jenny Sullivan. She lives in France and has befriended WOW. This prominent wordsmith would otherwise be unavailable for a personal on site visit but she has put a lot of endeavour into our schools. This illustrious lady has offered prizes and also given the pupils an opportunity to flourish. The peak of this partnership has been a novel written by Jenny about Cwmclydach Primary School and the owls who reside there. This book – The School Owl – released in 2022 has been a success and put the school onto a new road to recognition. Other writers we have made known have also enriched the association with the English language via a variety of mediums.
The 2022 guests WOW has welcomed, include:
Author and poet, Jenny Sullivan
Paralympian, Rhys Jones
Professional footballer, Nathan Shepperd
Artist, poet and TV/radio broadcaster, Sion Tomos Owen
Artist and sculptor, Barry Lewis
Motivational speaker and Pastor, Grant Adams
Television and radio gardening celebrity, Terry Walton
Novelist, Meg Mattravers
Welsh Air Ambulance
Officials from The Senedd
Local historian, Phil Rowlands
Author, Myrddin Ap Dafydd
The Dogs Trust
The Cats Protection League
WOW wants to give the children a host of experiences and forge a link with adulthood aspirations, employment opportunities and educational enhancement.
WOW has also created capital in order to run and develop its project and our altruistic group continues to work hard in order to help our partners. Along the way in order to purchase outdoor equipment WOW raised capital for a school and also joined in a fundraising ramble. WOW enjoyed that extra bonding with the school as was attendance at the sports, fete and jubilee events.
The WOW rewards programme has afforded many prizes over the years but the pandemic slowed down tickets to major events. However, in 2022 we have been able to offer several children with adult accompaniment a free chance to watch the Wales male and female football team play and this was a big hit with both pupils and parents.
WOW has also offered a range of other in school gifts to our throng including: certificates, various bookmarks, rulers and other accessories.
The World of Words enterprise wishes to thank everyone above for their performances. Also it is a big thanks to everyone who has offered any help. The teaching crew at the schools have been wonderfully welcoming and super supportive.
The children have made their feelings known by an end of year gratitude card. The core messages of – ‘thanks for helping us improve our reading, writing, knowledge and work’ are indeed testimonies.
WOW is available for school time classes, after school clubs, story time sessions and one to one tuition. 20 schools and over 3500 youngsters have been involved at a variety of times across the span of the initiative.
WOW has to fundraise to sustain and develop its work.
The WOW motto is ‘Life is a test, just try your best!’ and in all fairness our children have followed this mantra with aplomb.
Here’s to 2023 and any schools who wish to join WOW please email firstname.lastname@example.org