Storytelling doesn’t always come easily to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, as they often lack the stimulus and life experiences that would trigger their imaginations. So Let Teachers SHINE winner, Gavin Summerfield, invented the Robotics Storytelling Club, where children get to program a robot to tell stories.
The robot can gesture, take on different character voices and interact directly with the children using its speech capability. In programming the robot to tell stories, the children learn to code
as well as improving their literacy.
“The effect the robot has had on the students is fascinating. We found that as soon as we put the robot in front of a class, the children were captivated; the whole atmosphere changes and they all want to play with it and make it move and talk,” says Gavin.
Last year, all 49 students who attended the after school club learnt to program a robot to retell a story successfully, with 80% making substantial progress in literacy. One student, Ellie, was initially quiet and lacking in confidence at school. Now she’s teaching other children how to program the robot and has spoken about the project in front of a live audience at an education technology conference.
We’re continuing to support Gavin to work with other primary schools to run the after school club in their schools.