Other ways of using ORIM

Making it REAL Creative:
Hasting and Rother

People sitting in a conference

Making it REAL Creative is an innovative collaboration between NCB, the University of Sheffield, East Sussex County Council, Artswork, and the Department for Education. It builds on the work of Professors Cathy Nutbrown and Peter Hannon at the University of Sheffield.

NCB’s Making it REAL programme (raising early achievement in literacy) has since 2009 been training early years professionals across the country to deliver an early literacy programme based on the REAL four strands of literacy, and the ORIM Framework.

This successful project was developed further in 2016 when NCB gained funding from Artswork to work in the Hastings area, delivering a project which paired local artists and cultural partners with early years settings, to use the arts to enhance children’s development both in literacy, and holistically.

Making it REAL Creative uses the ORIM Arts framework and paired four artists from the Hastings area with eight early years settings. Anne Colvin (Dance Artist); Ed Boxall (Artist, Writer, Performer); Rebecca Fifield (Performing Arts Professional) and Kevin Graal (Storyteller) each worked with early years practitioners to develop literacy events, and collaborated with local galleries, museums, the library and cultural organisations (The De La Warr Pavilion, Hastings Museum, Hastings Pier and Jerwood Gallery) to support greater access by families to these spaces.

The project is due to come to an end in Summer 2018, and will have worked with 100 children directly, and reached many more indirectly through events. Initial impact assessment shows it to already have been a great success. We have used simple parent and practitioner questionnaires to assess change in parent behaviour (impacting on the early home learning environment) and development in children’s learning.

So far the project has:

  • Increased the number of children that look at or share a book with a parent at home on a daily basis.

  • Increased the number of children who regularly sing songs and rhymes at home.

  • Increased the number of children who are given the opportunity to mark make (early writing skills) at home regularly.

  • Raised parent and child awareness of environmental print and child recognition of letters and words.

  • Encouraged language development, with more children talking in sentences.

  • Increased library membership and regular library use in the cohort from 58% to 92%.

  • Raised number of children having visited a gallery or museum from 47% pre-project, to 92% post project.

  • Raised parent confidence levels.

NCB hopes to collaborate further with arts organisations in the future, building on the success of Making it REAL Creative and the inspiring work of Cathy Nutbrown at the University of Sheffield.

Ellie Suggate-Francis
Principal Officer – Early Childhood Unit
National Children’s Bureau