How the Forest Came to Be is a digital project supporting the emotional wellbeing and resilience of KS2 pupils through storytelling and creative activities.

As COVID-19 continues to bring an enormous amount of change and uncertainty to the lives of young children, we’re making the project available to schools and families free of charge during January – March 2021. 

About the Project 

Lost, Found & Told Digital Storytelling Project - A white owl flies with wings outstretched in a black sky with a golden crescent moon. © Hannah Fox/November Club

How the Forest Came to Be is a story from Lost, Found and Told: New Audio Tales for Northumberland, a collection of seven short original short stories written by Fiona Ellis, set in the border county of Northumberland in North East England.

In this digital storytelling project, a series of 5 original films use animation, storytelling and music to tell the story of How the Forest Came to Be.  It involves a Hob (a Northumbrian Goblin), a Pele Tower, and two brothers called Ford and Etal.   

The story explores change, coping and resilience, friendship and adventure; what challenges we face during times of change, how we respond to these, and how we can support each other. 

Each film is accompanied by a creative activity ranging from creative writing, music, visual art, craft/making and sculpture.  Reading, writing, speaking and listening are woven throughout the activities to support children’s language and vocabulary. 

The project resources are digital and accessed via the November Club website, so can be completed in a timescale that suits your setting.  We recommend a minimum of 5 days, and a maximum of 5 weeks.  The resources will be available for the full 2020-21 academic year. 

This accessible and flexible resource is ideal for inclusion in recovery and home learning curriculums.  It has been developed for Years 3 and 4, but schools could adapt it in line with the needs of their own pupils for use in KS1 and upper KS2. 

Watch our short trailer and preview one of the creative experiences.

"We have been really impressed with how this project has worked for our children.  It has brought alive the beauty of creative and imaginative storytelling.  The children have risen to the challenge and engaged brilliantly in so many different individual ways.  November Club have been a pleasure to work with - thoughtful, enthusiastic and efficient.  It's wonderful to see them share their artistic expertise and get the children so engaged."                                                               

- Rebecca Simpson, Headteacher, Lowick Church of England First School

Impact on Children’s Emotional Wellbeing

The project was initially developed in the summer of 2020 to support Year 3 & 4 pupils at Hugh Joicey, Lowick and Norham St Ceolwulf’s First Schools in Berwick upon Tweed during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Teachers have fed back that the project was engaging and well thought-out, and the films and activities were appropriate for the ages of the children involved. 

Evaluation data from these schools shows a demonstrable impact on the emotional wellbeing of the pupils taking part, with 64% of pupils’ overall wellbeing scores increasing throughout the course of the project. In addition to this, of the pupils that completed the welbeing survey:

“Children can be led to see how emotionally resilient they can be with change and adaptation. The examples of the characters having to adapt and accept was a good lesson and allowed for lots of reflection... often subtle the messages were gentle yet positive.  You can overcome and you can change and grow” 

                                                                                                                            - Gwen Cockett, KS2 Teachers, Norham St Ceolwulf’s Churchof England First School 

"The children thoroughly enjoyed the project and gained so much from it.  It not only supported transition both in returning to school after so long and for those children moving onto middle school, but it was a great way to engage them with learning in literacy and PSHE.  So many benefits for our children."

                                                                                                                            - Sarah Jones, Headteacher, Norham St Ceolwulf's Church of England First School

Flexible for at Home or School

We understand that this is a period of flux for schools, with individual children, teachers or whole bubbles potentially needing to isolate for up to 10 days at a time.  

To minimise disruption, we have developed two sets of creative activities, one for delivery in-school with teachers support, and one for children to complete at home with parental support. 

Should individual children need to isolate part-way through the project, they can access the films and activities at home, or if a whole bubble needs to isolate you can keep up the momentum and flow of the project, without needing to pause or stop completely. 

Alternatively, the project could be accessed entirely from home by individual children or whole bubbles, as an engaging creative project for them to complete during isolation.

"We would recommend the Lost and Found project as a great opportunity for the children to explore their creativity in new ways. The resources are professional but accessible and the admin support has been thorough and helpful."                                                           

                           - Jacqueline Dalrymple, Headteacher, Hugh Joicey Church of England First School 

Discover Arts Award 

The creative activities will also enable the children to work towards achieving Arts Award Discover.  

Arts Award is a set of awards for children and young people aged 25 and under that gets them involved in and excited about arts and culture, and celebrates their creative achievements. 

Arts Award Discover is an introductory award that supports children to: 

  • develop a basic understanding of the arts 
  • take part in arts activities 
  • research artists or craftspeople and their work 
  • develop a basic understanding of communication, and share their arts discoveries 

For schools wanting to support their pupils to achieve the award, a bespoke Discover Arts Award Logbook will be provided, supporting children to reflect on their creative experiences, capture their learning journey and complete additional activities in order to achieve the award. 

November Club is a registered Arts Award Centre and will manage the assessment and moderation of this work. Our resources have been developed by our Participation Producer, Louise Taylor-Asheg, who is a trained Arts Award Advisor.  We will provide a Discover Arts Award Guide for teaching staff so they can support children in completing their logbooks.

" Zoe has another piece of the story so shhhhh everyone, we don't want to miss anything"   

- KS2 Pupil at Norham St Ceolwulf's Church of England First School

Packages Available

How the Forest Came to Be Storytelling Package 

This package will be available to schools and parents/carers for FREE throughout January – March 2021. 

Resources include:  

  • 5 online films   
  • 5 downloadable pdf in-school activities 
  • 5 downloadable pdf home activities 
  • Downloadable monitoring & evaluation framework & templates to measure the impact of the project on pupil's well-being 

Discover Arts Award  

Cost per pupil: £12  

Resources include:  

  • Professionally printed Lost, Found & Told Arts Award logbook for each child 
  • An Arts Award guide for teaching staff  
  • Arts Award Discover enrolment spreadsheet  
  • Completion certificate from Trinity College London  
  • Support from our Participation Producer via email, telephone or video call 
  • Assessment and administration of the award by November Club. 


How to get involved

Parents/Carers

To access the project please sign up via this online form and we will email you with a link to the project web page.


Schools

To access the project please sign up via this online form.  We will ask you to provide:  

  • School name; 
  • Name & email of lead contact; 

If you’d like to complete the Arts Award Discover, we will also ask you to provide: 

  • Number of pupils participating in the Arts Award package;  
  • Name, address and email for invoicing;  
  • If your school/LEA operates a PO system, what information November Club will need to provide in order for it to be issued.  

The form will include the Terms & Conditions for the project, which you can also download here. 

If you have any queries we’ll be very happy to answer them via email or arrange a phone conversation. Please contact our Participation Producer Louise Taylor-Asheg on [email protected].   

  


Credits:

Original story written by Fiona Ellis:
Adapted by Hannah Fox and Zoe Lambert
Directed and animated by Hannah Fox
Narrated by Zoe Lambert
Music by Hans Troost

Partners:

Norham St Ceolwulfs Church of England First School
Lowick Church of England First School  
Hugh Joicey Church of England Aided First School, Ford

Supported by:

     Hadrian Trust - a logo with Hadrian written in white on a black background, and Trust written in black on a white background.    

Banner Image © Hannah Fox