Opening Up the Trapdoor

If you happened to wander in to early years classrooms in a couple of Footscray schools earlier this year, you would have been well advised to take a backpack with you. But not just any backpack: a Hero’s Backpack. Inside you should have packed a variety of items: something to eat, a tool and a toy.  With these things, you would be better prepared for the villains, obstacles and even errant heroes who were roaming the corridors, hiding in Doors of Confusion and shouting ‘brocca-leekers’!

Inspired by the 99 levels below the trapdoor at the back of 100 Story Building, Footscray West Primary School and St Monica’s Primary School Footscray Prep-Grade 2 students went deep beneath the surface of their narrative writing.  And not just the students – teachers engaged with their own skills as storytellers and leading their intrepid classrooms through expressive, expansive story worlds.

Today we launch the evaluation report of Opening Up the Trapdoor, a collaborative literacy development project conceived by 100 Story Building and the Early Years team at Maribyrnong City Council in response to the Department of Education and Training’s Best Start Program. The project delivered improvements in teacher practice and student engagement, including:

  • Teachers developed new skills in literacy teaching and confidence in using creative tools
  • Most students showed evidence of deeper engagement in literacy and progressed at their own level
  • Teachers embedded new approaches in to future narrative units

100 Story Building and Maribyrnong City Council invite schools within the municipality to participate in phase 2 of the Opening Up the Trapdoor project. Join us at 2pm to hear from teachers and students at Footscray West Primary School and St Monica’s Primary School about their experiences, and talk to us about your needs for early years literacy.

Opening Up the Trapdoor Report launch

Thursday April 7, 2-3pm

100 Story Building, 92 Nicholson St, Footscray

Principals and teachers are invited to contact us on 9044 8215 to express interest in the project, to begin in term 3, 2016.

Read the evaluation report here.

Opening Up the Trapdoor Evaluation 2015 link