Write on the pocket 'air rescue' trousers
This article appeared in the Manchester Evening News in December, 2010. Hear Air Support Officer Mick Dunne talking about the 'Write on the pocket' trousers in the video on our Home page - click here.
A unique pair of trousers, based on those worn by Greater Manchester Police Air Support Officers, is inspiring young children to write.
The write on the pocket 'air rescue' trousers, worn here by children at Saviour C of E Primary school in Collyhurst, North Manchester, are a big hit with pupils, who love the novelty of writing on a new surface.
Saviour year 1 teacher, Alex Baines, commented ‘The children loved the trousers – having a different surface to write on was just so novel’.
Air Support Officer, Mick Dunne (pictured), who paid a special visit to the school, said ‘I thought the role play trousers were brilliant. They are an absolutely essential part of our kit in a helicopter... so to get across to the children how important writing is , and how we make notes when we are on a job, is a great idea.'
Boys are increasingly lagging behind girls when it comes to literacy, and the write on the pocket 'air rescue' trousers have been praised by teachers for helping make writing fun and exciting.
The trousers are part of an award-winning new Young Writers’ Role Play Pack, which has been devised by Manchester-based early years specialists Child’s Eye Media, to encourage children to write through play.
The Pack includes 8 Royal Television Society Award-winning films, many of which were shot in and around Manchester, showing adults writing as part of their work, and children emulating them through role play. The Pack also includes 8 bespoke role play outfits, just like those worn by adults in the films such as Greater Manchester Police and Fire and Rescue Service, and role play sheets designed like the real forms adults write on, to inspire writing through role play.
Saviour Reception teacher, Kate McMullen, who trialed the Pack, said ‘It’s been absolutely brilliant – it’s had a really big impact. The children, especially the boys, have done a lot more writing, and their vocabulary has definitely increased. They have modelled their role play on the children in the films. They put on the outfits, and turn into other characters, which also helps their aspirations. It’s been fantastic!’.
The Pack has recently won the Creative Play Awards and a Gold Award in the Practical Preschool Awards (multi media section). Child’s Eye Media’s Educational Director, Linda Mort, commented ‘It seems to be the magic combination of the different components which gives the Pack its ‘wow’ factor’, and make it so appealing to children.
Dr. Jonathan Doherty, Head of Early Years and Childhood Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University, is so struck by the potential of the Pack for developing children’s spoken and written skills skills, he is planning an in depth study of its impact in the classroom later this year. ‘I am convinced that the Pack has the potential to be transformative in schools, and look forward to tracking its impact’
To read the remarkable case study about the trial of the Young Writers' Role Play Pack, and its impact on children's learning, please click here