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ARTiculate Education - rethinking primary creative writing

Hello! My name is Stefan Kucharczyk and I am an experienced primary school teacher, lecturer and writer based in Leeds (UK). I have always loved losing myself in stories: in books, films, computer games, theatre, lego and anything and everything else. But my real passion has always been writing.

Now, I work with primary school children and teachers to support them in making writing an immersive, creative and fun experience. I am interested in the potential of creative, enquiry-based learning to change the way we think about education in primary schools (and education in general) and to help prepare young learners to live and flourish as literate citizens in an exciting world. I also work in Higher Education as a lecturer with the Open University.

No, I am not an all-seeing expert with schemes of work under my arm, but I have experience, passion, imagination and the willingness to take a risk - all that you need to change the world.

To book me for workshops, CPD, speaking engagements o…
Recent posts

A talk at the University of the Western Cape

Last month, I submitted my Masters by Research thesis at Leeds Beckett University. My topic was teacher identity and creativity and on Tuesday, I was delighted to be invited to speak on it at the University of the Western Cape. It was lovely to meet the staff from the Faculty of Education and I thank them for going easy on me with the questions! It was my first academic talk and I am glad it was in my home-from-home of Cape Town.
I'll spare you the full 15,000 words, but the research was into my identity as a teacher and how growing accountability is reshaping not only the role of teachers but also how they see themselves as trusted professionals. Although this autoethnographic research was into my own story as a teacher, exploring the experiences of others is something I am following up through my Facebook blog Teacher Talking Time
The key aspect of this research was in the area of creativity in primary education. If the process of learning and working creativily involves risk…

Pay-as-you-feel for my teaching resources

One of the most influential books I have read over the last few months is Open: how we'll work, live and learn in the future by musician, educator and fellow Leeds resident, David Price. If you haven’t come across it before, I can thoroughly recommend it. 
In his book, David Price explores new trends in working and learning made possible by the internet and the rise of social media. There are several ideas from Open that have powerful implications for education and I will explore several of these on this blog in the next few months. One of the most important parts of being ‘open’ is about reciprocal sharing. 
Over the last few years, I have been turning my ideas into buyable teaching resources available from my shop on the TES platform. I put together short and long planning prompts and Medium Term Planning documents for creative writing, literacy, and cross-curricular units of work.
Selling resources is a vital source of income to support my independent work (most of the work I …

Between a blog and a hard place: what this blog is for

It has been a while since I last posted on this blog but it does not mean that I have not been busy. Since January 2018, I have been studying for a Masters by Research at Leeds Beckett University - I handed it in last month (fingers crossed for a good mark!). The research was a critical reflection on my transition from a full-time primary school teacher to independent teaching consultant in July 2014. It looks at how that transition has changed the way I feel about being a teacher. 
I’ll spare you the full 15,000 words, but it is enough to say that this study helped me, for the first time, to begin to untangle some of the complex and difficult feelings I have about my time as a full-time teacher. For a long time I have tried to present that transition as a choice, as a promotion almost whereby I put aside my work to follow a specialist interest in creative writing. A noble cause. While there are elements of truth in this, it is far from the whole story.
If I am honest, I found it di…

Story Makers Company at Leeds Beckett University

Last month I was delighted to join up with the Story Makers Company at Leeds Beckett University - a collective of creative practitioners who work with schools across Leeds and beyond to promote storytelling and encourage young authors to find their voices.

SMC held a creative event on 27th June where members showcased their excellent work to teachers. The event was a huge success - well done to all who were involved.

To celebrate the event, the SMC published the first edition of Story Maker Dialogues: an interactive journal collecting ideas and 'think pieces' to promote discussion about creative practices in school.

My article about developing creative writing in primary schools was included too. Click on the picture below to access the full journal.

To find out more about the Story Maker Company, visit their website!




If the journal didn't load, please follow the link: http://anyflip.com/lcyg/uosj

ARTiculate newsletter: July & August 2018

Hello teachers!

Jambo from Kenya! I’m here for a visit to Nairobi. When I have not been striding across the Maasai Mara, feeding baby giraffe to the Out of Africa soundtrack, I have been visiting the School of Education at Kenyatta University. Thank you for the welcome – asante sana!  But don’t be jealous UK teachers – it’s colder here in Kenya than it is in Leeds!

Book literacy CPD for your school’s September INSET!

Whether your school’s literacy teaching needs a bit of a shake up or a new sparkle, an ARTiculate CPD workshop is the ideal for your school’s INSET day in September.

If your school is getting back to basics, I have workshops designed to help teachers choose and use quality texts, develop independent writers, engage reluctant writers and use more effective editing or redrafting techniques.

For schools looking to develop and enhance their literacy teaching, I can guide your staff in using film to teach literacy, teaching whole school Shakespeare, using art to inspire writing or…

Jambo! Visit to Brookhouse School, Kenya

Our second week on our Kenya trip and an opportunity to visit the Karen campus of the Brookhouse School, Nairobi. And quite an experience it was too!

A private school, Brookhouse is regarded as one of the most prestigious schools in the country and it is hard to deny that the campus is stunning: a small farm with ostriches, secretary birds and guinea fowl, life size sculptures of safari animals in the playground, the library with the 'learning tree' that is also a staircase (and also the pride and joy of Jonathan, the school's librarian) and a computer lab that is decked out like a space station. These are facilities that most schools in Kenya - and, for that matter, the UK - can only dream of.

While this material investment may be out of reach for many schools, the schools commitment to creative learning is not.

Meeting the deputy headteacher and curriculum leader Andrew Kimwele and teacher Susan Bantu, it was interesting to hear the school's approach to creative, cr…