Gilberthorpe school

Gilberthorpe school

Monday, 6 June 2016

Building Blocks Inspiration!

What an inspirational morning with Barbara Brann! Wow! I now understand so much more about the building blocks framework and the progression from school entry to being curriculum ready. I can see that there are ways to fill in any gaps the children may have as they arrive at school
The talk of RYTHMN was huge. Getting the children to move their bodies in many different ways to letters within words encouraging them to cross their mid-line – clapping is out.
Barbara is adamant that Handwriting should be up and running as soon as possible as it provides so many links to all aspects to children’s learning. Handwriting is started using a blackboard and chalk as children can control the chalk easily, use their whole arm or hand movement to form shapes and the board gives drag when writing.
Using the book Casey the Caterpillar being the foundation to it all. Barbara brought the book to life – reading and introducing the basic letter shapes to the children in a little group she taught. The 5 year olds had never been read the book before and 25 minutes later they were able to recognize and state the shape of many letters.  eg tall stick, tunnel, possum tail
And finally a real gem from Barbara  ….. the most important word to every child is their NAME. The letters in their name! Their special name.

What a morning … so much to buzz about! Fantastic!


  1. Thank you for your comments Alison, we can under estimate the importance of a name and its story. I am really looking forward to hearing about the impact the building blocks is having on the progress of our junior students.

  2. I was excited to hear you guys were going to this! Lisa has talked about it a few times and I was interested to know more!
    I love handwriting - hearing this is so pleasing!!! Man it sounds like you got a lot out of this! Can't wait to sit down and hear more!

  3. Thanks for sharing this Alison. Something quite simple but so crucial. Motor skill development has such an impact on how we function in all areas of life.
    When my sone Josiah was pre school age, I took him to Gymbaroo once a week and they used something very similar to Casey Caterpillar. Each week they had a focus letter and word linked to whatever topic they were doing that term. He could form his letters using the open mouth, short stick etc method and recognise words such as alligator and airplane. They also had movement time to climb, crawl, pass balls and other equipment. I think it was one of the best things I could have done for him and his learning. I am so pleased our junior students are able to access this kind of learning.

  4. It was really awesome to see you and Rebecca come back buzzing about your experiences at the building blocks course. It has been great seeing you put some of these things into action already with the writing groups. It was quite different to our session so it has been good to hear more about what you saw. I look forward to watching more videos from your sessions when Kerrin brings them as what we watched so far was very interesting!