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Year 6 case study: 'Tobias and the Angel'

Pupils at Sherington Primary school in London took inspiration from 'Tobias and the Angel' by the workshop of Verrocchio.

Watch a storytelling performance by a Year 6 pupil at Sherington Primary School and read the teacher's view on the high quality of writing the project produced.

Storytelling: 'Tobias and the Angel'
A storytelling performance by a Year 6 pupil from Sherington Primary School, based on 'Tobias and the Angel'.
Tobias and the Angel
Storytelling by a Year 6 pupil from Sherington Primary School – 6 mins

Year 6 teacher Monica Lanata

"The impact of using visual stimuli such as paintings in order to grab the children's attention and improve the quality of their writing is just amazing! The children's imagination came alive with the paintings – they lived and breathed the scenes that were shown, and this enthusiasm showed when it came to writing.

"Using storytelling as a starting point for their writing was very useful as well, as it allowed the children to take ownership of their stories and to practise constructing their ideas before committing them to paper. This meant that even the least confident of the children felt they were ready (and willing) to write at length, and it gave them a chance to practise the 'story voice', which makes their writing much livelier to read."

The main impact on children

Benefits included:

  • Confidence – knowing the story through drama and storytelling meant it was easier for the children to be successful when writing it down
  • Enjoyment – writing became a 'fun' activity, not just another task to complete at school
  • Equal starting points – studying the paintings and creating a story as a class meant that every child was benefiting from the sharing of ideas, and that they were all starting at the same point when writing

Main impact on teaching

Benefits included:

  • Pride – it was fantastic to see the children achieving such high levels of writing with such ease
  • Enjoyment – lessons were fun for all, not just the children!
  • Cohesion in planning – the paintings led the way, not just for planning a literacy unit on writing stories, but also for linking other subjects and literary genres