October 2014

Harveer tastes sweet success for digital retelling of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Read time: approx 2 mins

A postgraduate trainee teacher captured the imagination of her young pupils – and picked up an award for digital innovation – with a fun retelling of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

PGCE student Harveer Kaur challenged Year 3 youngsters to devise an alternative ending to Roald Dahl’s childhood classic and bring their story to life in an animated film.

Harveer, who was studying Primary and Early Years at UCB, was delighted when the project scooped a top prize at Wolverhampton’s Digital Learning Awards (DIGIs).

She was on a placement at Bilston C of E Primary School, Wolverhampton, working with seven and eight-year-old pupils, when she devised the novel approach to storytelling.

Harveer’s placement was part of a newly-launched, wider project, devised by UCB, called Immersion Weeks. This featured more than 50 PGCE students planning and delivering assemblies, performances, interactive displays and role play scenarios with nursery and primary youngsters.

Harveer had previously worked at Bilston as a volunteer teaching assistant and was keen to be based in a “boy-heavy” class during Immersion Weeks in order to help male pupils boost their reading and comprehension skills. She said: “I wanted to think of a creative way to get them to think outside the box.”

Harveer, aged 23, assessed the group’s strengths and weaknesses and decided to get the pupils to use an iPad and Lego to make an animated film inspired by Charlie’s adventures at the chocolate factory.

The youngsters already knew, and loved, the book and Harveer got them to come up with an alternative ending, using mind maps to develop their ideas.

In the finished story, called A Change for Charlie, the hero shuns the prize of winning the factory – and opts for a good education, a warm house, a new car and some money.

The four-minute animation won Best Animation for Key Stage 2 (Year 3 to Year 6) in the DIGIs.

Harveer is now an NQT at St Michael’s C of E Primary, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton.

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