Seven Stories Reading Together Programme

11th July 2018

WEST Schools’ Trust Art Project


West End Schools’ Trust (WEST) is a collection of seven Primary Schools in the West End of Newcastle. The seven Trust Schools are Bridgewater, Broadwood, Canning Street, Hawthorn, St John’s, St Paul’s, and Wingrove. Our vision is to enable every learner to achieve the best that they can.

Our artwork has arisen as a result of our collaborations in the community. WEST were approached by Well Newcastle Gateshead who are an organisation which brings together partners from local communities, the NHS, local government, educational establishments, businesses, social enterprises and the voluntary sector to inspire people to live happy, healthy lives. Well Newcastle Gateshead had a proposal for WEST to participate in a family reading together project. The purpose of the project was to support school readiness for children. It was anticipated that families could enjoy reading together whilst supporting their children with the transition to school. “My Story, My Place, My Future” became the overall theme for the project.

Seven Stories were invited to aid the programme. Seven Stories is a National Centre for Children’s books. They provide learning and participation programmes in schools to encourage reading. The Trust Teachers with Seven Stories practitioners chose a selection of books to read which complimented the theme of “My Story, My Place, My Future”. These texts were:


Rabbityness – Jo Empson

Happy in our skin – Fran Manushkin

I’m a Girl – Yasmeen Ismail

Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure – Helen and Thomas Docherty

Babies don’t walk they Ride – Kathy Henderson

Immi – Karin Littlewood

Welcome – Stephane Barroux


The children spent time in the classroom reading these chosen books. Further, the children and their families took part in a wider family reading together programme looking at different texts. In these sessions they read together and used props to make the stories come to life. The children and their families visited Seven Stories during the project so that they could see children’s literature as an art form, with original work and manuscripts making exhibitions. The children used their experience from the family reading sessions and the trip to Seven Stories to inspire them to produce their own artwork.