My Family: My Story Project at World of James Herriot

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The My Family: My Story Project will introduce families to museums, collections and the ways that objects create stories, focussing particularly on items personal to the Wight family. Over six sessions, we will work with families to focus on their own homes and objects that are special to them, asking families to create their own family collection.

Using these objects as a starting point, families will develop family stories, and take part in a range of literacy and IT activities, including creative writing, making story boxes, and creating digital stories. Participants will be asked to think about what stories these objects could tell people now and in the future, about their family, their interests and how they lived.

Key audiences

Working with students and families in Thirsk Community primary school, it was agreed that the project would focus on boys in year 3 who might have been seen as ‘off task’ by the teacher and might enjoy doing something different.


The project would have the following aims and objectives:

1. To work with a group of families to create a family story over about 5 or 6 sessions.

2. To promote family learning.

3. To interact with the museum and consider how the World of James Herriot is constructed from stories,

4. To provide families with an introduction to museums and collections.

5. To use personal objects as starting points for writing stories.

6. To look at the relationship between parental interaction, objects in the home and stories and show how these activities can support literacy in school.

This would involve the following activities:

1. To create a family collection of objects and talk about the objects to others.

2. To visit the World of James Herriot and explore our collection and our stories.

3. To create a story box for this collection.

4. To photograph home objects as stimulus for writing/story creation

5. To create a written family story collaboratively using the chosen home objects and their associated personal memories.

6. Each family to produce a digital story

7. To create activities, including a learning journey for the My Learning website.

8. To trace the processes and practices of producing the stories using digital cameras and also use disposable cameras going home to trace this and provide a research record of the project.

It is hoped that from this project the following future developments can take place to ensure the concept of using objects as a stimulus for story creation remains:

How will you evaluate this project?

University of Sheffield plan to evaluate the relationship between the stories and the writing the children produce as evidence of this way of working as supporting literacy in school.


The project will work in partnership with: · Thirsk Community Primary School (Head teacher, Richard Wild) · Extended School Co-ordinator Carolyn Mullins · Kate Pahl, University of Sheffield · MLA Yorkshire

Contact details for this project

Jenny Wells

Audience Development Officer

The World of James Herriot

t 01845 524234


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