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Literacy - Enough to make you laugh

Reluctant readers at a West Dunbartonshire school have been turned on to stories by making their own cartoons.

HMIE has highlighted the good work of St Michael's Primary, in Dumbarton, which has a number of pupils from deprived backgrounds where reading is not the norm.

The school has used animation computer software such as Photo Story and Comic Life with all P6-7 pupils to make the creation of stories more appealing. Pupils use Plasticine to make short films similar in style to the Morph cartoons shown on Tony Hart's art programmes in the 1980s (pictured).

"It has engaged children who find language and sitting with paper and a pencil off-putting," said Julie McGrogan, the headteacher, who was inspired by a session at the National Literacy Conference last year. "It's raised their motivation levels."

The scheme tapped into computers' popularity with children and encouraged them to tell stories without realising they were doing so. West Dunbartonshire Council paid for software and training. HMIE is highlighting examples of good practice in a special section on its website.

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