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Wizard puppetry

Now that children are used to television, computer games and colourful resources, it isn't very exciting for them just to look at me in front of them every lesson. When I bring Arthur into the classroom the children become much more interested.

Arthur is a puppet bear. Children sit quietly and listen to the puppet as though it were alive. Arthur belongs to the class and is a unifying factor.

When writing my lesson plans I always jot down what I want Arthur to accomplish. He is not always a good bear. He often forgets how to behave and the children often have to remind him. When introducing a lesson on subtraction, Arthur will look at his feet, give a yawn and then look out of the window.

The children understand exactly how he feels and laugh. I then explain to the bear why he needs to know about subtraction and that I am going to help him until he understands.

Puppets are magical tools because they can easily correct behaviour, they can repeat primary concepts without boring those who already understand and they can talk about delicate subjects as well as introducing difficult topics in a captivating way.

Sophie Ward, early years PGCE student, York St John College

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