Buckle up your seatbelts, let's go on another adventure - using Lyfta with Key Stage 1

Content Team
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Teachers at Three Bridges Primary School have found innovative ways to bring global understanding and empathy-building into the curriculum, especially in subjects like RE and science, through digital immersive storytelling.
A student watching storyworld The Circus Family
A student watching storyworld The Circus Family
This impact study highlights the unique ways global immersive storytelling content can work effectively with key stage one (KS1) audiences using Lyfta. Two year 2 teachers and one year 1 teacher shared with us the key ways in which they have so far observed the impact of Lyfta with their classes of students aged 5-7. They taught 'Lyfta Time' sessions as a 25-30 minute introduction to a different storyworld in a different part of the world each week.

Key motivations of using Lyfta in Key Stage One

Lyfta in the classroom
Lyfta in the classroom
  • Bringing in new voices and perspectives
  • Bringing in the outside world into the classroom
  • Building a sense of belonging and connection to other parts of the world
  • Enriching and enlivening the curriculum

Key benefits of using Lyfta in Key Stage One

Year 2 students at Three Bridges Primary School
  • Something to talk about: 'It gives them something to talk about that isn't just maths and English!'
  • Supporting understanding of new concepts: 'A different way of focusing on a value or theme.'
  • Enjoyment: The children often ask 'do we have Lyfta Time today?' The kids 'loved it.'Watch the short film to see what year 2 students say about Lyfta.
  • Storytelling skills: Supporting storytelling and story-mapping skills.
  • Geography: Supported understanding of geographical awareness including place knowledge and locational knowledge.
  • Multiple perspective awareness: Developing an understanding that there are different ideas and perspectives around the world.
  • Relatability: Helping them make cultural links to their own lives that might not always be represented in schools.
  • Hope: A way of 'offering hope' that the children might be able to live in different ways, different countries and have new experiences like this one day in the future.

10 teaching strategies for using Lyfta in Key Stage One

World map showing places that Lyfta has taken the students
World map showing places that Lyfta has taken the students
  1. Playing the 'soundscapes' as the children come into the lesson to indicate a Lyfta Time experience and encourage immersion, once seated use phrases like 'close your eyes and listen to the sounds' and try playing sound before any visuals to encourage children to guess where they might be.
  2. Using phrases like 'buckle up your seatbelts, where are we going to travel to today?' to build anticipation and enthusiasm around geographical location, theme and person.
  3. Turning off the film's subtitles to support inference skills.
  4. Using story mapping techniques to recount the story and lead to a writing activity.
  5. Using Lyfta with a large map of the world to build a sense of geography and attaching pictures of the people from Lyfta onto that map.
  6. Using Lyfta storyworlds to add meaning and interest in linked, pre-existing school programmes like Forest Schools (e.g. going to do forest school practical after watching Flora in the Amazon), Eco Schools (e.g. watching Rob the beachcomber in Cornwall) and Rights Respecting Schools (e.g. supporting CRC Article 14 [I have the right to have my own thoughts and beliefs and to choose my religion with my parents' guidance] with the Becoming Me series.)
  7. Only using some aspects of storyworlds like the 360 experiences and sounds and sections of a film, rather than the storyworld in its entirety.
  8. Adapt pace and content of storyworlds where there is lots to explore and slow down engaging with different aspects bit by bit over more than one day.
  9. Using the school 'mindfulness' strategy which includes 'brain breaks' to sit with sounds but also use some storyworlds (such as those in the Becoming Me series) to support understanding of meditation.
  10. Learn how to adapt lesson plans in the teacher interface so that previous learning of topics or curriculum themes can be reinforced.
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"Many children have independently researched some of the Lyfta countries that we have visited and have shared some of their findings during ‘show and tell' sessions."

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Year 2 student quotes about who they enjoyed visiting with Lyfta, why they liked visiting them, and what they found interesting:

"I liked learning about Deenpal because he is a different religion to me and I got to learn about it."

"My favourite Lyfta was the opera house because it looks like so much fun to be under the stage but part of the show."

"My favourite place was Berlin because we got to see the bees in the hive - I searched for the queen bee using the 360 part."

"I enjoyed Rob's story because the easter island statue he made is my favourite."

"I liked seeing Rob at the beach because it was fun looking at the treasure he found."

Character & Values
Cultural Capital
Global Learning
Case Study