Puppet Mistress Nathalie pulls the strings to bring language to life

Puppet Mistress Nathalie pulls the strings to bring language to life

DBN member Nathalie Paris is helping local young budding puppeteers bring their creations to life

Cayden Jones and Lily Taylor both won the opportunity to take part in a workshop to make the hand puppets which they designed for a competition.

Cayden, in Y5 at Newburn Manor Primary School and Lily in Y4 at Northburn Primary School, beat hundreds of entries from the North East with their original ideas: a puppet of a cyclist from the Tour de France and a puppet of a storytelling Eiffel Tower.

The competition was run in the summer term by Nathalie Paris from Natta-Lingo.  Consett-based Nathalie uses puppets to tell stories to children of all ages in French, Spanish and German and she fancied some new designs.

The children also won for their respective schools a visit from Nathalie’s languages mobile library bus, so that many more children benefited from Cayden and Lily‘s success.  Anne Dooley, languages coordinator and Y5 teacher at Newburn manor, said: “Newburn Manor Primary School loved listening to French stories told by Nathalie with her Bibliobus – so a big thank you.”

Emma Taylor, Lily‘s mother and French teacher at Language Learners North East, said: “I’m not sure who was more excited when we discovered that Lily had won the competition, her or me. As a mum, it makes me very proud to witness how enthused Lily is about the prospect of seeing her puppet in action when the Bibliobus visits her school, but as a language teacher myself I am delighted to see her have the chance to become even more passionate about learning languages and to get to share this opportunity with her classmates.” The workshop took place with Carrie Pearson from Spanglies in Sunderland; the children used sewing machines with a variety of materials to make their creations come to life.

Nathalie said: “I own about 100 hand-puppets and 50 fingers puppets already; they are great accessories which help bring stories to life and encourage the children to engage with different languages in a non-threatening way. I cannot wait to add the new puppets to my collection and to use them, the designs are so unique. Well done Cayden and Lily.”

Article by Peter Jackson.