Discover operates a range of programmes and projects to support educational attainment through creativity for children, schools, families and the community.

We work with all kinds of artists and settings to deliver learning programmes with stories and innovation at their heart, reaching children from all over London, Essex and into Hertfordshire.

Our projects reach children up to 11 years old, as well as teachers, professionals and families, and we work with a wide range of audiences, including those with English as an additional language, and those with Special Educational Needs and disabilities.

Catching Words

Catching Words began in 2009 and is a literacy-focused intervention programme delivered in a range of schools. It unites teachers, pupils, artists and Discover’s in-house Story Builders to provide a structured and staged series of sessions designed to increase children’s creativity and confidence with language and storytelling, and improve their literacy, oracy and language skills. The project is delivered in schools, with artists and Story Builders attending at weekly intervals, and is available on a class by class basis. It can be delivered with up to 30 pupils.

Literacy Projects


– Raise pupils’ standards in reading and writing.
– Improve spoken word and listening skills in participating children.
– Raise the standards of reading comprehension skills in participating children.

Delivery Stages

There are three stages to the delivery, each featuring a different artist:

Stage One: Poetry

A poet works with the school to explore language, focussing on poetry, words and creativity to support pupils to develop their linguistic skills and oracy.

Stage Two: Storytelling

A story teller works with the group to explore narratives, the components of stories, effective delivery and how to create stories.

Stage Three: Writing

A professional writer works with the group to collectively write a story, as a class. The story is facilitated by the writer but created by the pupils. The book is then edited, illustrated, professionally printed, and a copy given to each child.

Across all three stages the artist works with the teacher and Story Builder to ensure that all participants are involved, and that the sessions are inclusive, constructive and beneficial to the pupils.


The project is delivered in the London boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Waltham Forest and Thurrock, and in Hertfordshire. In 2015-16 the project reached 600 pupils across 18 schools.

Additional information

Each participating class is offered a trip to the Discover centre, while teachers involved are offered introductory sessions and INSET training as part of the project. Once printed, the books are brought back into the school by the Story Builder who has been working with the class.

We currently have spaces available for Catching Words Hertfordshire . For more information please click here to download our Teacher Information Pack.

For more information on Catching Words, please contact our Head of Learning, Ben O’Donnell, at Ben.O’, or on 020 8536 5546.