Multimodal Project

“From a teaching perspective, the MML project has been a breath of fresh air. Not only has the project significantly enhanced the learning experience of the child, but also positively impacted the approach I take to teaching this particular individual and the class as a whole" - Nottinghamshire primary teacher, 2024
"MML is one of the fundamental elements of his literacy success now" - Primary teacher accessing the programme in 2023.


The Multimodal Project (MML) has been successfully running for 14 years. We celebrated being finalists for the Service and Support category at BETT 2020 (British Educational Training and Technology, a ‘flagship’ global show). It is also referenced in several United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) publications and is suitable for children aged 4-14 years.

This successful initiative adopts the principle that many everyday texts today are multimodal, combining words with images (some of which move), sounds and colour. People of all cultures have always used a range of ways to communicate meaning through speech, writing, image, gesture and movements.

Advances with technologies which bring different media of communication drives a ‘newness’ in the way that messages are distributed and skills needed to receive these. The multimodal approach adopted throughout the programme activities, encourages informed authorship embracing the choices we make to construct texts with a purpose and audience. This enriching programme engages learners and enhances English curriculum provision.

The Nottinghamshire programme is delivered by the Virtual School Team with Dr Petula Bhojwani and Craig Wilkie, specialists in literacy and technology teaching alongside their research in engaging vulnerable children. The team have a combined 50 years of teaching experience, working confidently across all age ranges and phases of education.

Petula and Craig are also authors of several publications including: 'Power Up Literacy' (2018), 'Digital Literacies' (2021) and ‘I know what to write now!’ Engaging Boys (and girls) through a multimodal approach.’ Bhojwani et-al (2007, 2018).

Download the Multimodal Literacy Programme flyer for 2023-2024 [PDF]

Multimodal Approach Core Aims:

  • recognise, value and build upon children's wider literacy experiences
  • how technology can support children in engaging with and producing multimodal text
  • motivate children in progressively becoming expert readers/ viewers and authors/ 'writers' of multimodal texts
  • support home/ school partnerships and enhance learning opportunities.

Embracing the core aims, we have primary and secondary projects running throughout the academic year which provides our children with experiences beyond the classroom.  All projects provide an opportunity to produce multimodal texts for a wider audience; the focus is to:

  • broaden children’s cultural literacy experiences beyond home and school with links to wider communities:  gallery, museum, historical building
  • produce multi-layered, well presented texts to inform a wider community 
  • support children in the ways they can mobilise cultural repertoires, research, imaginations, and the arts in their production and interpretation of their own and others’ story world
  • develop skills in using and responding to augmented reality resources.

The project, schedule and resources

The project is child centred and can fit and adapt to your current school provision - activities might be explored with the whole class, a small group or with one-one TA or teacher support. This is a home project too so some activities might develop in the home setting.

The programme in Nottinghamshire is delivered by the Virtual School Team and Petula Bhojwani and Craig Wilkie, authors of 'Power Up Literacy' (2018) and 'Digital Literacies' (2021).

Schedule and CPD for carer and designated teacher which includes

  • launch session - online training with ideas for activities at home or at school
  • consultation support bespoke to your setting and child
  • a session to issue the child's iPad, safeguarding and training on using this as a literacy tool
  • celebration event involving all the children.

Resources for each participant

  • iPad, digital camera, talking photo album and quality texts multi-layered books
  • additional themed resources
  • CPD - designated teacher and carer training events
  • consultation support and school visit
  • online support and website with materials
  • project handbook including ten case studies and resources
  • access to the MML iPad app with the motivational and engaging Dragon Writer challenge.

The team thoughtfully adapt the resources and multimodal approach in KS3 to suit the needs of the students, schools and families.

What teachers and carers have told us about MML projects

For R particularly, this project has been much more than academic attainment. 1 year ago, he didn’t access any of the curriculum within the classroom (with his peers). R is now 100% part of the classroom and making outstanding progress.
The structure and format of the sessions encouraged good listening - to instructions, to story work and to each other.
Activities promoted good speaking skills for the video calls.  Leading to confidence when speaking to adults.

Summary of MML outcomes from data and observations

  • Evidence of progress in literacy attainment
  • Increased engagement in literacy activities
  • A strong sense of authorship and in authorial intent
  • Children took pride in their work
  • A knowledge of how texts work
  • Enhanced ICT skills and research skills
  • Improved confidence and a ‘can do’ belief
  • An enthusiasm for books and creating texts
  • Improved home school links
  • Brought to light issues through interactions with texts and creation of stories

MML projects

Primary themes by year

Primary MML themes by year combining enriched practical activities to develop quality literacy outcomes and along the way widening vocabulary choices through experiences.

Treasures of the Earth

Millions of years in the making, our theme for this academic year is Treasures of the Earth. Students have been provided with a collection of marvellous books about caves, rocks, volcanoes and awesome geographical features and processes.

Each student received a gem-stone kit - to uncover their own wonders hidden in a chunk of rock. This theme also supports the exploration of  the long history of mining in Nottinghamshire and of the caves and discoveries made at Creswell Crags. Our celebration for MML Treasures of the Earth will be held at Creswell Crags.

The Magic of Movement

Working with gifted, international artist Martin Smith - each child constructed and decorated their own automata (moving mechanical artwork model) which inspired a host of wonderful literacy outcomes.

The project celebration event was held at the Papplewick Pumping station - glorifying the art of Victorian mechanical engineering. The students showcased their moving automatas in the beautiful grounds of this historic venue.

Doorways to possibilities

Deep in the heart of a Nottinghamshire forest at Back2Basics in Calverton, our students displayed their artistic doorways, magically set into the trunks of ancient trees.

These doorways represented a portal to another world. Students wrote creative stories about the worlds and characters who live behind their doors. In this year, we launched our MML app and the digital Dragon Writer writing activity in collaboration with renowned artist Rochelle Falconer.

All about me

Every child created their own six-foot totem pole - designed by each child to showcase their skills, gifts and talents. These were displayed in the courtyard at the Portland Museum Gallery. Due to Covid restrictions, the event took place outside.

After the celebration event, many of these fabulous pieces of artwork stood proudly in school foyers across Nottinghamshire. Promoting the work of our students to everyone who visited the school.



During the public health emergency, the MML team delivered hundreds of engaging and fun literacy sessions to children via their MML iPad, we called this the MML Hub.

Our Hub provided opportunities for multimodal writing and reading - as well as listening and speaking challenges. Children worked together collaboratively - all sessions were live and interactive. Our MML Hub started in April 2020 and ended in early February 2021.

Box of treasures

Deep in storage, at Welbeck House, a set of intriguing miniature portraits were discovered. The subjects of these portraits were wealthy, influential people living hundreds of years ago. Many were unknown and unnamed.

Our student’s imagined who they were, what they achieved and retold their life story and adventures through writing and art. The literacy work and artwork was publicly displayed at the Harley Gallery for several months for the public to view on the Welbeck estate.

Secondary MML themes by year

2023-2024 - Japan

Our KS3 theme is Japan! Our students have explored this country of contrasts. Learning about artwork, music, buildings, technology, food and culture through literacy activities.

Working with internationally acclaimed musician, David Wise (composer of countless iconic Nintendo soundtracks) and experts from the digital creative industries in Nottinghamshire, the students are developing an immersive digital Japanese experience.

This will be showcased in the historic Japanese garden in Newstead Abbey near Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire. Newstead Abbey is the ancestral home of Lord Byron, one of England’s greatest and most loved writers.

2022-2023 - The Magic of Movement

The students received a collection of books and resources related to the theme of movement within engineering. Activities included the use of the iPad to create engaging multimodal texts. Virtual Reality (VR) was used alongside multimodal books. Students read and applied knowledge gained from a text into a live VR environment to complete challenges.

A visit to the world headquarters and manufacturing site for the legendary Triumph Motorcycles provided students with an experience of movement in action. As well as promoting the hundreds of future opportunities available to them in the field of motorcycle design and development.

Working with design and print experts, Blueprint Nottingham, each student designed their own bike helmet. The design studio professionally wrapped the helmet to showcase the design (which included multimodal poetry). We presented their work at TeamWorks go-kart arena in Huthwaite.

If you would like more information about how your school can be involved in the MML project, please contact the Virtual School on 0115 977 4747.

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