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Press release – Story Museum launches publishing programme with groundbreaking teacher handbook. 15 Feb 2013

Friday 15th February

“There is something in this marvellous book that is deep and genuinely educational” Pie Corbett

On 21 February 2013 The Story Museum – a new museum in the making – launches its first book, a comprehensive guide on bringing the magic of story into the classroom.

Designed with teachers for teachers, The Storytelling School: Handbook for teachers outlines an innovative method of delivering primary education, pioneered by The Story Museum. Developed, evaluated and refined over the past seven years with remarkable results, the Storytelling Schools approach is an inspiring way of raising standards in education through storytelling.

Responding to the need to improve standards in writing

The Storytelling School: Handbook for teachers – with a foreword by partner and Talk for Writing expert Pie Corbett – distils the experience of three outstanding educational practitioners and responds to an array of challenges in the classroom, where many children arrive with poor spoken language. The Handbook explains why stories are vital for children’s emotional and intellectual growth. It shows, with clear examples, how to get children telling stories and have fun at the same time, with tips, techniques and resources. And it gives step-by-step instructions on how to become a Storytelling School, embedding story across the whole curriculum. Proven benefits include better communication skills, greater inclusivity and improved teacher wellbeing and satisfaction.

Support for teachers

The method gets an enthusiastic thumbs-up from existing storytelling schools. Kim Pickin, Story Museum co director said: “Feedback from schools is overwhelmingly positive and reinforced by dramatic improvements in SATS results and Ofsted reports. Teachers have welcomed the method because it is effective, fun – and appeals to children of all ages and backgrounds.”

David Lewin, head teacher at Oxford’s Wood Farm Primary School said: “The Storytelling Schools method has had a transforming effect on our approach to literacy and the teaching of writing. In a relatively short time the impact on writing outcomes, pupil motivation and teacher expertise has been profound – it’s an approach that every school teacher will want to know more about.”

The 128 page guide is available from The Story Museum at £40 plus £3 postage and packing. ISBN 9780956991805.

To order: online at

For an invoice or to request a bulk discount (£30 per copy on five or more) telephone Sarah Fussell, 01865 790050.


Note to editors

For more information and author interviews, contact Cath Nightingale or Alex Coke 01865 790050.

The Story Museum

The Story Museum promises to be the UK’s newest and most exciting museum. Based in Oxford, a world centre of children’s literature, The Story Museum – a registered charity – works to inspire learning through story.  We have been testing and developing our ideas since 2005 and acquired a permanent home in 2010, which we plan to transform into an extraordinary cathedral of stories. Our patrons are Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson.
The Story Museum, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP

The Storytelling School

In a Storytelling School, all children learn to be storytellers, retelling and improving stories from memory and graduating with their own repertoire. Teachers and children learn to tell stories from memory as a regular feature within the school week. Oral and written stories are used to introduce topics across the curriculum and even to prepare for SATS.

The authors

Chris Smith PhD and Adam Guillain are professional storytellers, trainers and educational consultants. Chris trained in therapeutic and performance storytelling and has led The Story Museum’s outreach work since 2005.  Adam Guillain is an experienced primary teacher, trainer and children’s author and has worked with The Story Museum since 2007.

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