Since 2007 we have been helping a number of primary schools to become 'Storytelling Schools' in which oral storytelling becomes a key part of every child's day. Children learn to tell increasingly complex stories from memory as they progress through the school.
Partner schools are passionate supporters of this approach, convinced that learning and telling stories throughout the school cycle benefits teachers and children by:
- accelerating language learning
- improving writing
- increasing confidence and participation
- engaging children with topic work
- particularly benefitting students who start school with weaker language skills or who find reading difficult
- boosting enjoyment and enthusiasm.
Storytelling is providing moments-to-shine for students who might otherwise enjoy few such moments. Such experiences can be life changing.
what we do
Our support takes many forms including:
- inspirational storyteller visits and multi-sensory exhibitions
- teacher training
- classroom demonstrations and individual teacher feedback
- printed and digital story resources matched to curriculum topics
- whole school and individual teacher support in planning and adopting a storytelling approach
- opportunities to exchange ideas with other storytelling schools.
This learning is a two-way process: we are gathering invaluable feedback and ideas from participating schools. Our outreach team is now advising Local Authorities on this approach.
Read an evaluation of our Storytelling Schools programme
Discuss becoming a storytelling school.
"This was the way forward we had been looking for. We used it to change our curriculum and now we have a clear focus and a clear identity.
Being a story school has also been powerful as a recruitment tool – we’ve had over 100 people apply for five posts and many of them were excited and animated by the idea of the use of story." Head teacher, Buckinghamshire school
“The skill to tell stories is the building block to address children’s limited language use. Learning to tell six stories per year is the path to literate children by Year 6.” Head teacher, Orchard Meadow Primary School, Oxford
“The storytelling programme is proving extremely effective in enriching pupils' imaginative powers and in improving writing.” OFSTED report on Orchard Meadow, February 2009
see storytelling schools in action on tv
Three video clips show good practice in action, at Pegasus primary school:
A storytelling school: hopscotch as a way of helping writing skills
Verbalising before writing: hear-map-step-speak, in partnership with the Story Museum.
Developing a story together: storytelling is used to enhance and improve creative writing skills.