Once upon a time, storytelling was a way to pass time and to entertain, now it is also an excellent way to inspire and encourage a love of stories! Finding the time to read with children can be a challenge especially with the distractions of modern technology, but there is nothing more rewarding than snuggling up and sharing a good book together.
At St John’s Priory School, we celebrate National Storytelling Week with a range of exciting activities.
This year our week began with everyone wearing their pyjamas to school and bringing their favourite bedtime stories and cuddly toys. We shared stories and read to one another in groups. In our Music lessons, Mrs Sparling led a lullaby session for the lower prep children, which included listening to and composing lullabies, and in our French and Spanish lessons, the children recited traditional stories including ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.’
A particular highlight of the day included the Year 6 prefects reading and storytelling to the youngest members of our school community – Little Conkers Nursery and Reception children. The day finished with our Headteacher, Mrs Tracey Wilson and a group of children paying a visit to the famous phone box library landmark outside our school.
A visit to The Story Museum:
Children in upper and lower prep enjoyed a trip to The Story Museum in Oxford.
The sessions for our younger children started with a special song, followed by snuggling up on the giant story bed to listen to a story told by the Story Guides. The children then went on to explore five story-themed zones where they went on a Bear Hunt; discovered Traction Man’s under-sink world; relaxed in the Night Safe; enjoyed a ride on the Story Bus; and watched a performance in Winnie and Wilbur’s miniature theatre. The morning concluded with a final story before saying their goodbyes.
Our older pupils created their own stories in groups, using visual props. They visited the Whispering Wood, where every tree tells a different story and got to explore the different themed rooms including Harry Potter, Horrid Henry, Alice in Wonderland and The Snowman, and took part in a city walk through the story of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which ended at the very lamp post that inspired C.S Lewis to write about Narnia.
“I had fun. My favourite part was the Doodle Shed where we could draw anything. I loved making up stories and seeing the real lamp post that inspired Narnia.”
Year 4 pupil
Our children were encouraged to participate in a reading competition, which involved submitting a photograph of them reading in a way that captured the audience, such as reading in a den, up a tree or striking a pose whilst playing football! The winner was Aishani, and she was awarded with a story book prize – much to her delight!