Storytelling in Schools
We learn to speak before we learn to read or write, Oral Storytelling deepens a child’s knowledge and understanding of how words can be used to describe all manner of things.The mind is activated in a different way when listening to Oral Storytelling, it fires imagination in children. Imagination coupled with a structured storyline, (which all good stories have), increases the understanding of story structure. It increases the understanding of how a narrative conveys meaning and understanding. It has been proven beyond doubt that it also helps children in many key developmental areas such as; listening skills, increased attention span, increased vocabulary and subtle language variation, rhythm and structure etc. It increases a child’s confidence to use new words, both orally and written. It enhances narrative skills, plot development, story structure. It develops the children’s imagination beyond the ordinary and familiar. It also increases a child’s knowledge and understanding of other cultures. Oral Storytelling which is storytelling without a book is unique; it is an eye-to-eye, moment-to-moment, heart-to-heart experience. People are often amazed at how Oral Storytelling can hold the attention of children with attention difficulties. It is also highly entertaining and gives children a welcome break from their normal curriculum.
My stories include tales about; The Stone age, Romans, Greek Myths, World Creation Myths, World Folk Tales, Norse tales, as well as classic British Folk and Fairy tales.
Bespoke Storytelling Projects & Workshops.
I have developed and co-facilitated a Bespoke Project in an Essex school, specifically using Storytelling, working with KS2 children, identified as needing extra support in school. It had a relaxed workshop format around a structured story base. We have so far undertaken 4 small groups run over 10 weeks. A total of 40 hours face to face storytelling work. During which time we facilitated the children devising their own self created spoken story, which we captured by transcribing their story and giving it back to them written up, at the end. I am also a trained Therapeutic Counsellor and it was in this combined role that we worked with Storytelling. We encouraged the children, to use their own creative thinking, artistic creativity, problem solving skills, group discussion, group negotiation and free expression, to journey both metaphorically and as individuals, as they moved on in the story each week.
I have designed and delivered a Bespoke Group work Project for an upper school in Essex. It involved taking a group of KS3 boys outside to deliver Nature based workshops, it included Storytelling, Outdoor Games, Nature awareness and some Bushcraft.
I have also delivered several Storytelling Workshop’s and storytelling session’s, for adolescents in; A secure residential adolescent mental health hospital; At a Project in Suffolk working with Young people from inner London at risk of ‘gang crime'(BIGKID Foundation); At a residential Outdoor Cooking Project, with fee paying Young people (Root Camp).