Storytelling project opens new chapter in Tameside schools

A PROJECT which challenges children to find and share stories from across the globe is being expanded to more local primary schools. 

Tameside Council’s Cultural Services is linking up with the world renowned National Theatre, in partnership with the Unicorn Theatre, to bring the learning project to more schools in the borough.

Pupils at St Stephen’s Primary School taking part in Story Seekers

Year Three pupils at Fairfield Road Primary in Droylsden took part earlier this year and last week St Stephen’s RC Primary in Droylsden and St Anne’s RC Primary and Nursery School in Audenshaw also came together to share their stories.

It went down well in those schools as class teacher Amy, from St Stephen’s RC Primary, said the children ‘thoroughly enjoyed’ participating in the programme.

“We prepared for the event for eight weeks and the children explored ways to tell stories using their voices, gestures and story-telling phrases to perform their story in a confident, creative way.

“As teachers, we would recommend the programme to other schools as the training was very informative with all resources provided, and it helped the children to develop the vital skill of oracy.”

Class teacher Louise Chadwick, from St Anne’s, added: “Story Seekers have provided our children with a fantastic opportunity to explore oracy in a fun and creative way.

“Our children have gained increased confidence and enthusiasm when speaking in front of audiences.”

Other schools that will be involved include St John Fisher RC and Dane Bank Primary in Denton and Gorse Hall Primary and Stalyhill Infants in Stalybridge.

Story Seekers is a free oracy and creative learning programme. Oracy is to speaking what numeracy is to maths or literacy to reading and writing. The project challenges children to connect with people and communities through the telling and sharing of stories.

As well as promoting the sharing of stories, the initiative supports learning with each school having access to professional actor-led workshops, with pupils and teachers having access to continuing professional development at Portland Basin Museum in Ashton-under-Lyne.

The project is part of Let’s Play, a free National Theatre primary schools programme designed to enable teachers to embed creative learning across the whole curriculum. It offers both staff and pupils the chance to see, make and learn through theatre.

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