In the Autumn term 2009 two local Surrey storytellers, Janet Dowling and Alex Somerville, worked with one secondary school – the Beacon, and three of its feeder primary schools - Tadworth, Epsom Downs and Shawley schools.
The aim for all four schools was to develop storytelling skills, and for the primary schools to use the storytelling to address some of the “transition to secondary school” issues. The completion of the project would be for members of the secondary school project, to give a storytelling concert to the members of the primary school project.
The secondary pupils met for 10 sessions with a local storyteller. In addition, they had an extra workshop with another storyteller who had previously been a finalist in the National Young Storyteller of the Year competition in 2007 and who is now carving himself an international reputation. There were initially 16 pupils, but by the end of the project there were 9 who performed at the schools concert.
One of these, Charlie Goodair, went on to represent the project at the Young Storyteller of the Year competition in March 2010. To see Charlie in action click here. For the “Young Storyteller of the Year” competition web site click here. Charlie Goodair has since been invited to tell at several adult storytelling venues.
The teachers in the Beacon School aim to use storytelling skills to support the pupils in the individual presentation they do for GCSE Oral English.
The focus with the three primary schools was to use storytelling as a way to look at some of the transition issues to secondary schools. The children listened to and retold traditional tales with a focus on helping “King Arthur” cope with becoming King (the metaphor of moving from the small castle to the big castle for the transition to secondary school), and making up their own stories to support “him”. Each school had 20-24 children one morning a week for four weeks with a storyteller, with the teachers and assistant present.
In the Surrey Confederations of Schools Newsletter there is also a report on the Serendipity Project - to view click here.
If your school, youth club, PRU or other organisation for young people, would be interested in developing a similar project – please contact:
Foundation for the Serendipity Project.
We are looking for two schools to take part in this project in autumn 2009. We would like to work with 15-18 years old to link in with the Young Storyteller of the Year competition, but will consider working with younger pupils. The storytellers who will be involved in this project all have experience of running similar projects. The cost for preparation and participation at one day a week over 10 weeks for each school is £3500. To help offset this cost, we have been given a grant from Awards for All so that the cost to the schools would be £2500. If you would like more details please contact Janet Dowling on 07834 194215.
Proposed Content - Schools:
Young people will learn:
Teachers will engage with storytelling as a curriculum tool for areas such as:
Young people will benefit from:
Storytelling Practitioners will benefit from:
The project will be managed by a Steering Group comprising:
Support and advice will be available from Roi Gann of the School of Storytelling at Emerson College, Sussex , and the University of Sussex
For more details contact Janet Dowling by e-mail.