Storytelling in Schools

Storytelling can assist the teacher in providing different context for the development of the major programmes of study (as outlined in Key stages I, 2,3 & 4 of the National Curriculum. e.g. English, the Sciences, Maths and Design & Technology.)

From the simple storytelling session, which allows children the opportunity to listen to and comment on stories told, to the more complex and intricate workshops designed to stimulate imagination.

As well as providing a safe environment for the development of language and communication skills, storytelling workshops can also provide a forum in which children’s natural storytelling abilities can be harnessed and strengthened.

Children should have access to stories, poems and songs from different cultural traditions.

Key stages of the National Curriculum, UK

Storytelling is particularly valuable in facilitating language in the Multi-cultural classroom, in that the elements of storytelling are universal and provide opportunities for bi-lingual children to develop vocabulary through repetition and participation. Bi-lingual children may also have their cultural identity validated by having stories from their own linguistic tradition the focus of a group activity.


Current Projects:

Bedtime Stories - is The Akua Storytelling Project’s current initiative for KS2

Bedtime Stories – is a 10 week project working with a storyteller and a visual artist

to learn and re-tell traditional stories, both orally & visually. The children will have opportunities to write the stories, so the focus is primarily on the importance of oral rehearsal. The children take a scene from their story and work with the artist to recreate that scene using textiles on a small panel. Each panel is then sewn onto a duvet so that each class will end up with a story quilt. This project has been developed for children in years 4 and 5 and aims to provides

 A context for critical thinking and discussion on issues of importance

  • A love of literature through exposure to familiar story forms
  • A community of shared enquiry and experience
  • An awareness of our multicultural heritage of stories and books.
  • A stimulus to imagination, to verbal and visual creativity
  • A contribution to knowledge about language. its form and uses
  • An opportunity to practise active listening and speaking skills
  • Parent and child involvement in collecting traditional stories

At the end of the 10 weeks the project will culminate in an exhibition of the quilt and the children performing their stories to the rest of the school and parents.

Bedtime Stories project was created in 2005 for primary schools by international storyteller and children’s author Jan Blake. Since then the project has been in residency as an Excellence in Cities Project in primary schools, in the London Borough of Westminster.
Due to increasing popularity Bedtime Stories is now available to tour to other boroughs within London and its outer regions. The Fee is £5000 per class and each morning session lasts for half a day over 10 weeks.

Bedtime Stories project includes an INSET for all school staff. The one day inset will outline the project, clarify the role of teacher and workshop leaders, demonstrate storytelling and embroidery techniques, clarify expectations and levels of commitment and discuss project outcomes.

Bedtime Stories project will require schools to provide the following:

  • One plastic folder for each child to keep their work safe and clean
  • Pencils for sketching & drawing
  • Coloured pencils, pastels & wax crayons. We do not recommend the use of chalk.
  • A5 size paper.
  • Wallpaper or its equivalent size for drawing exercises
  • Scissors
  • One Teacher or Classroom Assistant is present at each session

The Akua StorytellingProject will provide:

  • A template for planning ideas
  • Threads
  • Binca
  • Needles & Pins
  • Felt & Fabric
  • Assorted Accessories

If you have any questions or know of any EIC project schools that you would like to recommend to book Bedtime Stories please contact Bid Mosaku on 020 8291 7757 or