Pupils at Kings Monkton School are being encouraged to daydream in class this week, as part of a new programme of creative writing workshops launched to celebrate National Storytelling Week (27th January – 3rd February), which is taking place across the country to celebrate the joy of storytelling.
During the creative writing workshops, primary pupils at Kings Monkton are turning their day-dreams into written stories, which will be published as part of a collection later this year. Pupils will also produce illustrations to accompany their stories in the collection.
Once the collection of stories is published, an individual story and turned into a musical production by Kings Monkton’s partner institution, International Music School Cardiff. The musical production will be performed in spring by the primary pupils involved in the workshops, with the selected story’s writer adopting the role of assistant director.
The workshops have been a success amongst students and teachers alike. Karen Norton, Vice Principal of Kings Monkton and the brains behind the new workshops and classes said: “Our commitment to education outside the classroom is very important to us. School shouldn’t just be about learning from a textbook; it’s important to encourage creativity and innovative thinking at an early stage. The creative writing workshops have provided our primary school pupils with the opportunity to explore the realms of their imaginations, and see their dreams come to life in print and on stage. For many of the little ones, story-time is already an important part of their school life, and we’ve seen an immensely positive response to the workshops so far.”
In previous years, Kings Monkton School has run author-led classes for its pupils, inviting the likes of children’s author Cathy Farr to host interactive storytelling sessions, who brings along her Irish wolfhound companion, Mojo, to the pupils’ delight.
Storytelling has a wealth of benefits for young people, and has been shown to enhance speaking and listening skills, and increase early literacy and promote reading comprehension skills. Research has also shown that children who are regularly read fiction find it easier to understand others and show empathy.
National Storytelling Week, devised by the Society for Storytelling, is in its 18th year, and events take place across the country in theatres, schools, hospitals, and more. The society encourages everyone to get involved, either by hosting or attending events, or simply sharing stories with other people.