At its heart, storytelling is a creative activity that connects us with the people around us and with our past, present and future, opening up the world of the imagination. Storytelling engages the four core creativity skills identified in Education Scotland's Impact Report on creative learning which apply across Curriculum for Excellence: curiosity, open-mindedness, imagination and problem solving.
The magic of stories and storytelling have the power to bring the curriculum to life, enabling vivid and embodied learning and understanding across the eight subject areas. Stories and storytelling are a great way to explore themes and projects that meet cross-curricular experiences and outcomes.
Storytelling is well known for its success in developing a love of language and vocabulary, contributing to the development of literacy across learning. In schools where improving basic literacy levels is a priority, storytelling can be used to quickly raise standards while developing skills, knowledge and confidence in a range of other areas. Storytelling can be the hook which engages learners, influencing their attainment and achievement.
Listening to stories provides a springboard for active learning, play and creativity. Children can ‘play’ with stories using different media, including creative writing, drama, music, movement, dance, visual art, craft activities, animation and ICT.
Creating and telling stories encourages a child's confidence to express themselves. It teaches an awareness of how to contribute appropriately and to value other people's contributions. It can help develop emotional literacy, as pupils gain confidence by telling their own story in front of their peers and also learn to respect other children’s stories.
In classrooms with children from diverse backgrounds, stories can be told that reflect the children’s own cultures or identities. Storytelling can be used to explore sensitive topics, such as bullying. Storytelling is particularly helpful to support children during times of transition.
Children can benefit from developing their storytelling skills throughout their education.Regularly engaging with storytelling and story-making activities in the classroom creates a culture of communication, confidence, collaboration, understanding and respect.
Storytelling a wonderful and much-needed way to make schools more engaging and effective, especially in areas of social deprivation.