Storytelling in Schools and Museums

Richard telling stories

"Pupils should continue to have opportunities to listen frequently to stories." of the best bits from the 2014 National Curriculum for Primary Schools!

Teacher's Feedback:

"A unique and extremely valuable learning experience. The children rushed back to their classes and immediately instigated a full-on whole class discussion about you, the stories, the music and how they had been inspired to incorporate ideas from the session in their own stories or to write new stories based on your session. Thank you!" M. Preston, Applecroft School, Oct 2013, written evaluation

Here's more:

" [Your visit] was useful for aspects of speaking and listening – a literacy area which I believe is so important to life and in improving writing standards." Written evaluation from Welwyn St Mary's Primary School, by permission.

What happens in a school storytelling session:

Stories to explain
Stories to puzzle
Stories to face fears
Stories for a moment
Stories to think on

Autumn 2012: "Can you come again, please? We've never known [child] to sit so quietly for so long, ever!" Teacher's verbal feedback

"The children listened intently and it was magical to watch them getting ever closer to you as they became more involved in the story."

listening sequence 1  

There's more about storytelling and the Curriculum here

listening sequence 2

How long?

Session length depends on age-group: Reception class sessions are usually about 20/25 minutes, by year 4 or 5 they're regularly happily listening for an hour.

"Children were fascinated throughout the session" - Kate Reneerken, Loddington CEPrimary School, Northants.

"Children seemed totally unaware that they had been sitting still for almost an hour." Mrs. J Keefe, Applecroft School, Herts.


I can link stories to themes in the curriculum, and am always developing more. Some are listed below. listening sequence 3 Many of these themes are the result of schools' requests. For some, such as Robots, there may not appear to be many traditional stories, but you'd be surprised! Some are more suited to certain age groups than others: please ask me.

Hurdy-gurdy and me in the London Guildhall

Playing at the London Guildhall

I can tell stories for historical themes, with music of the period played on appropriate instruments to give real flavour – I'm an experienced historical musician, having performed in many famous heritage sites including the Tower of London, Windsor Castle for "Time Team", the V&A, The British Museum, and more English Heritage properties than I can remember!


Requirements and preparations for Story sessions... very few!

stories about ordinary people
stories with shivers
stories with delight
stories with pain
stories of injustice
and of justice done
...ever more stories ...

And that's it...
... until afterwards, when the opportunities for your follow-up work are great!

MoreTeachers' feedback:
Dark wooded bank near Hailes in Gloucestershire.

I took this photo late one evening near Hailes Abbey in Gloucestershire, when I was working there. Is that just a tree stump, under the trees on the hill, or a cowled figure?

"The children were really engaged ... My colleagues and I were delighted ..." " All the children I spoke to were buzzing afterwards!... Please come back again!!" "Definitely a useful educational experience... [afterwards, the children] were able to relay it to their class teacher."

  "Children... inspired to write/tell stories" Children's feedback was "All very positive" "Fantastic."   "Loved the instruments"   "Very good value for money... Thank you for a super day. We would definitely like you to visit our school again."


My work telling traditional stories and playing music for schools and museums is mainly in the counties of Northampton, Bedford, Buckingham, Oxford, Leicester, South Lincs, Rutland, Warwick, and Herts.

While most of my work is in schools, I love performing for other audiences too. I travel further afield too. It's always worth asking!

Please Contact me for more details