Storytelling the Key to Creative Learning
Western Mail (Wales, UK)
March 3, 2005
John Tobutt, the head of Gabalfa Primary School in Cardiff, is passionate in his conviction that stories form the cornerstone of primary education.
He says, "I believe the National Curriculum is in danger of stifling the creativity of teachers. Where they once took time to 'tell' a story, now they're reduced to reading from a book because of pressures on time."
It is part of this commitment to stories and engaging with children that Gabalfa Primary School has built up links with local educational theatre company, Theatr Iolo, making theatre, stories and drama a core part of the school's activity.
Mr Tobutt says, "Teaching children to love stories is the key to unlocking reading skills. I believe that turning everyday occurrences into stories and engaging young people can help to raise standards in literacy.
"Stories turn the mundane into the exciting. Recently we worked with Theatr Iolo on a pilot project where a delivery man comes into the classroom unannounced and sits down to eat his dinner. While he eats he tells a story.
"The response of the children was incredible. They were totally wrapped up in the story and it was an experience which I believe they will remember for many years to come."
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