Summer family and friends storytelling and reading


Thank you to everyone who took part in this new venture: family and friends storytelling and reading. We really hope that you all enjoyed it and reading, writing, discussing, books and stories were all part of your summer break.

Talking about books that you have read together or swapped creates a huge number of benefits for the rest of the curriculum, as success in every subject depends to a great extent on the ability to read and understand a diverse range of material.  

‘Underneath the academic benefits are the books themselves – worn covers, wrinkled spines, all the creases, notes and smudges; the scent of pages that have been read. And here, too, are their words, reignited: turned potent and thrilling in new hands. Passed on.’

The Guardian

There is something so very special about reading the words that have been gazed over and digested by someone you know. We find that the power is almost magnetic, pulling you into a world where a close friend, partner or child once visited.

The writing of stories together is sociable and fun – this is when we are most creative.  It is so important that we enjoy writing together so when our children are in a classroom and have to create a story themselves, they are relaxed and they enjoy it. We hope you, your friends and family found one or more of the activities stimulated many of the following areas: discussions, opinions, lots of words and most importantly lots of smiling and laughing.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered into the spirit of the challenge. Below is an audio story from one family, and some intriguing opening lines.

Audio story

This was recorded around the campfire and the storytellers range from 8 to 65 years. The participants and audience clearly have great fun improvising.  

Opening Lines

Here are some of the opening lines from the stories we received.  Would you want to read on?

  • It’s 04:30 and alarm clocks are ringing all around the stable block where the lads in charge are tucked up with only their noses sticking out in the bitter cold morning air.
  • Groggily, I unfurled myself from the hay nestled cozily around my sticky body. ‘It is a brilliant day, the sun is shining and the crowds are  ------don’t you think Masie?’
  • We awoke still feeling the effects of the usual Christmas festivities and the excess of food.
  • As we came round the corner, the wind tried to push us back from where we had come from and the sound of the rigging rattling on the mast became an orchestra of musical disharmony.
  • Jenny, a tall lady with green boots and purple hair. Jeoff, widely proportioned with no hair!
  • Splintering wood filled the rainy copse as a crack of lightning cut through clouds and trees alike. Black rain hurtled down from above, impacting the damp, clotted soil with hammerhead force, causing missiles of dirt to shoot up towards the angry, grey, billowing storm circling the secluded forest like a vulture.
  • It started as a normal day.  Very normal.  Very predictable.  Mum came into my bedroom, her slippers clip-clopping across the floor as she approached the window.  Throwing back my curtains, she sang “Good morning, my treasure, my precious!”  Had I been more awake, I would have noticed her sarcasm.  I had not been her “treasure” last night.  
  • The ravenous flames devoured the wrinkled mill with their orange fluorescent tentacles.  No mercy was given to the frail frame of wood crumbling with the intense, sheer heat from the malevolent snakes of devastation.  This event haunted me.  Replayed in my brain like a broken record.