Storytelling Primary-Secondary Transition Project

Oxford City schools have been leading the way in a pioneering approach to educaton: the storytelling school. In a Storytelling school all children learn to be storytellers as a systematic way of learning both language and subject content. Storytelling supports not only oral lanuage development but also levels of writing (talk for write) and reading as well as developing confidence, empathy, engagement, sequencing and presentation skills.

Initiated and managed by Oxford City Learning, the transition project has been designed to create a smoother transition between primary and secondary schools, so that students can have a more positive experience of changing schools, increasing the chances of engaging successfully with the new learning and social environment. The project, launched in 2013, aims to create more consistency in teaching methodology between primaries and secondary schools, by introducing storytelling methods into the secondary schools.

Designed by Chris Smith and Nanette Stormont from storytellingschools we have created a story bridge between the primary and secondary schools using the Odyssey. At the end of Year 6 students work with the beginning of the odyssey story (Cyclops) including an exercise resetting the story in the setting of a fantasy future school, allowing students to indirectly explore their imagined future. Then in the first term of Year 7 the secondary school teaches the end of the odyssey, return to Ithaca, using the same set of methods. The character of Odysseus is seen as an excellent model (smart, tricky, wise) to think about in relation to newness and unfamiliarity.

Participating schools

Year 6 Resource Pack checklist

Storyhunter optional element arrangements

What students said about the project

“I liked it and especially enjoyed the mime. I learnt half the story and got better at working with a group.” Oscar from SS Mary & John

“I have enjoyed it so much and also it has helped me write better.”

“I really, really, really enjoyed it.” Tarzeena, Rosehill

What teachers said about the project

“We completed lots of interesting discussions abou the future, aspirations, who our inspirations are and what qualities we need to have in order to achieve our goals. The children enjoyed writing their innovations on Odysseus and the Cyclops and loved learning and telling the original story in a gruesome way!” Anna Philips, Wood Farm Primary school