National Storytelling Week embraced at Harrogate High School

Jonathan Tulloch at his creative literature workshop (S)
Jonathan Tulloch at his creative literature workshop (S)

National Storytelling Week was welcomed in by staff and students at Harrogate High School with author visits, workshops and poetry performances taking place.

The week long celebration of literature began on Monday, February 2 and the school started by inviting local author Jonathan Tulloch in for a creative workshop.

Key Stage 3 students had their chance to flex their creative writing skills under his expertise with the writing based around people meeting who had never met before.

Year 7 students were then presented with prizes in the form of book tokens on Tuesday for their extended pieces of writing on ‘Skellig’ which was the students’ class novels .

The English department at the high school then ran a carousel style workshop on Wednesday with activities including front cover designs, book characters and narrative structures.

A literary bake sale then took place on Thursday, with proceeds going to the MS Society, one of the school’s charities, as the week culminated into an extravaganza of storytelling on Friday with three special guests at the school.

Poets from the London based ensemble ‘Elephant’ were invited to the school to run workshops for a selected group of year 10 students throughout the day.

The poetry brief for the students was to eventually produce a piece of writing with the theme of ‘home’, including certain things like a smell and a sound in microscopic detail.

This culminated in a unique performance of Ensemble’s own poetry during the final lesson on Friday with students and staff enjoying their offbeat work which was full of energy.

Mrs Moss-Blundell, Head of English, said “We are delighted to be offering students across all key stages the opportunity to be involved in these exciting initiatives.

Whole school literacy is a key focus for Harrogate High School and events such as this are a chance to promote literacy in an interactive and fun way.”

Head of Academy, Ann Francis, said she was ‘delighted’ with the success of the week and the wonderful enthusiasm of both the staff and students at the school.

She said: “Literature has such a major part to play in the social, moral, spiritual and cultural agenda within which we operate as a school and it was inspiring to see our students producing such sensitive and perceptive pieces of their own narrative writing.”

“Anything which can further promote reading for pleasure is to be welcomed and we will continue to get behind such events in our constant drive to raise the literacy standards of all our students across all subjects.”