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National Theatre Leads Tameside Schools in Seeking Stories

Press Release: 25/01/2024

FAIRFIELD PRIMARY SCHOOL 2023ALL children love a good story, and never more so than when it’s expertly told.

Seven Tameside primary schools have just taken part in Story Seekers, a learning project created by the world-renowned National Theatre in partnership with the Unicorn Theatre.

Story Seekers is a free oracy and creative learning programme which challenges children to find and share stories from across the globe. The National Theatre has collaborated with Tameside Cultural Services to bring the programme into primary schools across Tameside.

Oracy is to speaking, what numeracy is to maths or literacy to reading and writing. The project challenges children to connect with people and communities through the telling and sharing of stories.

Now, the time has come to spread the story farther afield. On Monday, January 15, Fairfield Road Primary, Droylsden, welcomed the Deputy Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Betty Affleck, and ward councillor Susan Quinn, to listen to Year 3 children telling their stories.

Story Seekers is part of Let’s Play, a free National Theatre primary schools programme designed to enable teachers to embed creative learning across the whole curriculum. It offers both staff and pupils the chance to see, make and learn through theatre.

Professional actors led workshops in Tameside and teachers had access to continuing professional development at Portland Basin Museum, Ashton.

Cllr Sangita Patel, Tameside Council’s assistant executive member for heritage, culture and digital inclusivity, said: “It was a huge boost to the borough to be involved in such a prestigious programme, led by the world-famous National Theatre.

“I totally agree with their belief that engaging pupils in creative projects at a young age helps them to develop their creativity, teamwork and social and speaking skills. These are all immensely important and will be needed as they make their way through life.”

Molly Chong, a teacher at Fairfield Road Primary School, Droylsden, added: “This project from the National Theatre, that focused on speaking and listening skills, gave our children a unique experience.

“They heard stories from other cultures, learned to retell them using their bodies and voices, and got to take part in a workshop with an actress from London, which they loved.

“The resources and training provided by the Story Seekers team gave us varied and interesting activities to improve the children’s language and performance skills, which is invaluable.  

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The Tameside primary schools taking part in Story Seekers were: St Anne's, Audenshaw; St John Fisher RC and Dane Bank, Denton; Fairfield Road and St Stephen’s RC, Droylsden; and Gorse Hall and Stalyhill Infants, Stalybridge.

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